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OFGEM’s typical domestic consumption figures out for consultation

by Mel Starrs on August 17, 2010

in Strategies & Consultations

I’m blogging this so I can easily find the information again (what blogs were originally for). It’s one of those key bits of data I always seem to spend hours looking for. And now it might change anyway.

Ofgem currently defines typical annual domestic consumption as 20,500 kWh for gas and 3,300 kWh for standard electricity for its pricing analysis work, and much of our general market monitoring. We use these figures to feed into a wide range of analysis, including calculating average annual energy bills and the levels of savings available to consumers who switch. These consumption levels are often quoted in the press and used by others in the energy industry.

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Given Government’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions, and technological advances that have lead to increasingly energy efficient homes and appliances, it seems reasonable to assume consumption levels will continue to decline. However, the dataset available is not sufficiently large to confidently model either the magnitude of possible annual declines in the future, or how long this trend may continue.

To establish whether the current typical consumption levels are still reflective of actual consumption, we have reviewed consumption data and analysis from other organisations and considered consumption trends over time. Our review suggests that the figure of 3,300 kWh per year still provides a good estimate of typical annual domestic electricity consumption for those with Profile Class 1 meters. However, we consider that 5,000 kWh, rather than the present level of 6,600 kWh, is more representative of typical medium electricity consumption for consumers with Profile Class 2 meters, and that 16,500 kWh, rather than the present level of 20,500 kWh, would be more representative of current medium domestic gas consumption. We also propose changes to typical low and high annual consumption levels for electricity, Profile Classes 1 and 2, and gas.

If you are interested in participating in the consultation, you have until 24th September to contribute.

Does anyone have a rule of thumb for what the typical data looks like if Passivhaus is applied? The gas will go down again, but to what level?

  • Mike Moseley

    My understanding of Passivhaus is it means just that “passive” i.e. the gas consumption in a passive house would be zero. All electrical loads will be also produced on site. The next level up is measured in oil consumption, a 5 litre house is one that uses 5 litres of oil per year for heating. Oil has an energy density of 37.3 MJ/L

  • Mike Moseley

    My understanding of Passivhaus is it means just that “passive” i.e. the gas consumption in a passive house would be zero. All electrical loads will be also produced on site. The next level up is measured in oil consumption, a 5 litre house is one that uses 5 litres of oil per year for heating. Oil has an energy density of 37.3 MJ/L

  • Iain

    Mike, a Passivhaus does not necessarily have zero gas or electricity use. I suspect a Passivhaus would have circa 1,500kWh for heating and a similar figure (1,650kWh) to the low energy using dwelling. What I’d love to see is the in-use energy figures for a Passivhaus as one suspects that the heating energy use will be higher than that calculated by the Passivhaus spreadsheet.

  • Iain

    Mike, a Passivhaus does not necessarily have zero gas or electricity use. I suspect a Passivhaus would have circa 1,500kWh for heating and a similar figure (1,650kWh) to the low energy using dwelling. What I’d love to see is the in-use energy figures for a Passivhaus as one suspects that the heating energy use will be higher than that calculated by the Passivhaus spreadsheet.