Image Central Statistics Office reveals household gas consumption figures by BER
Image Rob Flynn
Staff Writer

The figures released by the Central Statistics Office show gas consumption by dwelling type as well as by BER, with a detached house having used 82% more natural gas heating than an apartment in 2020.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) regularly publishes data on household gas consumption and domestic Building Energy Ratings (BER). However, rarely does it combine the two.

In a first for the statistics agency, these two data sets have been combined to provide greater insight into factors that influence gas consumption, such as household type and BER rating.

And so, the latest gas consumption data has been revealed for 2020, and it makes for some very interesting reading. 

Here’s what you should know from the latest figures released by the CSO.

What is the research?

The new analysis looked at households that had a BER and that used gas as their main heating fuel to examine how gas consumption varies by type of dwelling and by energy rating.

Only dwellings that used natural gas as their main heating fuel in their BER audit have been included in the analysis.

A total of 210,500 BER audits were matched with their gas meter file using an Eircode to complete the results.

The CSO also plans similar analyses combining domestic and non-domestic metered electricity consumption with domestic and non-domestic building energy ratings respectively.

Average gas consumption per dwelling

The gas consumption figures were broken down by dwelling type and by BER.

To begin with, let’s take a look at the figures per dwelling first.

The CSO looked at five main types of dwelling: Detached houses, semi-detached houses, end-of-terrace houses, mid-terrace houses, and apartments.

Firstly, the new figures revealed that the average gas consumption per dwelling varied considerably more by household type than by energy efficiency rating.

A key finding revealed that a detached house used 16,054 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of natural gas in 2020, which was 82% higher than the corresponding mean gas consumption for an apartment (8,808 kWh).

Semi-detached houses used 11,739 kWh, followed by end-of-terrace houses, mid-terrace houses, and apartments.

Type of dwelling Mean kWh 2020
Detached house 16,054 kWh
Semi-detached 11,739 kWh
End-of-terrace 10,094 kWh
Mid-terrace 9,059 kWh
Apartment 8,808 kWh

Average gas consumption by BER

Meanwhile, the stats also looked at average gas consumption by BER, from A and B, to F and G-rated properties.

According to the data, A and B-rated homes consumed more gas in 2020 than those with the lowest energy rating, F and G.

Figures show that the mean gas consumption of A and B-rated homes in 2020 was 4.7% higher than the mean consumption for F and G-rated homes (11,483 kWh vs 10,965 kWh).

E-rated dwellings were the only properties to have a higher mean consumption than A and B homes in 2020 at 11,767 kWh.

However, the low mean consumption figure for F and G-rated homes indicates that other factors may be at play for less consumption other than energy ratings. These could include less disposable income, whether the house was adequately heated, and even use of secondary fuels.

BER Mean kWh 2020
A + B 11,483 kWh
C 11,146 kWh
D 11,475 kWh
E 11,767 kWh
F + G 10,965 kWh

Floor area

It’s worth noting that the mean gas consumption in 2020 for all homes built between 2005-2020 (i.e. homes with a higher BER) was 10.2% below the mean for dwellings built in 1900-1966 (10,681 kWh vs 11,890 kWh).

However, lower gas consumption due to improved energy ratings was partially offset by a larger floor area for dwellings with A and B ratings, figures from the CSO revealed. 

Detached houses with an A or B rating had an average floor area of 194 square metres compared with 124 square metres for detached houses with an F or G energy rating. 

This trend of more energy-efficient dwellings having larger floor areas was evident for all household types.

Dwellings with better energy ratings however consumed less gas per square metre. Mean gas consumption figures varied from 89 kWh per square metre for A and B-rated homes in 2020 compared with 122 kWh per square metre for F or G-rated equivalent homes.

Bear in mind

The CSO highlighted that the mean gas consumption for domestic dwellings was higher in 2020 than in 2019 for all household types, perhaps suggesting that people were spending more time at home as a result of Covid-19.

It’s also worth noting that the latest figures made no adjustment for variations in the retail price of natural gas. Although, this might play a more important role in the figures for the coming years to take into account significantly higher prices.

Get in touch

What did your gas consumption look like in 2020? Was it above or below average? Would a home with a higher energy rating help you to save on your gas bills? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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