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Understanding UK House Bills

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Understanding house bills is a fundamental part of managing a household. When considering a move or a property purchase, it’s crucial to factor in not just the property’s price, but also its ongoing running costs. 

However, the ‘running costs’ (in other words, the cost of running the house) are equally significant. Just because you can afford the up-front cost of buying a home does not necessarily mean you can afford to live there.

Understanding UK bills is more than just a matter of financial literacy; it’s a key component of your household’s financial planning. With the rising costs of essential utilities like electricity, water, and gas, it’s essential to stay informed to manage your budget effectively.

Understanding the average costs of electricity, water, and gas in the UK is not just about financial planning, it’s about potential savings. This article provides a comprehensive overview of these costs, along with practical methods for reducing your bills. By implementing these strategies, you can take control of your household budget and potentially save a significant amount.

Keep reading to get a clear understanding of everything bill-related.

How much does the average Electricity bill cost in the UK?

The size of your house and the number of people living there will impact your electricity bill. After all, if many rooms are used at any given time, this will use up much more electricity than if everyone tends to congregate in one room.

According to figures from, the average monthly electric bill in the UK is £80.40. For a flat or a one-bedroom house, this price tends to fall to £58.93, while for a four-plus-bedroom house, it averages £113.89 per month.

Based on their figures, a typical 1-2 person household uses 150 kWh of electricity per month, while a house with 4-5 people will use around 342 kWh of electricity in a calendar month.

How much does the average Gas bill cost in the UK?

According to figures from, the average monthly gas bill in the UK is £80.12. This number falls to £55.26 on average for a flat or one-bedroom house. Meanwhile, for a four-bedroom house, the monthly figure can rise by £113.88.

Gas usage can vary significantly depending on the size of your family. For example, a household with 1-2 people uses around 625 kWh of gas per month, while a household with 4-5 people tends to use 1,415 kWh in a month.

How much does the average Water bill cost in the UK?

According to Water UK, a typical water bill in England and Wales is £37 a month or £448 a year. The amount you pay for electricity and gas will depend on where you live and whether you have a water meter. 

For example, the average annual water bill in Hafren Dyfrdwy is £372, while in Wessex, it is £504.

There are more than a dozen water companies throughout the UK, each with different prices. Northern Ireland has no domestic water charges, and Scotland only has one provider (Scottish Water). 

What determines my monthly energy bill?

It is natural to think that your monthly energy bill is only determined by the amount you use, but this is not the case. The tariff you are on, how you pay your bill, and where you live will similarly impact the figure.

For example, some areas of the UK pay more for their energy than others. This is because the cost of delivering power to your home varies by region. Likewise, customers who pay by direct debit get a slightly reduced price compared to those who pay by other methods.

Ways to measure your energy consumption

Understanding your energy consumption is critical to managing your bills. Energy monitors are a straightforward way to do this. Some smart meters can also inform when most of the energy is used. This knowledge may enable you to spot patterns and break certain habits so that your consumption decreases during peak hours, leading to potential savings on your bills.

If you need help reading your existing meter, contacting the installer may be worthwhile, as they can provide guidance. It is also worth comparing your energy consumption to the averages for your area/house size and perhaps even asking your neighbours for their figures so you can compare.

Methods for reducing your energy bills

Switch off standby

Lots of electricity is used yearly through ‘Standby’; switching this off could save you a reasonable sum as the amounts go by. Furthermore, if your appliances are not being used, you may want to develop a habit of switching them off at the plug.

Increase natural light

Increasing natural lighting in your house may reduce the need for electricity, and draught-proofing windows and doors can help to keep you warmer. Reducing the number of baths, you take may also help, and gathering all family members into the same room during peak hours may also help, as you only need to heat and use electricity in one room rather than an entire household. This latter method can be particularly effective in the Winter.

Long term solutions

As you would expect, there are longer-term solutions to keeping your house warmer, such as paying for double-glazing or installation. However, in the short term, this can replace one cost with another, and it may take quite a few years before you start to earn your money back on this investment.

It is worthwhile measuring your energy consumption to double-check that you are not paying more than you should without realising it.

Does any support exist to pay my energy bills?

If you fall into difficult circumstances, your energy provider may be able to help you pay your bills, and you should speak to them about this. For example, they may be able to extend your payment deadlines, authorise payment holidays, or even give you temporary credit (if you have a prepayment meter).

Some government support exists, too, and you should keep an eye on the latest legislation for updates. For example, if you’re on benefits or have a low income, you may be eligible for the Warm Home Discount Scheme, and there are other schemes available for people with select criteria, too. For example:

  • The ‘Household Support Fund’ is offered by some councils
  • A ‘Pensioner Cost of Living Payment’ 
  • ‘Cold Weather Payments’ are eligible for some people on benefits

You should thoroughly search any/all of these and ensure they are available in your country and that the scheme has not expired.

Will Energy bills go down any time soon?

On 1 April 2024, Earlier this year, Ofgem reduced the price cap by 12%. This means that the maximum amount you can be charged per unit of energy has gone down by 12%. 

Energy bills in 2022 and 2023 are no longer at their extreme highs, having come down compared to last year. However, they are still higher than in previous decades, and many argue that they continue to be unsustainable for the average resident.

Since it is unclear what energy bills will look like over the next year, it may be worth exploring ways to reduce your consumption or decrease your monthly payments. We have outlined a couple of ideas in this blog.

Contact today is proud to be one of the UK’s leading online estate agencies. If you need any support with a house move—for example, understanding your solicitor’s completion statement bank of articles on any topic you can think of.

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