The energy regulator has today revised typical usage figures, which are used across the industry to help people compare prices. However, the new lower figures don't mean you'll pay less.
Gas and electricity suppliers use figures provided by energy regulator Ofgem to publish the average annual, or monthly cost of tariffs on their websites and on bills. Join our free Cheap Energy Club to find the best deal for you.
Comparison sites also use these figures when quoting the average price a customer can expect to pay for their energy. As these figures are consistent across the industry, it means households can more easily compare how much each tariff is likely to cost them over a year.
These estimations are reviewed by the regulator every two years. If Ofgem finds a difference in usage of at least 100kWh for electricity and 500 kWh for gas compared to the last data, it can revise its values.
But as energy usage has dropped, from today, suppliers and price comparison websites have to revise their estimations, known as "Typical Domestic Consumption Values (TDCVs)".
From today, Ofgem's new guidelines state:
Typical energy usage figures
|Amount of energy used (kWh) pre- 1 September 2015
|Amount of energy used (kWh) post- 1 September 2015
|Electricity - standard
|Electricity - Economy 7 (i)
|(i) Rates vary from standard electricity rates as Economy 7 customers get a cheaper electricity rate at night and a more expensive one in the day.
How does this affect what we say on MoneySavingExpert?
Ofgem's change will mainly impact the typical prices we list in our Cheap Gas and Electricity guide and energy features in our weekly email, as we include prices using the regulator's typical usage figures.
The impact on our Cheap Energy Club however is minimal, as we provide a personalised comparison based on the details entered on your account, rather than providing an average figure.
The only place we list typical prices on Cheap Energy Club is on the results page in the tariff feedback and full information section as required by Ofgem.
Does this mean I'll pay less for my energy?
Be warned, just because typical usage figures have dropped, it doesn't mean you'll pay less for your energy. Whether or not you'll actually save is purely based on how much energy you use. If your usage has dropped, then you'll likely pay less.
However, you may be able to save £100's by switching. The current cheapest fixed tariff on the market for example, is £850 on average, but our new energy collective launches later today, so check our Cheap Energy Club to see how much you can save.
Why has energy usage fallen?
The Department for Energy and Climate Change says energy usage has fallen due to warmer average temperatures, particularly during the winter months, energy efficiency measures in homes and for appliances, and the European Union's regulation to phase out the sale of clear, high watt lightbulbs.
Additional reporting by Dan Lautman