Are you using too much gas in your own household?

gas meter

A gas meter shows consumption in an apartment building.

(Photo: dpa)

Many households in Germany need gas for hot water supply, for cooking and above all for heating. As Russia supplies less and less gas, the government and consumer protection groups are also advising private households to conserve gas. How high is the gas consumption on average and how can gas be saved?

Gas consumption depends on various factors that play an important role in your own gas consumption. The living space, the number of people living in the households and the consumption behavior of the people living there are decisive for individual consumption. If a household needs gas for the hot water supply, gas consumption increases accordingly. External factors such as the age and condition of the gas heater and the condition of the building can also affect gas costs.

How can you calculate your own gas consumption?

In order to be able to compare own values, the gas consumption must be determined. The gas heat meter, however, measures consumption in cubic meters (m³). A conversion to kilowatt hours (kWh) is made by the energy supplier in order to set the price. There is a formula for converting gas consumption yourself from cubic meters to kilowatt hours. The consumption, the calorific value and the condition number are multiplied together to get the result in kilowatt hours:

Consumption in m³ x calorific value x condition number = energy in kWh

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The calorific value indicates the amount of energy that can be used by burning gas. The mode number sets the operating mode of the gas relative to the default mode. The calorific value and condition number can usually be found on the gas bill, otherwise you can ask your gas supplier or network operator for these values.

The conversion using the formula can be used to compare whether your own gas consumption is within the average. Consumers should document their values ​​well and compare them with the information provided by their provider.

How much gas do detached houses and apartment complexes consume on average?

Parcel house: Detached houses consume an average of 160 kilowatt hours (kWh) per square meter or 16 cubic meters per square meter per year if they have gas central heating.

High rise: Apartment properties use an average of 140 kilowatt hours (kWh) per square meter or 14 cubic meters of gas per square meter per year.

How much gas does a household use per year?

A person’s household: A single-person household consumes an average of about 4,000 to 8,000 kilowatt-hours of gas per year.

Two-person household: A two-person household consumes about 8,000 to 12,000 kilowatt hours per year.

Household of four people: For a household of four people, the average annual consumption in Germany is 12,000 to 18,000 kilowatt hours.

Rising prices: how much does gas cost?

The price of gas has risen significantly in recent months, and many municipal utilities are now announcing the next wave of price increases. In August 2022, the average gas price was 17.84 cents per kilowatt hour with an annual consumption of 20,000 kWh. A model household pays an average of 3415 euros per year for gas. The gas price per megawatt-hour (MWh) at the beginning of August was EUR 189.50. For comparison: in the same period the previous year it was EUR 43.40 per megawatt hour. This means that a price increase of 337 percent can be noted.

In addition, consumers are affected by the new gas surcharge, which applies from 1 October is 2,419 cents. With an annual consumption of 15,000 to 20,000 kWh per year, the gas tax costs an average household 432 to 576 euros. For singles with a consumption of 5000 kWh per year, it is around 144 euros on top (incl. VAT).

>>>Read also: That is how expensive the new gas surcharge will be for consumers

Gas consumption: How can gas be saved?

The head of the Federal Network Agency, Klaus Müller, told “Welt am Sonntag” that a gas shortage can only be prevented if consumers save at least 20 percent on gas, “much more than before”.

The federal government already advises to significantly reduce gas consumption to protect the climate and keep your own costs as low as possible. Gas consumption in the home can be reduced with efficient heating and ventilation, sensible use of hot water through water-saving fittings and use of energy-efficient appliances. Radiators should also be vented before use and the seals on windows and doors should be checked.

It is also an important step to manually switch older heating systems to summer operation, according to the consumer advice in North Rhine-Westphalia. Anyone who can organize an installer should also take care of the hydraulic balancing of the heating system.

More: What you as a consumer need to know about the autumn gas shortage

Handelsblatt energy briefing

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