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How the nation's favourite sports could power the country

  • New research reveals how much energy we use when playing our favourite sports 
  • Playing rugby for an hour is the equivalent to burning 612 Calories, enough to heat the average home in the Britain for 90 minutes
  • Extra energy used by getting active could power a home, says British Gas’ Smart Energy Expert 

With a jam-packed sporting calendar over the summer, more Brits than ever are getting active and involved in sport. 

But how much energy does all this activity actually take up? British Gas research has revealed just how much energy we use to play that nation’s favourite sports. The research is part of British Gas' smart meter campaign, helping to get more households across the country to benefit from seeing how much energy they're using in pounds and pence.

Rugby tops the list, with the average person using 612 Calories during just one hour’s worth of participation. British Gas’ smart meter data shows this would be the equivalent to heating the average home in Britain with central heating for around 90 minutes. 

Following the popularity of this summer’s Euro and Wimbledon tournaments, in close second and third are football and tennis, each using 408 Calories for an hour’s worth of play. According to British Gas smart meter data, this is the equivalent to running a hot shower for at least three hours.

A full snapshot of the nation’s favourite sports*, and the energy used playing them: 


Energy equivalent per hour of exercise** (watts***)

Calories burned per hours of exercise**
















A full snapshot of Britain’s sporting energy:

Goggle-boxing: Playing cricket for an hour uses the same amount of energy as it would take to power the TV for five hours
Hit the lights: Playing golf for one hour uses the same energy as powering one light bulb for four hours
Shake and bake: Rugby uses the same amount of energy as baking six hours’-worth of snacks in the oven, perfect for cheat day!

British Gas Smart Energy Expert, Lauren Vasquez, installs smart meters in homes across London and commented: “With so many families out and about and enjoying playing or watching sports, it’s incredible to see how the energy used keeping active could power the average household.

“We know that keeping on top of your own household energy usage might be the last thing on your mind while it’s still warm. However, there are some simple ways you can be smarter with your energy use.

“Make sure you don’t leave multiple appliances running if you’re not using them, or if you’re heading out. If you get fed up of watching your favourite sports on TV, make sure to turn it off, rather than leaving it on standby.

“It’s also worth considering smart meters. The great thing about them is that they come with a smart energy monitor, which shows how much energy you’re using in pounds and pence.”

“Smart meters also send accurate readings to us, if you’re a British Gas customer, which means an end to estimated bills.”

To find out more about smart meters, visit: 


Notes to editors




About Smart Meters 

Smart meters replace existing standard gas and electricity meters and will be introduced in homes and businesses as standard by 2020. They come with a smart energy monitor that displays how much gas and electricity is being used, and its cost in pounds and pence, in near-real time. That information is shared with energy suppliers automatically, putting an end to estimated bills and meter readings for customers with credit meters, who pay by Direct Debit or quarterly by cash, cheque or card.

British Gas is currently trialling Smart Pay As You Go with customers using prepayment meters. That will mean customers will be able to see their current balance and how much credit is remaining on the smart energy monitor. They will also be able to top up online, by smartphone app, over the phone or by visiting a local shop. British Gas is also trialling apps that enable smart meter customers to get information about their energy use on their smartphone. The information from smart meters gives customers a greater understanding of how they’re using their energy.

British Gas is Britain’s leading energy supplier, and serves around 11 million homes in Britain – nearly half the country’s homes – as well as providing energy to around half a million British businesses. British Gas provides value for money, dedicated customer service, innovative energy solutions and the highest quality Homes Services expertise in the country. Find out more at

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