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One Utility Bill • 3 mins

What type of energy user are you? Low, medium or high?

Gas electricity save energy
What type of energy user are you? Low, medium or high?

What's considered low energy use?

What's considered medium energy use?

What's considered high energy use?

What's considered very high energy use?

How are different levels of energy use calculated?

Why does it matter how much energy I use?

 

If you live in a large house with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a large kitchen or similar, your electricity bill definitely be higher than in a one-bedroom flat.

  • the larger the property, the greater the energy consumption:
    • big space needs more energy to heat up.
  • The more people in the property, the more utilities you'll use.

BUT both things are affected by our energy consumption behaviour and how eco-conscious we are.

The type of energy user you are will affect how much you pay for your monthly bills. Find out more about sorting your bills or Unlimited Energy, if you like.

Why does it matter how much energy I use?

There are two reasons that your energy use is a big deal:

The environmental angle

  • For most people, using energy produces carbon emissions, which are bad for the environment.
  • The exception to this is if you're in a 100% electricity-based home, and your supplier is somebody like Octopus Energy, or another supplier than only provides renewable energy. 
  • Here's an easy way to cut carbon emissions every day.

The money-saving angle

Unless you're on an Unlimited Energy contract, you'll be billed for every kWh/unit of energy you use, so it's smart to keep an eye on what you're using, and see if it might be more than average for your household type.

 

What are the different types of energy users?

Ofgem, the government energy regulator, proposed three major types of energy consumers, defined by their average annual energy consumption.

What's considered  a low energy user?

  • The average energy usage by a household in this group is
    • 8,000kWh of gas
    • 2,000kWh electricity per year.
  • Typically, low user lives in a one or two-bedroom flat, either alone or with another person.
  • They're professional
    • Working full-time
    • Spending most of the time outside the house
    • This means they use most of their energy at evenings or weekends.
  • They also don't have high-energy appliances in the house like a dishwasher or tumble dryer.

What's considered  a medium-energy user?

A medium user usually lives in a:

  • 3 – 4 bedroom property, with three or four other tenants
  • Consumes 12,500kWh gas and 3,100kWh electricity per year.
  • This could also be a small family.

With so many people in the same house, energy is being consumed all of the time, and high-energy devices like dishwashers and tumble dryers might be used often. 

What's considered  a high energy user?

A high-energy user would:

  • consume around 18,000kWh gas and 4,600kWh electricity per annum.
  • They typically live in a big flat share with more than four people 
  • OR are a member of a bigger family, sharing a five-bedroom house.
  • The daily energy usage is high since many devices are plugged and in use at the same time.

What's considered  a very high energy user?

A very-high-energy user:

  • consumes around 36000kWh gas and 7200Wh electricity per year
  • Lives in a large student house or house share with six to seven bedrooms and at least two bathrooms.
  • The sheer amount of appliances, devices, and likely frequent use of things like the dishwasher and tumble dryer lead to super high energy consumption.

How are different levels of energy use calculated?

Ofgem have put this together based on the data, and they're the experts! But there are always exceptions. A huge house full of super-energy-conscious people could end up using less energy than a small family who don't keep an eye on the smart meter.

It' really all down to lifestyle. With the right habits and behaviour you can save a lot of energy.

How are energy bill costs calculated?

Get a full rundown of how energy bills are calculated in our complete bills guide, but here's a quick rundown:

The energy tariff you sign up for

An energy tariff is what you agree to pay for gas and electricity when you sign up with an energy supplier. 

The Standard Variable Tariff (SVT) is the default tariff from energy suppliers. 

The price of the SVT is set by Ofgem's Energy Price Cap which is announced every three months. It sets a maximum price per unit of gas and electricity, as well as the standing charge. 

Your energy usage

If you're on a traditional energy deal, how much gas and electricity you use will impact how much you have to pay your supplier.

This isn't the case if you have an unlimited energy tariff!

Other energy supplier costs

Things like VAT, energy network maintenance and other things factor into the cost of your energy bills

 

Here are some other handy bills guides to help save energy and make bills easier: