Knowing what you should be paying for your gas and electricity is important if you want to bridge the gap between what you are paying, and what you could be paying. Ofgem publish data on average usage for households of different sizes. We've looked through that data and have outlined here the average usage for a 4-bed property, covering gas and electricity. We've also compared it with average prices so you can get an idea of how your bills stack up, and whether it's time for a change.
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Using the Typical Domestic Consumption Values (or TDCVs), a 4-bedroom house would fall between high and medium usage, which gives us an average electric consumption of 3,500 kWh.
It’s important to note that this figure could be higher or lower depending on the behaviours of the people living in the house. If everyone spends a lot of time at home then this will, of course, mean that the amount of electricity used is much higher. If everyone spends time in their own rooms or has different schedules this will also increase consumption, as appliances are being used more frequently.
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How much gas does a 4-bed house use?
Using TDCVs again, a typical 4-bed house will use around 15,000 kWh. Naturally, this figure will be far higher compared with smaller properties as the bigger the property, the more gas is needed to heat it.
Whether or not your property is insulated, and to what level will also affect how much gas you end up using. If you are living in an energy-efficient home, it will take less to heat it than one that has drafts and single glazing windows, for example. Larger properties like 4-beds are likely to be less heat efficient so it’s always worth exploring options to try and mitigate this.
The average electricity bill for a 4-bed house
Compared with the rest of Europe, the UK has middle of the road electricity prices coming in at around 20p per kWh. Using our earlier figure of 3,500 kWh for usage, your typical 4-bed home in the UK would pay around £980 per year or £82 per month for their electricity.
If you are four young professionals sharing a home then the cost might not dent your balance too much. If you are young parents with three children then it may be far more significant. The best way to keep this bill from being too high is to watch your behaviour. Turning lights off, switching to energy-efficient appliances and reducing TV time will all have a positive effect.
One way you can save on your energy bills (between £260 and £580 a year according to the Energy Saving Trust) is by upgrading your boiler. This might be simpler, and cheaper, than you think! Click the button below to see how simple it is to upgrade to an energy-efficient boiler today.
The average gas bill for a 4-bed house
Gas in the UK costs around 5p per kWh so that means that your monthly bill for a typical 4-bed home will be around £1,050 per year or around £87.50 per month. The vast majority of this cost will come from heating your home and water, with cooker use also contributing.
Putting on an extra layer when it gets a bit cold, cooking together and taking shorter showers are all easy ways to bring this monthly bill down. While some people opt for electric heaters to get around using gas, these are often more expensive to run for longer periods, so don’t always provide a sensible alternative.
Should I get a dual fuel tariff?
A dual fuel tariff is where you get your energy and your gas from the same provider, meaning that you will often get a better deal. Companies want to incentivise you to take as many of their products as possible and will offer certain discounts to get your added business. You may also find that having one company for both your gas and electricity makes things much easier, saving you having to deal with two separate companies at the same time.
How do I reduce my energy bills?
A few behavioural changes towards your energy usage around the home can make a huge difference to your annual bills. Additionally, using technology such as smart meters and plug timers are great ways to get extra control of your usage.
The most tried and tested way of reducing your energy bills though is to switch providers. Switching energy providers has never been easier with the actual changeover generally handled entirely by the respective companies, meaning you don’t have to do much at all. The first step is always seeing what’s available to you, which you can do with our handy energy comparison tool.
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Author: Michael Quinn
Michael is a dedicated author helping usave to write guides, blogs and news for the last four years. When not writing articles, you can usually find him at wine tasting events or having a political debate on the night tube.