An Overview Of Electric Bills In The UK

A man is shown calculating the payment for his electric bills

Paying electric bills can be one of the highest expenses for many in the UK on a monthly or annual basis. In this article we discuss:

  • What is the average electric bill in the UK?
  • What uses the most electricity in a home?
  • How you can save on electricity bills
  • Electricity at night – is it cheaper?

What is the average electric bill in the UK?

The size of your electric bill depends on a number of factors such as:

  • The size of your home
  • When your home was built
  • How well-insulated your home is
  • The number of domestic appliances you have, and how often they are used
  • The type of light bulbs you use
  • The energy tariff you are on

The size of your home plays a major role; for instance, a 1-2-bedroomed home has an average bill of £34 per month while a 5-bedroomed home has an average of £70.

What uses the most electricity in a household?

Lighting your home accounts for, on average, a fifth of your electricity bill. Although an individual bulb doesn’t use much electricity, we often have several lights on at the same time. The older CFL light bulbs are much less energy-efficient than the ones. Although LED light bulbs are much more expensive to buy, they last up to 10 times longer and can reduce your annual bill for lighting by about £55 a year.

A man is shown checking his electricity meter at night

Apart from lighting, the domestic appliances which use the most electricity are as follows:

  1. Television: Based on usage of 6.5 hours a day, a TV costs £62.61 a year although this depends on the type of TV
  2. Fridge/freezer: This costs on average £40.80 a year
  3. Washing machine: You pay about £39 a year (depending on how often it’s used)
  4. Tumble dryer: £37 a year (using it 150 times a year)
  5. Electric hob/oven: The hob costs £30.10 a year (compared to £14.12 for a gas-powered hob) and £21.08 a year for the oven (£7.60 for a gas oven)
  6. Dishwasher: Used an average of 135 times a year, a dishwasher costs £19.44 a year

How can I save electricity?

Getting into the habit of turning the lights off in empty rooms, not leaving electric appliances on standby and replacing CFL light bulbs with energy-efficient ones can all reduce your electricity bill. You should only run washing machines and dishwashers when you have a full load. When the weather is good, dry clothes naturally on a washing line instead of using the tumble dryer.

Although LED light bulbs are expensive they could be saving you £55 annually

When you need to replace white goods like fridges, make sure you check their energy rating (which run from A++ to G). Ones with the highest energy-efficiency ratings may be more expensive, but you’ll soon see savings in your electricity bills.

Questions about UK electricity bills:

What is the average electricity bill in the UK?

The average electricity bill in the UK is around £35 per month for a one-bedroom flat and £70 per month for a 3-4 bedroom house. The amount you will pay for electricity varied depending on the size of your home, the electricity package you are on, which power provider you are with and how much electricity you are consuming. A good idea for households is to find ways you can reduce your electricity bills.

How can I reduce my UK electricity bill?

There are many ways to reduce your electricity bills, such as replacing all your light bulbs with LED bulbs, making sure no lights and appliances are left on and not to leave items such as TV’s and computers on standby. In addition to these simple measures you can save even more money by using solar panels in conjunction with your on-grid power supply. Solar panels can lower your electricity bill significantly after the initial investment has been made.

Who is my electricity supplier?

To find out which electricity supplier you are currently using, simply look on the latest electricity bill you have received. With so many energy providers available it can sometimes be confusing, especially if you have switched energy suppliers recently in order to save on your electricity and gas bills. However any supplier you use must send you a bill in their name and if you are considering changing supplier, make sure this is your own decision after researching the different options available and not as a result of a cold-call from a company claiming to reduce your bills.

Is electricity cheaper at night?

Electricity is only cheaper at night if you’re on an Economy 7 tariff. This tariff charges day- and night-time use at different tariffs and is monitored by the installation of two separate meters.

It is possible to switch to an Economy 7 tariff, but it will only save you money if you consume at least 40% of your energy at night (usually from 11pm-6am, but this may vary from provider to provider). This is because day-time rates are higher than the standard fixed tariff. An Economy 7 tariff is also ideal if you have electric storage heaters and heat your water up at night to be used during the day.