1. 2021-22 National Utility Costs
  2. 2021-22 Monthly Utility Bill Costs per City
  3. 2021-22 Monthly Utility Bill Costs vs. Average Monthly Salary per City
  4. Map: Which UK Cities Pay the Most to Heat their Homes

2021-22 National Utility Costs

British households pay for several different types of energy-based utility, including heating, electricity, gas, hot water and car fuel. 

While there are potential correlations between these types of bills (for instance, as electric cars become more popular, money spent on car fuel is likely to decrease, while electricity bills will rise) generally the amount of money households are spending on energy bills as a whole is rising year on year. 

According to Ofgem, the average household currently spends £1,042 a year.

Of course, the average household is a very generic concept; the cost of energy depends on several variable factors, like the size of the house, whether it is fuelled by gas, electricity or a combination of the two, and whether the inhabitants own and use a car. Other factors, like how well insulated a home is, make a huge difference in heating costs, particularly during the winter.

Energy Cost Breakdown According to Size of Home 

Size of HouseAverage Annual Gas Consumption (kWh)Average Annual Electricity Consumption (kWh)Estimated Combined Cost per Year (£)Estimated Combined Cost per Month (£)
Small (1-2 bedrooms)8,0002,000 79566
Medium (3+ bedrooms) 12,5003,1001,16397
Large (4+ bedrooms)18,000 4,6001,639137

2021-22 Monthly Utility Bill Costs per City

One of the key factors to consider when working out how much a household spends on its energy — and how these costs affect the bill-payer’s incomes — is the location of the property. 

Energy costs vary from city-to-city, with different providers and tariffs impacting annual and monthly costs for hot water, heating and lighting homes, and driving. 

Below is a breakdown of this cost per city, generated using data from Numbeo on the monthly house cost of all energy-based utilities. 

Average Monthly Utility Cost: per City

 (presented as most-least average bill cost)

CityAverage Household Monthly Cost (£)
1Cardiff223.4
2Guildford221.1
3Derby214.55
4Coventry202.52
5Brighton200.81
6Milton Keynes194.44
7London183.77
8Plymouth180.59
9York177.83
10Exeter170.42
11Bristol164.62
12Stoke-on-Trent163.05
13Reading161.72
14Manchester159.31
15Sheffield155.46
16Leicester153.2
17Newcastle upon Tyne152.98
18Birmingham148.74
19Cambridge146.13
20Leeds143.2
21Liverpool140.76
22Nottingham137.12
23Edinburgh136.66
24Bournemouth135.46
25Kingston upon Hull132.88
26Oxford129.4
27Southampton124.11
28Dundee115.5
29Glasgow112.04
30Portsmouth97.23
31Aberdeen84.04
32Belfast74.33

Cardiff in Wales tops the list, with an estimated monthly utility spend of £223.40. Comparatively, Belfast in Northern Ireland has the least expensive energy prices, estimated at a total monthly cost of £74.33 per household. 

Interestingly, energy costs do not reflect regional patterns; the top 10 most expensive cities are located in a variety of UK regions, including Wales, South East England, East Midlands, West Midlands, Yorkshire & Humber and South West England. 

2021-22 Monthly Utility Bill Costs vs. Average Monthly Salary per City

The variation in energy costs throughout the country shows the weight postcodes have when it comes to how financially comfortable a household is; two bill-payers with the same monthly income will have drastically different amounts of income left every month after their final bill is taken out, depending on whether they are in Guildford or Aberdeen, for instance. 

Of course, the cost of living vs average salary will play a part in the impact of energy costs. 

To demonstrate, the below table displays a breakdown of the average monthly net salary for residents in each of the 32 major UK cities vs. the monthly cost of energy in each place. We’ve used this to work out an estimate of how much a single bill-payer would have left after they have paid their monthly energy bill in full. 

This is presented in order of least-most remaining after energy bills have been paid. 

2021-22 Monthly Utility Bill Costs vs. Average Monthly Salary per City (Presented as least-most salary remaining salary after utility payments)

CityAverage Monthly Utility Cost (£)Average Net Monthly Salary(£)Amount Left after Bills(£)
1Dundee115.51653.831538.33
2Birmingham148.741698.421549.68
3Bournemouth135.461688.631553.17
4Stoke-on-Trent163.051727.171564.12
5Kingston upon Hull132.881702.591569.71
6York177.831807.011629.18
7Milton Keynes194.441831.391636.95
8Leicester153.21823.241670.04
9Sheffield155.461876.031720.57
10Liverpool140.761882.061741.3
11Nottingham137.121887.361750.24
12Leeds143.21906.931763.73
13Belfast74.331844.031769.7
14Newcastle upon Tyne152.981943.21790.22
15Exeter170.421994.491824.07
16Portsmouth97.231942.691845.46
17Bristol164.622044.451879.83
18Cardiff223.42119.381895.98
19Edinburgh136.662051.541914.88
20Glasgow112.042033.361921.32
21Aberdeen84.042007.31923.26
22Guildford221.12189.681968.58
23Southampton124.112099.611975.5
24Brighton200.812189.431988.62
25Manchester159.312254.442095.13
26Coventry202.522318.582116.06
27Reading161.722443.872282.15
28Cambridge146.132430.42284.27
29Plymouth180.592583.332402.74
30Derby214.552665.52450.95
31Oxford129.42885.42756
32London183.773115.532931.76

In terms of those who are left most out of pocket by their energy bills, Dundee, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Stoke and Hull residents look to be the worst off.  On the other hand, Cambridge, Plymouth, Derby, Oxford and London are the best off, with residents of these cities left with the most money after their bills are paid. 

To give a better idea of how this works out proportionally, the below table shows how much the average energy bill accounts for the average salary. 

This is presented from the largest percentage to the smallest. 

2021-22 Monthly Utility Bill Cost Percentage Breakdown 

(presented as highest-lowest percentage of salary used on bills)

CityAverage Utility CostAverage Net Monthly SalaryPercentage of Salary used for Energy (%)
1Milton Keynes194.441831.3911
2Cardiff223.42119.3811
3Guildford221.12189.6810
4York177.831807.0110
5Stoke-on-Trent163.051727.179
6Brighton200.812189.439
7Birmingham148.741698.429
8Coventry202.522318.589
9Exeter170.421994.499
10Leicester153.21823.248
11Sheffield155.461876.038
12Bristol164.622044.458
13Derby214.552665.58
14Bournemouth135.461688.638
15Newcastle upon Tyne152.981943.28
16Kingston upon Hull132.881702.598
17Leeds143.21906.938
18Liverpool140.761882.067
19Nottingham137.121887.367
20Manchester159.312254.447
21Plymouth180.592583.337
22Dundee115.51653.837
23Edinburgh136.662051.547
24Reading161.722443.877
25Cambridge146.132430.46
26Southampton124.112099.616
27London183.773115.536
28Glasgow112.042033.366
29Portsmouth97.231942.695
30Oxford129.42885.44
31Aberdeen84.042007.34
32Belfast74.331844.034

Of these, residents of Milton Keynes and Cardiff use the largest portion of their salary (11%) for their energy bills every month, while Oxford, Aberdeen and Belfast all use the smallest portions (4%). 

Map: Which UK Cities Pay the Most to Heat their Homes

Methodology & Sources

All research conducted by ConservatoryBlinds4Less

Methodology 

To find out the average national annual energy costs and consumption rates, we used Ofgem data from 2021. This was cross-checked using the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy’s Quarterly Energy Prices Review

We used this to generate our estimates for annual and monthly consumptions of dual (gas and electricity) run households, including our house-size breakdown, 

We collected data from Numbeo.co.uk’s Cost of Living index to find out the average utility costs of each city per month. 

We also used Numbeo to find out the average net salary of residents living in each of these cities. 

We used these figures to calculate an estimate of how much money would be deducted from and remaining once monthly utility bills had been taken from monthly incomes. We used this figure to calculate the percentage of the bill-payer’s wage which would be spent on utility bills each month in each city. 

Sources

Government’s Quarterly Energy Prices review from Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (Updated 30 September 2021)

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/quarterly-energy-prices

Ofgem’s Bills, Prices & Profits (published 2021)

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications/infographic-bills-prices-and-profits

NUMBEO’s Cost of Living dataset (updated 2021)https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/