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  • FIRST POST
    • yellow218
    • By yellow218 3rd Oct 16, 6:28 PM
    • 36Posts
    • 25Thanks
    yellow218
    Energy usage/bills
    • #1
    • 3rd Oct 16, 6:28 PM
    Energy usage/bills 3rd Oct 16 at 6:28 PM
    Hi all

    Been trying to get our energy bills down for a while, slowly but surely all the little things are adding up. Well for the electricity anyway. But gas, not so much. It appears that our usage is always higher that the estimate on the bill. Bearing in mind it's still summer (OK, maybe not summer, but it is at least summery) we don't have the heating on. So gas is just for hot water and cooking on the hob, therefore I would suggest usage should be fairly consistent. But that doesn't seem to be the pattern, or at least not in the suppliers estimates.

    I appreciate a combo boiler may be more cost effective in the long run, but I don't really want to fork out for a replacement right now.

    Maybe we have the hot water setting on too much? We have it on in the early morning and early evening but off during the day. What would be considered as 'normal' settings? Any other ideas on how I can bring down the energy bills?

    Thanks in advance.
Page 1
    • dirtycredit
    • By dirtycredit 3rd Oct 16, 7:29 PM
    • 91 Posts
    • 184 Thanks
    dirtycredit
    • #2
    • 3rd Oct 16, 7:29 PM
    • #2
    • 3rd Oct 16, 7:29 PM
    Hiya,

    I found only switching sockets on when being used and straight off when finished made a big difference to my bills. And get an electric shower. I hardly ever turn the hot water on now.

    DC x
    LBM-May 2015 DFD-Oct 2017 Total debt £27077/12916 (47% Paid)
    MBNA-4014/3742 Halifax-3124/2945 Lloyds-4326/3636 Home improvements- 11000/3838
    StudentLoan-1173/
    PAID Tesco-4616/PAID


  • National Debtline
    • #3
    • 3rd Oct 16, 7:34 PM
    • #3
    • 3rd Oct 16, 7:34 PM
    Hi Yellow218,


    You should check there is no fault with the meter, and give regular readings to the supplier to try and get better estimates. You could also check online to see if you may benefit from switching suppliers as well.


    Have you looked online if any suppliers have a scheme to help you get a more efficient boiler? Sounds like you are on top of what you are using so perhaps the issue is with the price of the fuel and efficiency of the boiler rather than the usage.


    Laura
    @natdebtline
    We work as money advisers for National Debtline and have specific permission from MSE to post to try to help those in debt. Read more information on National Debtline in MSE's Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help guide. If you find you're struggling with debt and need further help try our online advice tool My Money Steps
    • chevalier
    • By chevalier 7th Oct 16, 10:57 PM
    • 7,688 Posts
    • 17,797 Thanks
    chevalier
    • #4
    • 7th Oct 16, 10:57 PM
    • #4
    • 7th Oct 16, 10:57 PM
    check the temperature your water is set at. For safety it should be set to 60 degrees centigrade I think. Any hotter than this and you are adding cold water to it to get it cool enough, which of course is a waste!
    cheers
    chev
    I want a job that is less than an hour driving away from my house! Are you listening universe?
    • bobcat2
    • By bobcat2 8th Oct 16, 12:20 AM
    • 37 Posts
    • 52 Thanks
    bobcat2
    • #5
    • 8th Oct 16, 12:20 AM
    • #5
    • 8th Oct 16, 12:20 AM
    Hi Yellow218,
    I've reduced by gas and electric bills a lot over the last couple of years as wanted to spend less and now gas and electric bills together are less than £27 a month (two bedroom house).
    These are some of the things I have done:
    -changed all my light bulbs from halogen and compact fluorescent to LED, every light in the house put together is now less than 100 watts in total
    - Always switch things like the TV etc off when not in use instead of leaving on standby - i have put on one multi socket so just one switch to turn everything off.
    -Switch supplier to cheapest available rate, then switch again just before that deal runs out so always on the cheapest tariff - use money saving expert cheap energy club to get £30 cash back when switching - will get 2 lots of cash back this year so 2 months free :-)
    - Switch off internet router when going out or away for the weekend
    - Switch on hot water manually for an hour, instead of on a timer every day so its only heating water when needed
    - use eco wash on washing machine
    - God rid of my cordless phone as it was hardly used and use a wired one which uses no power
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 8th Oct 16, 9:40 PM
    • 6,373 Posts
    • 35,180 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    • #6
    • 8th Oct 16, 9:40 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Oct 16, 9:40 PM
    We ONLY have gas for the cooker - freestanding so both hob & oven run on gas. Currently this costs us less than £5 per month so that may be an indicator for you. I do occasionally use a combi microwave but cook from scratch so the cooker does get a fair bit of use.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 8th Oct 16, 10:09 PM
    • 1,818 Posts
    • 3,015 Thanks
    Smodlet
    • #7
    • 8th Oct 16, 10:09 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Oct 16, 10:09 PM
    Hi. If you are a homeowner and your roof is suitable you could look into getting solar panels. Yes, if you want the FIT (Feed In Tariff) you have to buy them and they cost around £5+6k (I think) but it is possible to get them free (you don't get the FIT then, just free juice). They have reduced our bill by approximately 40% over a year so I'm a convert.

    Any provider's website will have checker you can use. We got ours from a company called A Shade Greener, who have no hidden costs. I have read on here some charge for surveys and stuff but ours were completely free. No, I don't work for them, honest.
    What is this life, if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?

    Every stew starts with the first onion.

    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • Ilona
    • By Ilona 8th Oct 16, 10:34 PM
    • 1,540 Posts
    • 5,659 Thanks
    Ilona
    • #8
    • 8th Oct 16, 10:34 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Oct 16, 10:34 PM
    Hello Yellow. I have just had my quarterly gas bill for the period 12th July to 4th October. Three bed semi, single occupant, email my readings monthly. They want £4.04p, I kid you not.

    How do I do it? Obviously no heating during the summer months, I won't put it on until I am cold, I will put more clothes on instead. I only heat a tank of water when I am going to have a bath once a week. I have a wash in the sink every day in cold water. That's what we did when we were kids.

    I only use the hob and the grill of my gas cooker, don't use the oven, don't bake or roast. I rinse my pots and pans under the tap as soon as I have finished with them, don't fry food so they are not greasy. I haven't poisoned myself. I sometimes boil a kettle to fill the bowl with hot water to give the kitchen a good clean.

    I am with a supplier that doesn't have a standing charge so I only pay for the energy I use. There is no penalty for quarterly bills, I don't want monthly direct debits. This only works for low users, and I am a very low user.

    You didn't say how much you are paying, can you get your usage down any more? If you are going to bath or shower every day it will cost you more.

    Ilona
    Last edited by Ilona; 08-10-2016 at 11:05 PM.
    I love skip diving
    • gfplux
    • By gfplux 9th Oct 16, 4:15 PM
    • 2,234 Posts
    • 2,220 Thanks
    gfplux
    • #9
    • 9th Oct 16, 4:15 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Oct 16, 4:15 PM
    Why don't you read your meters weekly. Build up a pattern of your weekly usage.
    I voted to remain. Now I look forward to the end of March 2017 when some of the uncertainty will disappear IF/PERHAPS/MAYBE article 50 is triggered.
    • redux
    • By redux 9th Oct 16, 5:53 PM
    • 15,580 Posts
    • 18,377 Thanks
    redux
    - Always switch things like the TV etc off when not in use instead of leaving on standby - i have put on one multi socket so just one switch to turn everything off.
    - Switch off internet router when going out or away for the weekend
    - God rid of my cordless phone as it was hardly used and use a wired one which uses no power
    Originally posted by bobcat2
    Leaving a modern TV on standby all the time would cost about 25 pence a year.

    Similar cost for charging a mobile phone, by the way.

    The router here costs about £8 a year in electricity if on all the time, so this might just about be worth doing, but won't have a huge effect if not.

    The cordless phone here can also do internet calls, and since the price increase of 18185 about a year ago, VoIP is set as default, and annual cost of all calls has dropped from about £30 to about £5. About £1.50 to £2 a year for electricity.
    Last edited by redux; 09-10-2016 at 6:06 PM.
    • MrsPorridge
    • By MrsPorridge 9th Oct 16, 6:42 PM
    • 1,484 Posts
    • 1,585 Thanks
    MrsPorridge
    A couple of years ago I started turning everything off at the plug socket on the wall - saved my £25 per quarter on the electricity bill.
    Getting back on Track
    • bobcat2
    • By bobcat2 10th Oct 16, 9:53 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 52 Thanks
    bobcat2
    Yep, agree that modern appliances are much more efficient than old ones but my TV is over 10 years old and although I didn't get specific standby usage for the model when I looked at it the best guess was that it was costing around £12- £15 £0.10 a year in standby. My sky box was bought for a tenner off ebay about 10 years ago so who knows how old that is! Also have my sons playstation, and 8 year old DVD player amplifier so altogether there could be there could be a £20+ a year standby energy usage.
    I did actually work out the energy usage of my cordless phone (had a lot of time on my hands at the time) and if I remember rightly it was using around £6 a year and considering it was never used that was £6 a year for nothing.
    I think my router costs something around £13 a year to run, so 3.5p or something a day, not exactly massive but worth switching off if you're away for a few days
    Savings are fairly minimal but I think there's a good £2 - £3 a month to be saved by doing this kind of thing and I like seeing my bill go down, I used to pay £57 a month and now my direct debit is £26.32 a month gas and electric so all of the little savings have added up.
    Just doing this alone wont go a long way but it all adds up.
    Last edited by bobcat2; 10-10-2016 at 10:15 PM.
    • bobcat2
    • By bobcat2 10th Oct 16, 10:13 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 52 Thanks
    bobcat2
    Lol I've just actually looked up the standby energy consumption of my actual TV and its 0.1W so less than 1 Kwh per year so less than 10p per year,
    I still think all the other things I have as are using a more significant amount of power to make it worthwhile switching them off, and to be honest I like switching the whole lot off anyway
    • yellow218
    • By yellow218 13th Oct 16, 5:15 PM
    • 36 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    yellow218
    Hi Yellow218,
    - Always switch things like the TV etc off when not in use instead of leaving on standby - i have put on one multi socket so just one switch to turn everything off.
    - God rid of my cordless phone as it was hardly used and use a wired one which uses no power
    Originally posted by bobcat2
    Doing/done most of the things on your list. Having disagreements with the hubby about turning things off, he says leaving things on standby uses so little energy we wouldn't actually notice it on the bills, but in the mean time is a pain in the back side having to stick to the habit...... I'm secretly turning things off were i can/he wont notice.

    Cordless phone. Why have i never thought of that!! Thats a very obvious one. we never use it. I dont mind leaving the router on as we are using BB alot, but we are charging a phone for no reason! good idea!
    • yellow218
    • By yellow218 13th Oct 16, 5:15 PM
    • 36 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    yellow218
    Why don't you read your meters weekly. Build up a pattern of your weekly usage.
    Originally posted by gfplux
    Great idea!Thank you
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 13th Oct 16, 7:51 PM
    • 6,373 Posts
    • 35,180 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Great idea!Thank you
    Originally posted by yellow218
    If you have an iPhone there is a rather good App called "Meter Readings" - designed by a chap called Graham Haley - absolutely brilliant for quick and easy comparisons from month to month, quarter to quarter and even year on year. I'm pretty sure it's free - or certainly only a cheapie, I wouldn't have it otherwise!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • yellow218
    • By yellow218 13th Oct 16, 8:06 PM
    • 36 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    yellow218
    Thanks Essex Hebridean. I've had a look, its £1.49.

    I like the idea, but i think i might try using the trusty spreadsheet first.
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 13th Oct 16, 9:15 PM
    • 6,373 Posts
    • 35,180 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Ah I knew it wouldn't be much - think it was actually free when I got it. To be honest I should think you can probably write formulas into a spreadsheet to do the same thing anyway - I like the app because it's very visual which works well for me. I'm easy pleased!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • choccyface2006
    • By choccyface2006 13th Oct 16, 9:43 PM
    • 2,236 Posts
    • 1,698 Thanks
    choccyface2006
    We have just had a smart meter fitted by British Gas and I've become addicted to save energy now even though I thought I was pretty good before anyway.

    I've replaced all the bulbs in the house with LEDs as seeing the meter jump up 5 bars from using just the 8 GU10 spotlights in the kitchen was a shock and fitted a new A rated shower, I have also knocked my landline call package on the head as we haven't used the phone for ages so I've taken out the three cordless phones which were permanently charging, I turn the fan oven off 10 minutes I take the food out to let the residual heat finish off the food.

    I turn everything apart from the cooker (I use the timer so a pain to keep resetting), fridge-freezer and PVR off at the wall and bought tumble dryer balls for when I absolutely have to use the dryer (I dry outside whenever possible). I also only use the eco setting on the washing machine and it's A+ rated and often boil the kettle for dishes instead of heating a whole tank of water.

    I am hoping to see a massive improvement especially now its getting colder and darker

    Sarah
    Quidco - £572.82Other cashback - £150 (Nikon x 3) Competition winnings - £100 cash + £3000 of Canon cameras for my team
    • yellow218
    • By yellow218 13th Oct 16, 9:58 PM
    • 36 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    yellow218
    ... bought tumble dryer balls for when I absolutely have to use the dryer (I dry outside whenever possible).
    Sarah
    Originally posted by choccyface2006
    This may sound very naive. But what exactly are dryer balls, and how do they save you money?
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