What’s the average gas and electricity bill in Great Britain?

Do you know how much energy your home uses? Your gas and electricity bills depend on your lifestyle, your home’s size and how many people you live with.

Your average energy bill by house size and usage

Fuel prices are constantly changing, and no one can predict future costs with certainty. Your actual bill could be higher or lower than the average depending on how much you use. Also, if you’re not on a fixed rate, prices will vary depending on the gas and electricity costs, and which supplier you’re with.

According to Ofgem, the average British household has 2.4 people living in it and uses 2,900 kWh of electricity and 12,000 kWh of gas. This works out at 242 kWh of electricity and 1,000 kWh of gas per month.

Of course, this is just the average consumption for a household of between 2-3 people. The more gas or electricity you use, the higher your bills will be. It also assumes you’re using a mix of gas and electricity, but if your home uses only electricity, you’d expect your electric consumption to be higher.

No one wants to pay more than they need to for energy. Having a rough idea of how much energy you should be using and average costs may help to estimate your bills and compare prices with other energy providers.

Here we show you average energy costs based on typical domestic usage and default tariff covered by Ofgem’s price cap rates effective from 1 April 2022. You could be paying more or less for your energy and standing charges if you’re on a fixed rate tariff.

What’s the average energy bill by house size? 1

Gas and electricity usage Average annual consumption Average annual cost* Average monthly cost*
Low (flat or 1-bedroom house / 1-2 people) Gas: 8,000 kWh Elec: 1,800 kWh £1364.20 £113.69
Medium (3-bedroom house / 2-3 people) Gas: 12,000 kWh Elec: 2,900 kWh £1970.57 £164.22
High (5-bedroom house / 4-5 people) Gas: 17,000 kWh Elec: 4,300 kWh £2735.61 £227.97

*Electricity unit rate 28.34p per kWh plus standing charge of 45.34p per day and gas unit rate 7.37p per kWh plus standing charge of 27.22p per day. Values might not match exactly due to rounding.

Based on Ofgem price cap rates and customer with typical usage, paying by direct debit. Rates and standing charges are averages and will vary by region, payment method and meter type. Rates are effective from 1 April 2022. Average monthly costs may vary depending on your existing account balance.

What’s the average spend for electricity? 1

Electricity usage Average annual consumption Average annual cost* Average monthly cost*
Low (flat or 1-bedroom house / 1-2 people) 1,800 kWh £675.65 £56.31
Medium (3-bedroom house / 2-3 people) 2,900 kWh £987.42 £82.29
High (5-bedroom house / 4-5 people) 4,300 kWh £1384.21 £115.36

* Electricity unit rate 28.34p per kWh plus standing charge of 45.34p per day. Values might not match exactly due to rounding.

Based on Ofgem price cap rates and customer with typical usage, paying by direct debit. Rates and standing charges are averages and will vary by region, payment method and meter type. Rates are effective from 1 April 2022. Average monthly costs may vary depending on your existing account balance.

What’s the average spend for gas? 1

Gas usage Average annual consumption Average annual cost* Average monthly cost*
Low (flat or 1-bedroom house / 1-2 people) 8,000 kWh £688.55 £57.38
Medium (3-bedroom house / 2-3 people) 12,000 kWh £983.15 £81.93
High (5-bedroom house / 4-5 people) 17,000 kWh £1351.40 £112.62

*Gas unit rate 7.37p per kWh plus standing charge of 27.22p per day. Values might not match exactly due to rounding.

Based on Ofgem price cap rates and customer with typical usage, paying by direct debit. Rates and standing charges are averages and will vary by region, payment method and meter type. Rates are effective from 1 April 2022. Average monthly costs may vary depending on your existing account balance.

What makes up your energy bills? 2

Your energy use is the most important part of your bill. Your energy provider charges you for each unit, or kilowatt hour (kWh) of gas or electricity you use, so the more you use, the more you pay.

There’s a lot more to your bills though.

Wholesale costs

The wholesale cost of gas and electricity makes up around 35% of a total dual-fuel energy bill. That’s what it costs your supplier to buy the energy you use. These prices can change from day to day and have risen sharply in recent months. You can find out more about what’s happening with wholesale prices on our energy price news page.

Network costs

Network costs account for 25% (a quarter) of your total bill. They are set by the distribution network in your region and cover the use and maintenance of the pipes and wires that get the gas and electricity to your home. Different parts of the UK have different network companies and they don’t all charge the same price to use and maintain the energy network.

Some of these costs are shown as a separate standing charge on your bill, but some energy providers choose to add it in to their unit prices. So, when deciding on an energy tariff, make sure you’re comparing energy suppliers like-for-like.

Operating costs

Operating costs make up a further 19% of your total bill and are the day-to-day costs of managing your energy account, including metering and billing.

Government social and environmental schemes

Energy companies are also obligated under government schemes to save energy, cut carbon emissions, and provide help for vulnerable customers, for example, through the Warm Home Discount Scheme, adding a further 15% to your bill.

VAT, other direct costs, and pre-tax margin

Finally, VAT at 5%, other direct costs at 2% - such as apprenticeships and developing energy saving technology, and pre-tax profit – currently at -1% - make up the remainder of a total dual fuel energy bill.

How your energy bill is calculated

You’ll see two main charges on your energy bill:

Unit rate – the cost you agreed with your energy supplier for each kilowatt hour (kWh) of gas or electricity you use, which could be fixed or variable.

Standing charge – a fixed daily cost you pay in addition to the unit rate regardless of how much gas or electricity you use. This is to cover running costs like metering, maintenance of the pipes and cables that supply energy to your home and keeping your home connected to the energy network. It’s the cost of having a gas or electricity supply. Think of it as a line rental, but for energy.

Some suppliers choose not to show it as a separate charge on your bill and include these costs in the unit rate instead. It’s worth knowing this when you’re looking for the best energy deals, so that you’re comparing like for like.

What is a kilowatt hour (kWh)?

A kilowatt hour (or kWh) is the unit used to calculate the amount of energy you use. One kWh equals a thousand watts of energy used in an hour. You’ll be using watts of energy on all the appliances you run including heating, lights and TV. If it’s on, it’s using energy. That’s why leaving appliances on standby still creates a kWh cost on your energy bill, because they’re still using energy.

Every appliance uses a different amount of energy. To give you a rough idea, one kWh is about the amount of energy it takes to boil 10 kettles, run a full cycle of your washing machine, or keep your laptop powered for two days.

If you know how many kWh you’re using, you’ll get more accurate quotes from energy providers when you’re looking to switch.

Only pay for what you use

If you don’t have a smart meter that sends automated meter readings, it’s important to provide regular meter readings so you only pay for the energy you use and get accurate, not estimated bills.

British Gas energy tariffs. Compare our energy plans and choose what works for you

We offer a range of energy tariffs that work for you and your home. You can choose to fix your prices, go green or include home energy services as a bundle.

Compare our energy tariffs

What affects the average gas and electricity bill?

The size of your home and how many people live there can significantly impact how much energy you use. For instance, a property with five bedrooms is more likely to have higher energy bills than a home with one or two bedrooms. A larger home means there’s more rooms or space to heat, and more people means more hot water and more electricity costs.

Lifestyle and how you use energy, energy efficiency measures like how well insulated your home is, and how efficient your home appliances are can also make a difference.

And, if, for example you’re a young family with both parents not working from home and with children at school you will likely use much less electricity than three young professionals all working from home.

Want to find out what everything means on your energy bill? Read our guide to understanding your energy bill.

How can I use less and save money on my energy bills?

Energy use across Britain has actually gone down by around 12% since 2000, which may be partly in response to rising prices and also use of more energy efficient appliances.

Small changes can make a big difference. You could save money on an average annual bill with these energy saving hacks. 3

  • Turning your heating thermostat down by 1 degree - save up to £55
  • Using LED light bulbs - save up to £30
  • Switching appliances off standby – save up to £35
  • Avoid using the tumble dryer – save up to £40
  • Don’t overfill the kettle and only heat what you need – save up to £22

Our guide on energy saving tips tells you how you can reduce your energy use, cut costs and lower your carbon footprint at the same time.

Smart devices can help you manage your energy use

Understanding how and when you use energy and making changes around the home is an easy way to reduce your energy use. Smart meters will help you to understand when you’re using the most energy. For instance, if you find you’re using a lot of gas when it’s not needed, such as having the heating on too early, you can make changes to use less. There’s also no additional cost to you for installing smart meters.

Other products like Hive’s smart thermostat can also help you to manage your energy use by making sure you’re only heating your home when needed.

Learn more about Hive’s smart home devices.

How can I reduce my gas and electricity prices?

One way to reduce your energy spend is by finding a gas and electricity tariff that’s right for your lifestyle and home. You may choose to change your energy tariff with your existing energy supplier or switch to another provider. The whole process is managed by your old and new energy suppliers, so you won’t have to do much at all - it’s never been easier to switch.

Want to know more?

Your energy bill

Understand what all the information on your energy bill means.

Explain my bill

Energy saving tips

Reduce your bill and your carbon footprint – try our energy saving tips.

Save energy

Switching energy provider

Don’t think you’re on the best deal? See how easy it is to switch.

Start your switch

Important information

  1. These figures are based on a customer with Ofgem typical domestic usage, paying by direct debit on a default tariff covered by the Ofgem price cap rates of 28.34p per kWh plus standing charge of 45.34p per day for electricity and 7.37p per kWh plus standing charge of 27.22p for gas. Rates and standing charges are averages and will vary by region, payment method and meter type. These rates are effective from 1 April 2022. You could be paying more or less for your energy per kWh and your standing charge could be different if you’re on a fixed rate tariff. 

  2. These figures are based on Ofgem infographic - bills, prices and profits.

  3. Source: Energy Saving Trust.