Gas usage in UK homes up by almost a third over April and May due to unseasonably cold weather

Gas usage in UK homes up by almost a third over April and May due to unseasonably cold weather

By: Shell Energy

24 Jun 2021

The UK may currently be basking in a heatwave, making the cold weather of April and May seem like a distant memory. But temperatures were so cold during these two months that gas usage across Britain was up a huge 36% in May and a very significant 25% in April, compared to normal average usage levels for these months, according to our data.

Recent research showed that in some regions of Britain, usage was up by over 50% compared to seasonal averages as households turned up the thermostats.

In South Wales, gas usage in May was a massive 54% higher than the four year average, whilst usage was 43% higher in the North West, South West and West Midlands. Scotland recorded the lowest increase in May – a still large 16%. Usage in every region in England and Wales was up by at least 27% during the month.

Looking at April, the South East recorded the highest increase compared to average, up 44%. This was followed by the North Thames area (43%) and the Southern region (38%).

The Met Office reported that average temperatures across the UK in April were just 5.7 degrees Celsius – nearly 2 degrees colder than the long term average and the first time since 2012 that April was on average colder than March. Temperatures dipped as low as -9.4 degrees in Tulloch Bridge in Inverness-shire. Meanwhile average May temperatures rose only slightly to 7 degrees. A stark contrast to the highs of 25 degrees Celsius recorded in some parts of the UK in early June.


Track your usage with a smart meter

Smart meters can help Brits keep track of their energy usage in pounds and pence, especially helpful during periods such as this when it may be higher than expected. However, our research – conducted amongst 3,000 UK adults – shows that just 28% of Brits are aware that technology such as smart meters can help to make their home more energy efficient by helping people reduce energy waste thanks to better insights about their usage.


“Spring certainly had not sprung by the end of May this year, although we enjoyed a marvellous start to June. Smart meter technology – which is available at no extra cost to all Shell Energy customers – is a great way for households to keep on top of their usage, especially at times when they may not be expecting to be using their central heating so heavily. It allows them to keep an eye on usage in pounds and pence, in almost real time, ensuring they are across what they are spending and avoid any shocks when the bill arrives.”

Elvin Nagamootoo

Head of Product, Shell Energy Retail


How do I upgrade to a smart meter?

Simply contact us and we’ll install your smart meter at no extra cost, in just an hour or two.

Prepayment customers: Call our friendly team on 0330 094 5802.

Electricity and gas customers: Visit our smart meter page to book your installation online today.

Electricity-only customers: Contact our smart meter installation partner SMS Plc on 0330 094 5231 to arrange your smart meter installation.


Energy saving tips

For more energy saving advice to help you save at home, visit our dedicated page here. Or check out these helpful blog articles to find out more:



*Smart meter statistic from Shell Energy research conducted by Opinium amongst 3,001 British adults between 19-25 February 2021. Usage figures taken from anonymised Shell Energy customer smart meter data, 2 June 2021. Additional weather statistics sourced here.