Happy new year!
Here is a little Year in Review™ of my gas and electricity usage for 2022 for anyone that’s interested.
In short, our household used 9% less energy, but it cost us 54% more. So let’s explore why
First some context, I live in a 1960s, 3 bed, 80sqm, semi-detached home with my partner and our cat. We have owned a Renault Zoe (electric car) since March 2020 and driven 12k miles total and have 2.1kW of south facing solar panels on our roof (installed Feb 2019). We have gas heating and an electric hob and oven.
In 2022, we used 9% less energy (1.5MWh) overall compared with the previous year (14MWh in 2022 versus 15.5MWh in 2021). Our gas usage (yellow) dropped by 18%, our EV charging (light green) increased by 66% and our regular home electricity usage rose by 5%.
Unit prices rose significantly in 2022 (more on that in a sec). This meant that our total utility cost rose from £857 in 2021 to £1,322 in 2022, a 54% rise.
Here we see our total utility cost per month with 2022 highlighted in orange. Our gas unit price pretty much doubled in April 2022, then went up again in October to nearly 3x the original rate. The true impact of this price rise was not felt until we started using the heating in late October 2022.
In addition, our electricity unit price also increased significantly in October 2022. The day rate rose from an incredibly cheap (in hindsight) 14p/kWh to 40p/kWh. The chart above shows how our unit prices changed during 2022 while on Octopus Go tariff.
Here we see our electricity usage split by home (dark green) and EV charging (light green), and the cost (grey) per year. The increase in our electricity usage is because we charged our car more frequently. Thankfully we’re able to charge on the overnight rate so the impact on electricity cost wasn’t too insane (+44% year on year). We haven’t returned to the home electricity usage we would get pre-pandemic yet (approx.1.5MHw per year) because we still work from home on occasion.
On the topic of my electric car, I drove it 6k miles this year. I used 1,592kWh to charge it, costing a total of £88. This means I averaged 3.75 miles per kWh in 2022 and each mile cost 1.4p. This aligns with some of my earlier calculations here and over here and here too. The EV continues to work out around 10 times cheaper to run than a diesel equivalent per mile I think.
As mentioned, we managed to reduce our gas usage by 18% this year. This was mostly achieved by adjusting our Nest thermostat schedule to reduce the peak temperature from 19°C to 17.5°C. It also probably helped that the UK had the warmest year on record with the average UK temperature this year up by around 1°C. That said, it wasn’t enough to keep the cost from going up 63% due to the significant rise in unit gas price in October.
We had a solar system installed in Feb 2019 and it continues to out perform the installer’s estimates for monthly generation. This year, it generated a total of 2,409kWh. We only have a generation meter at the moment, so I can’t tell how much of that electricity we used locally versus exported to the grid.
So overall, a mildly interesting year; a sharp rise in unit prices, lower gas usage, increased electric car charging and our solar continues to perform pretty well. We’ve just started to feel the impact of the rising gas unit price this winter, so I expect next year’s energy bills to far exceed previous years by at least a factor of 2.
Main goal for 2023 is to try to find an installer for a home battery (probably the myenergi Libbi if I can get my hands on one). Once we have the battery storage, next step will be heat pump.
I have a lot more data and graphs, so feel free to ask any questions if you’re curious or if anything is unclear. I’d also be interested to hear how these figures might compare to yours.