Average gas usage in the UK (2020)

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Gas is many things to many homes. It keeps us warm. It heats our food. It gives us hot water for our baths, sinks and showers. But, have you ever wondered what your average gas usage is? At some point, you might wonder what the average energy consumption in the UK is, and how their own usage measures up. They may wonder if they could do more to reduce their gas usage and bring it more in line with the UK average, or even below average for cheaper bills.

Last update: November 2020

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How to work out your average gas consumption

We hate to see anyone spend too much on their fuel. Especially you!

That’s why we’ve compiled this post to help you see if yours is above the Average Gas Usage in the UK and how you can potentially reduce your gas use without having to go cold and hungry at home. You can also check out our guide about the UK’s average electricity usage.

First, however, let’s take a look at how gas is produced.

Do we produce gas in the UK? How? Where?

Many of our customers are curious to know where gas comes from, whether it’s produced within the UK and if so, where and how is it generated?

Yes, the UK produces its own gas, much of it offshore, according to British Gas. However, where and how we get our gas is changing:

  1. 44% of the UK’s gas supply comes from offshore sea platforms in the North Sea and East Irish Sea
  2. A further 47% of our country’s gas is pumped in from across continental Europe through long-distance pipelines
  3. The gas is then pumped to refineries on land… This is transported in specialist tankers at temperatures below -160°C.
  4. The remaining 9% is imported from all over the world as Liquified Natural Gas or LNG
  5. Domestic production in the North Sea is drying up, we more of UK gas is expected to be imported in the next decade
  6. Most of our gas is imported from Norway, the Netherlands and Qatar with a small amount(less than 1%) coming from Russia

How is natural gas extracted and refined?

Natural gas is extracted from the land beneath the ocean (the seabed) by vast drilling wells on platforms that are built in the ocean.

After the gas has been extracted, it is piped to refineries on land, where it is purified by separating the methane (the part that we use) from the propane and butane. The gas is then stored in tanks before being pumped through the UK’s gas distribution network, entering your home through your meter.

Is there such a thing as renewable gas?

Renewables are a common rallying cry throughout the energy industry. Energy consumers of all kinds are becoming more ecologically aware, and are voting with their wallets for suppliers that have a strong focus on sustainability and renewability.

But while many companies use 100% renewable electricity as a selling point, fewer (especially among the UK’s Big 6 energy providers) are as vocal about gas.

So, is there such a thing as renewable gas? As a matter of fact, there is.

Renewable natural gas can be produced and distributed through the existing gas grid, making it easy for suppliers to add it to their fuel mix. Renewable gas comes from a range of sources, the most common of which is  Bio-methane. Sources for this include food and farm waste, landfills and even wastewater treatment facilities. Anywhere the production of gas occurs naturally is a potential source of renewable gas.

Energy suppliers that are known to include renewable gas in their energy mix include:

What is fracking and what are the pros & cons?

Hydraulic fracturing or “Fracking” is the process of drilling into the rocks deep within the earth and forcing a stream of water, sand and other chemicals into them at high pressures. This breaks them open to release the natural gas within.

It has been a political and industrial hot potato for some time, with environmental groups and industrial entities engaged in heated debates over it.

But what are the pros & cons of fracking?

Pros of Fracking Cons of Fracking
✔️It can reach depths that other extraction methods cannot.
This gives us access to more fossil fuels.
❌Waste of water. Fracturing one gas well uses 7 Olympic swimming pools’ worth of water.
✔️It prevents us from having to rely on coal, which is much more environmentally damaging. ❌The disposal of drilling wastewater into disposal wells has been linked to earthquakes.
✔️Could create up to 64,000 jobs in the UK by 2032 according to industry commission reports. ❌It can cause air pollution with nitrous oxides rising by up to 4% and volatile organic compounds by up to 3%.
✔️It can create an abundance of fossil fuels leading to cheaper energy. ❌Waste water from fracking can lead to water pollution with carcinogenic and even radioactive materials.
❌Fracking also creates noise pollution that can be harmful to communities, birds and animals.

Pros and cons of fracking

Average gas bills and usage: what you need to know

It’s okay to admit it. We’re all a little paranoid about our energy usage. Many of us wonder what is the average gas bill per month in the UK and how our usage measures up. The good news, of course, is that even if your usage is above the national average, there’s plenty you can do to bring it down.

But before we look at ways in which you can do this, let’s take a look at our gas usage as a nation…

How many kWh does the average home use in the UK?

The energy watchdog Ofgem tracks the UK’s gas usage to establish the nation’s Typical Domestic Consumption Values (TDCVs). These are industry standard values for the annual gas and electricity usage of a typical household energy consumer.

These are based on median values from data recorded over the past two years:

Kilowatt Hours (kWh) TDCVs
Low 8,000
Medium 12,000
High 17,000

Since these are annual values, we can extrapolate them to determine the national average monthly usage to:

  1. Low- 667 kWh
  2. Medium-1,000 kWh
  3. High- 1,417 kWh

This averages out to approximately 33-38 kWh per day. Of this, around 58% is consumed within peak hours, with 42% consumed off-peak.

How does your usage measure up against this national average? If you’re at the high end of the average monthly usage (1,417 kWh) or above, you may need to take active steps to drive down your gas usage.

What is the average gas bill per month in the UK?

Now that you have an idea of how your usage stacks up against the national average, it’s time to take a look at your gas bills to see if you’re overpaying for your current usage. As well as taking steps to use gas more economically, it’s also important to ensure that you’re on a tariff that gives you a good unit rate per kWh with reasonable standing charges.

Because there’s such huge variation in prices per kWh between tariffs and suppliers, it’s tricky to accurately gauge the UK’s average gas bill. However, if we combine what we know about the UK’s average monthly gas usage with the average standard variable rate tariff we can glean a pretty good idea of what households over the UK are paying.

The table below demonstrates the average gas bill depending on type / size of home:

Type of house Monthly Gas Bill Quarterly Gas Bill Annual Gas Bill
1-2 bedroom house or flat £34 £101 £403
3-4 bedroom house £49 £148 £590
5+ bedroom house £70 £211 £846

Why is my gas usage so high in the UK?

If your gas bill is significantly above the national average for your type of home, you owe it to yourself to find out why. Your first port of call should always be to alert your supplier if you feel that your bill does not reflect your usage. They will be able to support you in investigating the matter.

One of the most common reasons for a disproportionately high bill is because the meter reading is either an estimate or based on an inaccurate reading. This is especially frustrating for people living in flats, apartment buildings and other communal spaces as they do not always have access to their meters, and cannot always ensure accurate readings.

You may be able to get your supplier to come out to take a meter reading in person, but this may come at an extra cost. Where possible, you should supply meter readings for both fuels to your supplier. Supply these readings on the same day every month to ensure that your readings are consistent and accurate.

It may be that there is a fault with your meter. Or, if you’ve recently switched to a multi rate meter like an Economy 7 or an Economy 10 meter that it has not been set up properly. It’s also worth checking your email inbox to see if your supplier has notified you about changes to their prices. These may have either escaped your attention or gone into your junk email folder.

Energy suppliers are legally obliged to inform you within a reasonable time if they raise their prices.

If none of these factors is the cause, it may be time to look at your usage.

What uses the most gas in a home?

Typically our gas bills tend to rise in the colder months when we’re more reliant on our central heating to keep us warm and provide us with hot water. Space heating accounts for roughly a third of our energy bills and two thirds of our energy usage. When we factor in water heating as well this accounts for roughly two thirds of our energy bill. And if your home is gas central heated this is almost certainly where most (or all) of your gas spend is going.

How can I use less gas at home?

There are lots of ways to use less gas at home. The key is to take charge of your heating. If you are on an Economy 7 or Economy 10 tariff, program your storage heater to heat your water during off-peak hours as much as possible. Try turning your thermostat down by just a few degrees. Day-by-day, you may be surprised by the difference it makes.

When it comes to heating your home, use your radiator valves to your advantage and only heat rooms like the living room and bathroom that need to be kept warm. Furthermore, try and time your heating so that it’s active when you need it most and gets a break when you go to work / are heated by the ambient sunlight.

If you have a gas fireplace in your home, these only cost around 5p per kWh to run. It may be cheaper to use this than putting the central heating on.

Investing in better insulation in your attic as well as more energy efficient windows can also reduce your heating needs, causing you to use less gas.

Finally, an older boiler (one that’s 12-15 years old or more) will almost certainly not be running at peak efficiency. As well as getting your boiler serviced annually, you may find that replacing an old / inefficient boiler results in less gas usage, greater energy efficiency, and more savings.

Think your gas usage in the UK is above average? We’re here to help!

None of us enjoys seeing a higher gas bill than we had expected landing on our doorstep or (increasingly) dropping into our email inbox. The good news is that with a helping hand, you can drive down your gas bills without impacting the warmth of your home or your quality of life. It’s just a case of finding the right supplier and the right tariff, as well as reducing your energy usage.

We can help you to bring down your gas usage, and help you to find a supplier and tariff that better suits your needs.

Want to know more? Call us today on 0330 054 0017.

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Average Gas Usage UK FAQs

What is the average gas bill per month and per year in the UK?

The average gas bill in the UK depends on the size of your home. For a 1-2 bedroom home you can expect to pay £34 per month or £403 per year. A 3-4 bedroom home will be on average £49 per month or £590 per year while a home with 5 bedrooms or more will spend around £70 per month or £846 per year.

My gas usage is above the national average. Why is my gas usage so high?

It could be that your meter has a fault, or that your bill is based on an inaccurate estimate. This is why it’s so important to supply monthly meter readings. If the readings are accurate, you may need to take steps to improve energy efficiency in your home like installing new windows, improving loft insulation, or simply timing your heating in line with when you need it most to bring down your gas bills.

What uses the most gas in a home?

Most of the gas usage in the home is centred around space and water heating. In essence, your boiler! If your boiler is very old (15 years or more) it may not be as efficient as it once was. Replacing it may mean an unwelcome upfront cost, but it could result in years of savings on your gas bill.

Will switching to a dual fuel tariff get me cheaper gas?

It certainly could. Energy companies are keen to supply both fuels to their customers, and are happy to provide attractively priced dual fuel tariffs to incentivise them. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that a dual fuel tariff will always result in cheaper energy. Which is why it’s so important to research different energy companies and tariffs before you commit. Needless to say, we’re more than happy to help you find the perfect dual fuel tariff for your needs and usage.

Want to know more on this topic? Check out these guides:

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Written by eleanor

Updated on 25 Nov, 2020

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