Understanding your energy costs

Most suppliers/tariffs require a monthly payment. This helps to level out the annual costs which are generally greater in the winter than the summer. The payment should represent your anticipated annual use, plus a standing charge, divided by 12 to arrive at a monthly payment.

Bills will often show what your anticipated use is in units (kWh) of electricity or gas, along with the rates charged on your tariff.

If your prices are higher than the capped prices, you might be advised to seek alternative quotes as these prices don’t apply to some fixed rate tariffs.

If you have a smart meter you can easily see what you are using, either in units or in cost. However you can also see what you are using by reading the actual meter. It can be helpful to read this regularly, say, once a week, so you can keep a track of what you are using and what your bills are likely to be.

Heating and hot water are likely to be the greatest energy cost for most customers, and it will depend on what type of heating you have, how well it is controlled and what heating times and temperatures you set for the house. Turning the room or cylinder thermostat down, considering the heating and hot water times are just some of the things you can do to reduce your energy costs.

Some other energy saving tips are:

  • Only boil as much water as you need in a kettle
  • Where possible cook things together, i.e. in the same oven or with a steamer
  • Switch off standby
  • Wash clothes at 30 degrees rather than 40 degrees
  • Turn off lights
  • If you have two rate electricity, use machines etc. on the cheaper rate

What do appliances typically use and what will they cost after 1st October on capped rates?




 Cost per use

Cost per Year

Microwave Oven*

96 times per year

0.945 unit per use (based on 1.39 unit for full power and 0.5 unit for defrosting)



Washing Machine*

187 washes per year

EU energy label A-rated gives an average consumption at 40°C using a 2kg load to be 0.63 unit



Electric Tumble Dryer*

148 uses per year

2.50 unit per cycle




1542 uses per year

0.11 unit per use based on heating 1 Litre of water



Gas Oven*

135.1 uses per year

1.52 unit per use



Gas Hob*

424 uses per year

0.9 unit per use



Electric Oven*

135.1 uses per year

1.56 unit per use



Electric Hob*

424 uses per year

0.71 unit per use



Dishwasher at 55°C*

110 uses per year

1.07 unit per use



Dishwasher at 65°C*

135 uses per year

1.44 unit per use



Fridge-Freezer A ++ spec*

24 hours a day

206 unit per year



Fridge-Freezer A+ spec*

24 hours a day

270 unit per year



Fridge-Freezer A spec*

24 hours a day

408 unit per year




4 hours per day

0.2 unit per hour (10p)



Immersion Heater

2 Hours per day

3.0 unit per hour (£1.56)



 *Usage and assumptions courtesy of www.carbonfootprint.com




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