Whether you’re a student or a young professional, tracking your shared house’s energy usage can be a real challenge. If you think your house is using more energy than average or your meter readings are increasing, this guide is for you!  

The experts at Split The Bills have put together everything you need to know about high meter readings. We’ll cover: 

  • What’s a meter reading? 
  • What’s a high meter reading in a shared house? 
  • What can cause high meter readings?
  • How can you lower your carbon footprint? 

What’s a meter reading? 

A meter is a device that measures the amount of gas and electricity your house uses. Your shared house will likely have a separate electric meter and a gas meter (if the property uses gas). You might also have a water meter, but this is less common.  

Your electricity meter measures the kilowatt-hour (kWh) of energy consumed, while your gas meter measures the cubic meters of gas flowing through the meter. These readings are used to calculate your gas and electricity bills.  

What’s a smart meter? 

Some houses have smart meters installed. These automatically send readings to your energy supplier, so you don’t have to submit meter readings. They’ll also usually come with a home display device so you can see how much energy you’re using. 

How do you submit a meter reading? 

You’ll need to take the correct readings when you move in, every month, and on the day you move out. Write down the number or take a picture of your meter. Then, you can send the readings to your supplier when they ask for them.   

How you read your meter will depend on the type; for example, you might have a traditional or digital display. We have a comprehensive guide on taking meter readings to help you out.  

What is a high meter reading in a shared house? 

A high meter reading indicates that your house has used more energy (electricity and gas) since your last reading. If you live in a shared house, knowing if your meter reading is higher than average can be tricky. This is because most data for typical meter readings and average energy bills are based on family homes rather than shared houses.  

If you notice that your energy bill has increased or your meter readings are getting higher, this is probably a sign that you and your housemates need to be more careful with your energy usage. 

What is a high electric meter reading in a shared house? 

A high-usage household, such as a medium-sized shared house, typically uses around 600 kWh of electricity per month.  

What is a high gas meter reading in a shared house? 

A high-usage household, such as a medium-sized shared house, typically uses around 1,500 kWh of gas per month.  

What can cause high meter readings? 

If you’ve noticed that your meter readings are higher than usual in your shared house or you’re paying more than you have done previously, here are a few things to consider: 

Number of housemates  

The more housemates you live with, the higher your energy bills and meter readings will be. If you’ve noticed your meter readings are higher than a previous shared house you’ve lived in, it will likely be because there are more people living in your current house. 

You should also consider the number of guests you have – does one housemate have a boyfriend or girlfriend who is always visiting? This can impact your energy meter readings.  

Seasons and weather  

Most households will typically use more energy for heating in the colder months. If you’re not a fan of the cold and your radiators are always on, this will likely mean much higher meter readings. Try to wrap up warm rather than always turning the radiators on, or invest in an electric blanket to keep you toasty! 

Energy efficiency  

How energy efficient your shared house is will also affect the energy used. This includes how energy-efficient the appliances are and what the insulation is like. There isn’t anything you can do about this, as it’s the landlord’s responsibility to provide appliances (assuming your shared house is furnished) and ensure the insulation is suitable.  

However, consider whether there are any devices or appliances you’ve purchased that might be using too much energy. A simple tip is to ensure your TV and game consoles are turned off when not in use rather than in standby mode. This could save you around £45 a year! 

If any of the above factors are affecting your monthly bills, you may want to consider using a bill splitting service like us; as you’ll have peace of mind that the price will stay the same every month. Want to know what all your utilities will cost for 2024-2025? You can get an instant quote here. 

How can you lower your carbon footprint? 

With World Earth Day just around the corner (22nd April 2024), many people are thinking about reducing their household energy consumption and lowering their meter readings. 

Here are some of our top tips: 

  • Remember to turn off the lights when you leave the room.  
  • Wash your clothes on a 30°C wash cycle and only use the washing machine when you’ve got enough clothes for a full load.  
  • Avoid the tumble dryer (if you have one), especially in the warmer months when you can dry your clothes outside.  
  • Unplug devices and gadgets when not in use.  
  • Don’t leave your fridge or freezer open longer than you need to. 
  • Avoid overfilling the kettle. 
  • Close the curtains or blinds at night to help keep the heat in during winter.  

Uncapped energy plans with our simple bill-splitting service 

If you’re doing your best as a household to manage your energy usage but your bills still seem to fluctuate monthly, an uncapped plan could be the solution! 

Split The Bills offers a straightforward bill-splitting service for students and young professionals in shared houses. Our uncapped gas and electricity plan gives you complete peace of mind about your energy usage, so you have one less thing to think about!  

You can choose what you want included in your package, including gas, electricity, water, and even a TV Licence (if you plan on watching live TV). Our team will automatically split all of your household bills between everyone living in the house, so there’s no need to worry about someone forgetting to pay their portion of the bills.  

If you want a simpler way to pay your shared household bills, find out more about what we do or get in touch with our team! 

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