The average gas and electricity bill cost in the UK – 2024 steffan@warmzilla.co.uk April 19, 2024

The average gas and electricity bill cost in the UK – 2024

Average Gas and Electricity Bill Cost in the UK 2024
The Average Gas and Electricity Bill Cost in the UK - 2024
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    Running a home isn't cheap. With everything from energy bills to the weekly food shop, costs add up quickly. Let's break down what a typical UK household spends and why these costs seem to be constantly rising.

    • Energy Bills (Gas & Electricity): A significant chunk of your expenses.
    • Council Tax: This local government tax varies depending on your home's value and location.
    • Water Bills: Whether you have a meter or not, there's a cost for clean water.
    • Broadband & Phone Bills: Essentials for most of us!
    • Home Insurance: Protects your house and belongings from the unexpected.
    • Other Potential Costs: Things like home maintenance, subscriptions (Netflix, etc.), and even unexpected repairs can put a dent in your budget.

    What’s the average cost of running a home in the UK?

    Here's a breakdown of average costs of running a home in the UK, using more specific figures. Remember, these are estimates, and your personal situation will influence your actual bills.

    Let's imagine a typical 3-bedroom semi-detached house. Here's a potential monthly breakdown:

    BillCost Per Month
    Mortgage£800
    (Highly variable depending on interest rates & house value)
    Energy (Gas & Electricity)£165
    (Based on the table provided below)
    Council Tax£150
    (Highly variable depending on area & property type)
    Water£40
    Broadband & Phone£45
    Home Insurance£25
    Other Expenses (Maintenance, subscriptions, etc)£150
    (A conservative estimate)
    Total£1375
    Important Notes: This doesn't include food, transport, or other living expenses. Large families or homes with high energy use would likely incur higher costs. Location significantly impacts council tax and may affect water rates as well.

    But why are household costs rising?

    Several factors make running a home more expensive lately:

    Global Energy Crisis:

    The war in Ukraine, supply chain disruptions, and increased energy demand worldwide have drastically hiked wholesale gas and oil prices. This translates into higher costs for energy suppliers and ultimately, consumers.

    Inflation:

    The general rising price level for goods and services affects everything. Increased transportation costs, supply chain issues, and higher labor costs drive prices up across the board, from groceries to services.

    Supply and Demand:

    Shortages in certain goods or increased demand can result in higher prices if supply can't keep up. For example, microchip shortages in recent years affected prices for electronics and cars.

    Government Policies:

    Tax rates, interest rate changes, and spending initiatives by the government can influence inflation and the prices of certain goods and services.

    Focus on Energy Bills

    What are the average energy bills for homes in the UK?

    Energy bills have been a major worry for many households. Here's a general idea of what you might expect to pay in 2024, but remember, your exact bill depends on your usage:

    House SizeAverage Annual Gas BillAverage Annual Electricity BillTotal Annual Energy Cost
    Flat / 1-2 Bedrooms£600-£700£700-£800£1300-£1500
    3-Bedroom House£850-£1000£800 -£950£1650-£1950
    4+ Bedroom House£1200-£1400£1100-£1300£2300-£2700

    Energy prices are dynamic. These are estimates and actual bills may be higher or lower depending on individual usage and market trends. Source: Ofgem cross-referenced with Uswitch & MoneySuperMarket.



    Understanding Your Energy Bill

    Your energy bill may look complex, but it boils down to a few key components:

    • Supplier Information: Your energy company's name, contact details, and your account number.
    • Bill Period: The dates your bill covers (e.g., one month, a quarter)
    • Meter Readings: Start and end readings for both gas and electricity meters, showing your usage in kilowatt-hours (kWh). These could be actual readings, customer-submitted readings, or estimated by your supplier.
    • Unit Rates: The price you pay per kWh of gas and electricity. These may vary depending on your tariff type (fixed-rate, variable-rate, Economy 7).
    • Standing Charges: A daily fixed amount charged even if you use no energy.
    • VAT: Currently 5% on domestic fuel.
    • Payment Summary: Total amount due, any previous balances, and the payment method. (Direct Debit, Cheque, BACS)

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    How Energy Bills Are Calculated

    • Take Your Readings: Your supplier notes your meter readings at the start and end of the billing period.
    • Calculate Usage: They subtract the old reading from the new one to know how many kWh you've used.
    • Multiply by Unit Rate: Your usage in kWh is multiplied separately by the price per kWh for gas and for electricity.
    • Add Standing Charge: The daily standing charge is multiplied by the number of days in the bill period and added to your energy costs.
    • Apply VAT: VAT is added to the total.

    Useful References:

    Additional Tips

    • Check for estimated readings: If your bill says "estimated”, submit your readings to get an accurate bill.
    • Watch for tariff changes: Your supplier must inform you if your unit rates or standing charge are changing.
    • Not all suppliers charge the same way: Some energy suppliers may not charge a standing charge but will instead include the fixed cost of supplying energy into their unit rate.
    • Keep an eye out: Your energy bill will also include information on how to pay, how often you need to pay, and any discounts or savings you may be eligible for.

    Calculating your bill: Take your usage in kilowatt-hours (kWh) and multiply it by the price per kWh, add the standing charge, and then add VAT.



    What other bills do households face?

    • Council Tax Varies greatly, but expect anywhere from £100-£300+ per month
    • Water Could be £30-£50+ per month
    • Broadband & Phone Roughly £30-£60 for a bundled package
    • Home Insurance Varies, but £10-£30 per month is a starting point

    Important Note: Prices provided are estimates. Usage and regional differences will always influence your exact bills.

    Tips for keeping bills low

    • Draught Proofing: This helps stop any heat leaking out and also reduces condensation and damp.
    • The Right Appliance: Using appliances wisely, run full loads and turn off instead of stand by. Also invest in energy efficient ones when you can.
    • Swap to LEDs: LED lights can last up to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, and use around 75% less energy.
    • Protect your Heating and Boiler: Ensuring your boiler and radiators are regularly maintained for peak efficiency. A well-functioning heating system uses less energy to do the same job.
    • Shop Around: Don't be afraid to switch if you find a cheaper energy deal, or bundle services like broadband and phone.
    • Disconnect: Unplug electrics when they’re not in use, otherwise those stand bye devices still tick over onto your electric bill.
    • Earn a Degree: Turning down the thermostat by just one degree can help to reduce energy consumption and save you around £120 a year on your bills.
    • Smart Thermostat: A smart thermostat allows you to set the temperature in your home based on your schedule. By automatically adjusting the temperature when you are not home or when you are sleeping, you can save money on your energy bills.
    • Government Schemes: Some households qualify for grants and support (include links to relevant resources or websites).
    • Alternative Energy (Optional): Solar panels may be a long-term investment to consider. You can get grants for this too.
    How to reduce your electricity and gas bills - An in-depth breakdown

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    Need help paying your energy bills?

    If you are struggling to pay your energy bills, there is help available for you:

    1. Cost-of-living payment – This is a one-off payment which will be automatically paid to low-income households.
    2. Winter Fuel Payment – If you were born on or before 26 September 1955, you might be eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment, an annual payment made to help with heating costs during the winter months.
    3. Cold Weather Payment – If you’re getting certain benefits or Support for Mortgage Interest. (Click on the link to find out more), you may be eligible for the Cold Weather Payment, which is a payment made when temperatures fall below a certain level in your area, over a set number of days.
    4. Warm Home Discount – If you receive certain benefits or have a low income, you may be eligible for the Warm Home Discount, a one-time payment to help with your energy bills during the winter months.
    5. Payment plans and assistance programs: Many energy companies offer payment plans and assistance programs for customers struggling to pay their bills. Contact your energy company to see what options may be available to you.

    Resources

    To get the most out of your money it’s best to research your specific area, here are a few places where you can find accurate figures:

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