How to monitor energy consumption in the home
As the nation navigates its way through the current cost of living crisis, you might be more aware of your energy consumption at home than ever before.
Whether you’re considering replacing your gas boiler for a heat pump, or you’re thinking of improving the insulation in your home to make it more energy efficient, there are a number of different ways you can reduce your carbon footprint to not only bring down your bills, but be kinder to the planet too.
However, before you start making any drastic changes in your home, it’s a good idea to first understand the ways you can monitor your energy consumption to help you work out exactly how much gas or electricity you’re currently using. Keep reading to find out more.
How do I know how much energy I am using?
You can work out how much energy you’re using by taking readings from your gas and electricity meters. Usually found in a mounted box in your garage, basement, utility room or even on the outside of the property, they will tell you exactly how much energy you’re using at any given time.
To calculate your weekly energy consumption, you should take one meter reading followed by another reading one week later. This will give you an accurate measurement of how much energy you’ve used in this time period.
That being said, taking manual meter readings can be time-consuming, and you may even forget to do it altogether. To make this process easier, you may want to switch to using a smart meter - a device that you can have installed in your home to monitor and track your gas and electricity usage.
Do smart meters show energy usage?
A smart meter is connected to an in-home display system which shows your energy usage and how much it’s costing you.
It also uses a secure smart data network to automatically submit your readings to your gas and electricity supplier about once a month, meaning there’s no need for you to do this manually yourself. This also means that your bills will no longer be based on estimates. As a result, you should find that you’re less likely to be overcharged for the amount of energy that you use.
Can I track energy usage without a smart meter?
You don’t necessarily need to get a smart meter to track your energy usage. As we have previously mentioned, you can use a standard gas and electricity meter to calculate how much energy you’re using at any given time. Another way you can find out your energy usage is by looking at your gas or electricity bill - but how do you do this?
How do I find out my energy usage from my bill?
By understanding how to read your gas bill and what your electricity bill says, you will be in a better position to calculate what your energy consumption is over a certain period of time. Energy bills can look different depending on who your supplier is, but there are certain pieces of information that they all have in common.
Your energy bill will display your billing period. This is the time frame over which you are being charged. Your billing period will show you how much you are paying for the energy you have used within that period of time. The bill will also include a figure which represents how much energy you’ve used during the billing period.
The total figure will also be included. This tells you the exact amount of money you owe the supplier for the bill, including any extra charges, such as VAT.
In order to work out how much energy you use, you’ll need to pay attention to the usage figure. Your usage figure provides an accurate indicator of how much gas and electricity you have used over that billing period.
What is the average household energy consumption in the UK?
If you’ve recently calculated how much energy you use, you might be wondering how this compares with other households.
According to Ofgem, the energy regulator for Great Britain, the average UK household has 2.4 people living in it and uses 12,000 kWh of gas and 2,900 kWh of electricity in a year. To put this into perspective, this equates to 1,000 kWh of gas and 242 kWh of electricity being consumed per month.
It goes without saying that the more electricity or gas you use, the higher you can expect your energy bills to be. No one wants to pay more for energy than they need to, so by having an idea of how much energy you use, and taking steps to cut back on your consumption, you could stand to save yourself some money.