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How much energy do you use?

The more energy you use the higher your bills will be. Here’s how to work out your energy usage and reduce what you pay for your gas and electricity.

Why it’s good to know your energy usage

The amount of energy you use directly affects how much you pay on your gas and electricity bills. So, understanding how much electricity and gas you use is useful if you want to reduce your bills and cut energy consumption.

Energy is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWhs) so the unit rate you see on your energy bills is the cost you pay per kWh. The more kWh you use, the more you pay on your bill.

Employing simple energy-saving measures to reduce how much gas and electricity you use is also helpful for the environment

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What your energy bill tells you

A good place to start if you want to find out more about your energy usage is to take a look at your latest bill.

Our guide understanding your energy bill can help you work out what all the terms mean and what you are being charged for.

On your bill, the amount of energy you’ve used in the billing period will be labelled as ‘consumption’ or ‘usage’ and maybe an estimated figure or an actual figure. This will depend on whether you have taken a recent reading.

Other ways to check your consumption

If you don’t have a recent bill to hand or want to monitor your usage more closely, there are other ways to find out how much energy you are using.

Take meter readings

Take accurate meter readings on a regular basis. If you’re unsure how to do this, visit electricity meter reading and/or a gas meter reading.

Once you take the reading, you can either submit it directly to your supplier by phone, text, email or online, or on the ESB Networks or Gas Networks Ireland websites.

Your electricity and gas meters are also a great way to keep regular track of how much energy you’re using. Why not take a note of your meter readings at the start of one week, and then track how much you use in a week?

Once you have an idea of your weekly usage, try some of our energy-saving measures and track it again the following week to see if they’ve helped you cut back on your consumption.

Monitor your energy

If keeping track of your usage by reading your meter seems like too much hassle, you could opt for an energy monitor.

These gadgets show you how much electricity you are using at any one time and can help you to change your usage habits and reduce your energy bill.

You won’t need an electrician to install it and it’s free-standing so you can bring it with you to any room in the house. My EcoHub sell the Owl Micro+ Energy Monitor which allows you to check how much electricity you use in real-time.

Smart meters

Smart meters are the next generation of electricity meter. The display gives you real-time feedback on how much energy you are using and what it is costing you.

They also allow energy companies to read your meter remotely, which could mean an end to estimated bills from your gas and electricity supplier.

In 2017, ESB Networks announced a plan to replace all electricity meters in Ireland with smart meters by 2024. The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU), believes smart meters will benefit consumers, the economy and the environment.

Other benefits of smart meters

  • Easier tariff & plan changes: Energy suppliers can make ‘time-of-use’ tariffs and smart prepayment options available without the need for an additional meter or device in the home.
  • Save money on energy bills: Trials have shown that when people know how much energy they’re using and cheaper tariff periods, they save up to 5 per cent on their bills.
  • Less pressure on National Grid: The CRU suggests that real-time information should raise awareness of consumption and encourage customers to use energy at non-peak times.

Smart thermostats

Smart thermostats also help you to cut back on energy usage by allowing you to actively monitor and manage the temperature in your home.

These thermostats allow you to control your home heating at home and remotely, via an app. They can also ‘learn’ your household’s habits and will adapt temperature and timings, based on the information picked up by your previous usage.

How is your energy bill calculated?

Your bill is worked out by multiplying the unit rate by your consumption. It will also include:

  • The standing charge for your tariff
  • PSO Levy and/or Carbon Tax
  • VAT at 13.5% on the total

You can find out more about reading and understanding your energy bill in our dedicated guide.

How else can you save money on energy bills?

The easiest way to save money on your energy bills is to compare deals and switch to a new supplier If you haven’t done so in a while it could save you hundreds on your bills each year.

Find out how much you could save by switching by using Switcher.ie’s free gas and electricity comparison tool. Entering your actual consumption in kWh or price will ensure you get an accurate result.

Once you’ve switched to the best deal, you can save more money by reducing your energy use in the home by making simple changes. Our handy energy-saving tips can help you get started.

Switch and save up to €444 on your energy bills

It only takes a few minutes to find a cheaper deal and start saving