What is the average energy 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 gas and electric 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 2,700 kWh of electricity and 11,500 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. The unit rates and charges vary by region across the UK and by payment method.

What’s the average gas and electric bill by house size? 1

Direct Debit customers
Gas and electricity usage Average annual consumption Average annual cost* Average monthly cost*
Low (flat or 1-bedroom house / 1-2 people) Gas: 7,500 kWh Elec: 1,800 kWh £1,438.19 £119.85
Medium (3-bedroom house / 2-3 people) Gas: 11,500 kWh Elec: 2,700 kWh £2,008.69 £167.39
High (5-bedroom house / 4-5 people) Gas: 17,000 kWh Elec: 4,100 kWh £2,839.74 £236.65


Pay on receipt customers
Gas and electricity usage Average annual consumption Average annual cost Average monthly cost
Low (flat or 1-bedroom house / 1-2 people) Gas: 7,500 kWh Elec: 1,800 kWh £2202.23 £183.51
Medium (3-bedroom house / 2-3 people) Gas: 11,500 kWh Elec: 2,700 kWh £3145.68 £262.14
High (5-bedroom house / 4-5 people) Gas: 17,000 kWh Elec: 4,100 kWh £4339.35 £361.61

*Based on the January 2024 price cap rates and customer with typical gas and electric 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 1st January 2024.

What’s the average bill spend for electricity? 1

Direct Debit customers
Electricity usage Average annual consumption Average annual cost* Average monthly cost*
Low (flat or 1-bedroom house / 1-2 people) 1,800 kWh £725.00 £60.42
Medium (3-bedroom house / 2-3 people) 2,700 kWh £983.21 £81.93
High (5-bedroom house / 4-5 people) 4,100 kWh £1384.85 £115.40

Pay on receipt customers
Electricity usage Average annual consumption Average annual cost Average monthly cost
Low (flat or 1-bedroom house / 1-2 people) 1,800 kWh £725.00 £60.42
Medium (3-bedroom house / 2-3 people) 2,900 kWh £1040.58 £86.71
High (5-bedroom house / 4-5 people) 4,300 kWh £1442.23 £120.18

*Based on the January 2024 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 1st January 2024.

What’s the average bill spend for gas? 1

Direct Debit customers
Gas usage Average annual consumption Average annual cost* Average monthly cost*
Low (flat or 1-bedroom house / 1-2 people) 7,500 kWh £713.19 £59.43
Medium (3-bedroom house / 2-3 people) 11,500 kWh £1025.48 £85.46
High (5-bedroom house / 4-5 people) 17,000 kWh £1454.89 £121.24

Pay on receipt customers
Gas usage Average annual consumption Average annual cost Average monthly cost
Low (flat or 1-bedroom house / 1-2 people) 8,000 kWh £1477.23 £123.10
Medium (3-bedroom house / 2-3 people) 12,000 kWh £2105.10 £175.42
High (5-bedroom house / 4-5 people) 17,000 kWh £2897.12 £241.42

*Based on the January 2024 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 1st January 2024.

What makes up your energy bills?

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 make up the largest part of your energy bill. Other costs include network, policy and operating costs which help to maintain the energy network, contribute towards a net zero future, and supports vulnerable customers. The chart opposite shows the proportion each of those costs contributes to the energy bill of a dual fuel customer paying by Direct Debit with typical energy use, based on the January to March 2024 price cap.

Wholesale costs

We buy energy from electricity and gas generators on the wholesale market. The prices set reflect global commodity markets. As with other commodities like petrol, the cost of energy goes up and down with global availability and demand. Changes in wholesale prices tend to be the main reason for energy prices going up or down. We buy energy in advance at the best possible rates to help keep our fixed rate tariffs as low as we can.

Network costs

We don’t own the electricity wires or gas pipes that get the gas and electricity to your home. These costs are set by regional network companies we pay to run, maintain and upgrade the energy networks. Watch our quick video to see how energy gets to your home.

Operating costs

These are the day-to-day costs of managing your energy account, including billing and metering services. We’re always looking for new ways to keep these costs as low as possible. For example, we’re investing in a new account system and app so we can make managing your energy easier online.

Policy costs

We’ve never been busier helping to cut the UK’s carbon emissions. The electricity we source from renewables as part of our fuel mix is way above the UK average. We support the government in funding energy efficiency improvement schemes and obligations like smart meters. And we help to support vulnerable customers through schemes like the Warm Home Discount.

VAT

VAT is set by the UK government at 5% on all home energy bills. It’s lower than the standard rate of 20% which you pay for other household goods and services.

EBIT

Earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) – the profit we make after all other costs.

How your energy bill is calculated

You’ll see two main charges on your gas and electric 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.

Learn more about standing charges.

What is a kilowatt hour (kWh)?

A kilowatt hour (kWh) measures how much energy you’re using per hour. One kWh equals a thousand watts of energy. You’ll be using watts of energy on all the appliances you run including heating and lights. If it’s on it is using energy – even on standby!

Learn more about what a kWh is and how it’s calculated with our helpful guide. 

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 gas and electric bills?

Small changes can make a big difference. You could save money on your average annual bill with some simple energy saving hacks. Some will save you a pound or so a month, others could save upwards of £50 over the course of the year.

  • Turn your heating thermostat down by one degree
  • Don’t leave appliances on standby
  • Switch to LED light bulbs
  • Don’t overfill the kettle and only heat what you need
  • Take shorter showers
  • Dry clothes naturally instead of using the tumble dryer

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.

Get cheaper off-peak electricity

Using electricity at off-peak times could help discount your bills while making energy more sustainable.  See our off-peak electricity guide to find out more.

If your electricity is with British Gas, you can join the hundreds of thousands of customers who’ve signed up to our PeakSave scheme and are saving on their bills for making small changes to when they use electricity.

Want to know more?

Your energy bill

Understand what all the information on your energy bill means.

Explain my bill

What is a kilowatt hour (kWh)

A kWh measures how much energy you’re using per hour. You’ll be using watts of energy on all the appliances you run including heating and lights.

Learn about what a kWh is

Energy saving tips

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

Save energy

Important information

  1. Based on the January 2024 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 1st January 2024.

  2. These figures are based on Ofgem infographic - bills, prices and profits - search 'breakdown of a bill'.