Just How much energy does the aveage home use?

Have you ever thought about how much energy your home uses and how your usage compares to everyone else’s?


Whether you’re concerned about your impact on the environment, or just want to cut down your household expenditure, knowing how much energy your appliances use is invaluable.


The average UK home currently uses around 4000kWh of electricity a year, but this number is a little misleading. Firstly, when dealing with averages like these, a small number of homes using a ridiculous amount of energy can raise skew things considerably (hence why regulator, Ofgem, bases its figures around median values rather than averages). Secondly, different-sized homes will obviously have differing energy requirements, so you should probably compare your usage to that of a home of similar size. The average annual electricity usage by dwelling looks like this:


  • Mid terrace - 2779kWh

  • Flat - 2829kWh

  • End terrace - 3442kWh

  • Semi detached - 3847kWh

  • Bungalow - 3866kWh

  • Detached - 4153kWh


You’d be forgiven for thinking that it was obvious that larger homes would use more electricity purely as they’d take more to keep warm - but these figures actually exclude the electricity used for space heating. Naturally, your home will use a lot more electricity than these figures show if your property uses electric heating.


Whatever your usage, it’s always worth comparing available energy tariffs to cut down costs generally. But by breaking down usage further, we can really get an idea of where specific savings can be made. Data shows that energy usage hits a peak (700W) at 6-7pm when cooking and lighting demands are higher. Having said this, even in the dead of the night, average electricity usage sits at around 200W an hour. There are potential savings to be made if you cut down on electricity usage around this time by turning set top boxes etc. off from standby mode.


Understanding how your electricity usage breaks down across different categories can help you get a better idea of how to go about changing your usage habits to make savings effectively. Here’s what the average house uses over a year:


  • Computing - 240kWh

  • Water heating - 280kWh

  • Other - 528kWh

  • Wet appliances - 536kWh

  • Cooking - 544kWh

  • Consumer electronics - 567kWh

  • Lighting - 607kWh

  • Cold appliances - 638kWh


From the data we can see that your fridge is the biggest offender, followed by lighting, electronics, cooking and washing appliances. Now we can take a look at individual appliances themselves.


How much electricity does a TV use?


This is heavily dependent on the kind of TV that you have. Plasma TVs use 658kWh per year (more than the yearly cost of refrigeration for your home). However, TVs are getting more efficient year-on-year, using the latest LED technology a 42-inch screen used for four hours per day will use around 80kWh/year.


How much electricity does a fridge use?


This value is greatly dependent on the size and efficiency of your particular fridge. The average fridge freezer currently uses about 427kWh/year to run, but newer more efficient models can use as little as 200kWh/year.


How much electricity does a computer use?


Laptops, tablets and phones are more efficient in design, so use around 30kWh, 12kWh, and 2kWh per year respectively. Desktop computers use significantly more, at 150kWh/year, whereas printers can use even more at 160kWh/year.


How much electricity does a light bulb use?


Of course, it depends on the bulb in question, but the average old-style incandescent 60W bulb uses about 44kWh/year if used for 2 hours each day. Halogen bulbs use about 31kWh/year whereas a CFL uses 9kWh/year. The most efficient are LED bulbs at 6kWh/year which are 5 times more efficient than traditional blbs and rated to last up to 11 years.


How much energy does a washing machine use?


Between 0.3kWh and 1.0kWh is used per cycle in washing machines. Homes do around 270 cycles yearly, so that comes in at around 166kWh of electricity per year. But these numbers are coming down as machines get more efficient.