How much energy are you using?

How much energy do you use? If you’re not sure, you’re certainly not alone - 85% of households are completely unaware of their annual electricity usage according to the findings of a survey by SaveMoneyCutCarbon, the energy efficiency specialists.

Here’s how to find out how much energy you use and why being armed with this knowledge is helpful for both your pocket and the planet.

Between 1 January 2020 and 30 June 2020, people who switched energy supplier for both gas & electricity with Uswitch saved an average of £387.

Energy use is up - who knew?

Midday energy usage is up by between 27% and 30%, according to energy suppliers Bulb and Ovo, so last week, we asked if you had any idea how much more energy you’re using while on lockdown.

But it seems a lack of awareness isn’t just a problem during lockdown, as the vast majority of us have no idea how much energy we use anyway, according to the SaveMoneyCutCarbon.com Energy & Water Survey of Great Britain 2020.

The survey results were gathered from the findings of a detailed questionnaire that looked at the energy and water usage of 2,633 respondents.

Although two thirds (66%) of respondents reported that they are actively using smart meters in their homes to monitor their energy usage, 85% of respondents admitted to being completely unaware of their annual electricity usage.

How are UK households using energy?

The results of the SaveMoneyCutCarbon survey also offers a good insight into the nation’s energy habits, reporting a mixture of positive and negative impacts:

The UK’s electricity usage habits

  • 25.8% don’t leave any phones, laptops or tablets on charge overnight.
  • 50.7% leave laptops on charge while working.
  • 87.9% don’t leave any lamp on overnight.
  • 76.6% don’t use a tumble dryer in the summer.
  • 42.6% set their fridge to 3 (with 5 being the coldest)
  • Only 4.4% of people surveyed leave more than five devices to charge overnight.

The UK’s gas usage habits

  • 78.9% use gas.
  • 55.1% run a combi boiler.

The UK’s water usage habits

  • 62.6% don’t take baths. Of those that do 30.6% run a single bath every day.
  • 73.2% shower for less than 10 minutes a day.
  • 78.4% turn the tap off while brushing their teeth. A running tap will use 6 litres per minute of water.
  • 70.1% turn the tap off while washing up, rather than letting it run.
  • 29.1% have a water butt installed on taps – saving on watering the garden and washing the car.

Mark Sait, CEO of SaveMoneyCutCarbon said of the findings: “Clearly there needs to be more education, and more attention to the finer detail of how to cut down on energy consumption as well as reducing carbon output.

“It must raise the question if the hugely costly roll out or smart meters is actually benefiting the consumer - are households actually looking at the meters in their houses, or are the real winner the energy companies in making collecting their billing information easier and lower cost?”

How to find out how much energy you’re using

The results of the SaveMoneyCutCarbon study will be updated every six months, and this round is the first phase of a 5-year ongoing survey. As more information is gathered, it will give a clearer picture of how energy and water is used in the home, as well as homeowners’ awareness of how to reduce their usage and the impact this can have on their carbon footprint.

To find out how much energy you’re using, simply check your last energy bill or your online energy account and look for the gas and electricity usage figures, which will be measured in kilowatt hours (kWh).

If you then look at your usage figures from the same month last year, you can work out whether or not you’re actually using more energy.

You can also check the average energy usage of UK households, to see how your usage measures up, and use our electricity costs calculator to find out how much energy each of your appliances is using.

For ways to cut your energy usage, check out our blog ‘7 simple ways to save energy when working from home’ and our energy saving advice guide.

And remember that comparing gas and electricity deals and switching energy suppliers is the quickest and simplest way to cut your energy costs.

How to switch energy supplier

Click here to run an energy price comparison, and see if you could be paying less for your gas and electricity.

Les Roberts - Energy Expert at UKPower

Les Roberts - Energy Expert at UKPower

If you’ve got an issue with your energy supplier, our consumer champion Les is on hand to help. A decade in consumer affairs means Les understands how confusing energy tariffs can be, so he'll cut through the jargon to help make sure you get the best deal.