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.
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
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 to 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.
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 accurate meter readings on a regular basis. If you’re unsure how to do this, visit our guide on how to read your gas and electricity meter.
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.
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 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.
If you want to know more about smart meters and when you’ll get yours, visit our guide, What your smart meter upgrade means for you.
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.
Your bill is worked out by multiplying the unit rate by your consumption. It will also include:
You can find out more about reading and understanding your energy bill in our dedicated guide.
The easiest way to save money on your energy bills is to compare deals and switch to a new supplier, making sure there are no early cancellation charges. If you haven’t switched 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 or bigger changes. Our handy energy-saving tips and guide to boosting your Building Energy Rating (BER) can help you get started.