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  • FIRST POST
    • tiredredhead
    • By tiredredhead 13th Dec 16, 2:13 PM
    • 73Posts
    • 65Thanks
    tiredredhead
    Is this high usage?
    • #1
    • 13th Dec 16, 2:13 PM
    Is this high usage? 13th Dec 16 at 2:13 PM
    Wow my supplier sent me a bill today trying to up my monthly bill to £221 a month from £140 a month. No changes in the last year in the house and customer services say that the unit prices are the same so I cannot understand the increase.

    Apparently my usage might be high. Not sure why its gone up so much.

    I've just accessed my bills for the last 2 years and this is my usage.
    Gas
    2015 18896 KWh
    2016 23452 KWh

    Elec
    2015 6991
    2016 8327

    My son started Uni in sept 2015 so usage of hot water went down at that time. No other changes in this time period.

    4 people, 1 in Uni most of the time. I worked from home in 2015 but not in 2016 (except for a bit in the summer).

    5 bed house, gas heating, regular service on the boiler. We have an electric shower but we do not ever use it. Prefer the straight from the boiler type. Loft insulation, double glazing. Cavity wall insulation. Blackout blinds where possible, curtains closed at dusk. Lights off when not in a room.

    Anyone with similar level of usage here to reassure me that this is normal?
    Cheers
Page 2
    • sd99
    • By sd99 14th Dec 16, 10:43 AM
    • 34 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    sd99
    Then I really can't understand your energy usage - our heating/hot water demand is ~ 80 kwh per day in the Winter - we use more per month than you use per year -you must have phenomenally good insulation!! Good luck to you
    Originally posted by brewerdave
    Ah we don't use electric for hot water - the house came with a solar panel to heat it
    • northernsoul
    • By northernsoul 14th Dec 16, 11:00 AM
    • 171 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    northernsoul
    comparisons
    Usage can vary a lot depending on where you live. I am trying to save money so I am sitting here in lounge at 15C with the kitchen at 14C. It is currently 9C outside. In the evening I put the lounge fire on at low (5p / hour) and close the door. The lounge then reaches 19C.
    The last 12 months to date I have used electricity 1561kWh and gas 6237kWh, but this winter I am trying harder to reduce my bills (last winter I had the gas central heating on at this time but I do not remember the temperature). My rule now is if the outside temperature goes below 5C I will put the central heating on but I don’t know if I can continue to achieve this as it feels quite cold.
    By comparison in 2012 when I had lodgers (again I don’t know if it was a warm or cold year) I used 5134kWh electricity and 20248kWh of gas !
    So, obviously, where you live and what you are prepared to do, makes a lot of difference.
    When people quote figures I wish they would say which area they live in. The difference between south and north is vast, and makes a lot of difference to the cost.
    Oh, to add, I live in a 3 bedroom terrace house. About 110 square yards.
    Last edited by northernsoul; 14-12-2016 at 11:14 AM.
    • Robin9
    • By Robin9 14th Dec 16, 12:24 PM
    • 1,653 Posts
    • 1,077 Thanks
    Robin9
    To northernsouls north or south I would add - lifestyle, age and number of occupants, type of house, forms of heating ......
    • lisa110rry
    • By lisa110rry 14th Dec 16, 12:54 PM
    • 1,712 Posts
    • 3,017 Thanks
    lisa110rry
    OP are you on a standard tariff rather than a fix by any chance?

    Until this year, our usage of gas was 25000KwH and electricity something like 3500. We live in a traditionally built detached house with four open fires, which are not used. Our payment last year was £108 monthly.

    Now we have an ultra efficient Vaillant boiler installed in June 2016 so we have no idea what our usage this year will be but I cannot wait to find out!
    “And all shall be well. And all shall be well. And all manner of things shall be exceeding well.”
    ― Julian of Norwich
    In other words, Don't Panic!
    • tiredredhead
    • By tiredredhead 15th Dec 16, 1:01 PM
    • 73 Posts
    • 65 Thanks
    tiredredhead
    I am on Sainsburys standard rate. I tried comparing to switch but the top few had poor reviews so I was nervous about switching to them. I will do some more research.

    I changed the heating controls as per BG energy advice and the house has been warmer since, despite the room stat being set one degree lower.

    My monthly payment has been changed to £156 for now, so if I do not reduce my usage I will be in debit still at the end of next year again. Its crazy as I started in credit this year.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 15th Dec 16, 5:32 PM
    • 5,791 Posts
    • 9,841 Thanks
    Martyn1981

    I've just accessed my bills for the last 2 years and this is my usage.
    Gas
    2015 18896 KWh
    2016 23452 KWh

    Elec
    2015 6991
    2016 8327

    My son started Uni in sept 2015 so usage of hot water went down at that time. No other changes in this time period.

    4 people, 1 in Uni most of the time. I worked from home in 2015 but not in 2016 (except for a bit in the summer).

    5 bed house, gas heating, regular service on the boiler. We have an electric shower but we do not ever use it. Prefer the straight from the boiler type. Loft insulation, double glazing. Cavity wall insulation. Blackout blinds where possible, curtains closed at dusk. Lights off when not in a room.

    Anyone with similar level of usage here to reassure me that this is normal?
    Cheers
    Originally posted by tiredredhead
    Hiya, I'm S.Wales too. That's a shocking amount of consumption, I have to say. We have all the bells and whistles like you too (CWI, DG etc) but consume 7-8,000kWh of gas per year, though it has been as high as 11,000kWh in a bad year. We only have a 1930's 3 bed semi, but have converted the loft too, so I'm surprised that you can use that much gas. Our boiler is 15yr old.

    Leccy consumption here is about 3,000kWh pa, but there are two of us, and we don't have a power shower, but again, 7-8,000kWh seems odd, have you any thoughts why it's so high?

    Also, why has your consumption gone up? Shouldn't it have gone down as son now in Uni, and you are not working from home?

    From what you've said, you seem to have done everything right, and doing all the right practices, so I'm a bit confused. Do you use the blackout blinds in the heating months, as solar gain can provide a huge amount of domestic heating, especially south facing windows?
    Just 'call me Mart'. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
    • tiredredhead
    • By tiredredhead 22nd Jan 17, 5:22 PM
    • 73 Posts
    • 65 Thanks
    tiredredhead
    I have no idea why it is so high. We have black out blinds and also thermal curtains on the main rooms.

    I am wondering if the boiler is worth replacing. Its 20 years old but is a Worcester Bosch that is serviced every year by BG and works (touch wood) well.

    Roll on the summer, shame we cant bank the heat for the winter.
    • r2015
    • By r2015 22nd Jan 17, 6:42 PM
    • 882 Posts
    • 252 Thanks
    r2015
    I replaced my warm air heating with a combi and radiators, I was using between 17,000 and 23,000 kWh of gas a year, depending on outside temperatures.


    Now I am using 14,000 kWh of gas a year a saving of say 6,000 kWh of gas cost saving say £162 a year.


    The new heating cost £6000 approx. and will take 37 years to pay for it in gas savings.


    If your boiler works keep it.


    You will never recover the cost of a new boiler in gas savings.
    Another year, past 71 now and getting even more forgetful and tending to ramble more.
    If you think I've asked this before I probably have.
    • phillw
    • By phillw 23rd Jan 17, 5:55 PM
    • 827 Posts
    • 433 Thanks
    phillw
    The new heating cost £6000 approx. and will take 37 years to pay for it in gas savings.
    Originally posted by r2015
    Is that 37 years at current energy prices or have you factored in increases?

    It's difficult to predict the future, energy prices might double in the next year and so might new boilers. In which case it would be a bad idea to keep using a boiler if it's only 50% efficient and is likely to die soon.

    Saying that, my boiler is inefficient and kettles like mad. I don't have the money to replace it, but probably would if I did.

    For figuring out electricity use, it's pretty simple to get an energy monitor that!clips!underneath your meter and then turn everything off.!Start turning things on and seeing if they use energy in standby &!then start turning on everything and watching it.!Also!keep an eye on it when it's showing a high!figure and go round turning things off that you don't need and see what happens.

    If you make it a game to reduce your energy use, then you can make real savings. You do become really boring and obsessive though,!so you might want to include part of your energy bill in your entertainment budget.
    Last edited by phillw; 23-01-2017 at 6:02 PM.
    • tiredredhead
    • By tiredredhead 10th Jun 17, 4:18 PM
    • 73 Posts
    • 65 Thanks
    tiredredhead
    Wow my supplier sent me a bill today trying to up my monthly bill to £221 a month from £140 a month. No changes in the last year in the house and customer services say that the unit prices are the same so I cannot understand the increase.

    Apparently my usage might be high. Not sure why its gone up so much.

    I've just accessed my bills for the last 2 years and this is my usage.
    Gas
    2015 18896 KWh
    2016 23452 KWh

    Elec
    2015 6991
    2016 8327

    My son started Uni in sept 2015 so usage of hot water went down at that time. No other changes in this time period.

    4 people, 1 in Uni most of the time. I worked from home in 2015 but not in 2016 (except for a bit in the summer).

    5 bed house, gas heating, regular service on the boiler. We have an electric shower but we do not ever use it. Prefer the straight from the boiler type. Loft insulation, double glazing. Cavity wall insulation. Blackout blinds where possible, curtains closed at dusk. Lights off when not in a room.

    Anyone with similar level of usage here to reassure me that this is normal?
    Cheers
    Originally posted by tiredredhead
    So I received a yearly statement with usage a few months ago.

    This last year I have used
    Gas 24370

    Elec 7753

    So less elec and more gas

    I had a quote on a new boiler and it was £3226.50 for a Worcester Greenstar34cdi classic combi. But it may be much (-£768)less if a thicker pipe isn't needed to supply the boiler.

    Still no idea why my usage is so much higher than the average, as we have completed as much energy saving as possible. All lights are low energy or LED.

    Has anyone seen a big saving on gas consumption after having a new boiler? On my annual service the engineer rated my current boiler as a G or -70%

    I have just switched tariff and should save £355 a year with new supplier. I am hoping to change my plastic conservatory roof to a solid roof shortly with some other renovations and am considering fitting a wood burner.
    • WobblyDog
    • By WobblyDog 11th Jun 17, 7:02 AM
    • 404 Posts
    • 261 Thanks
    WobblyDog

    For figuring out electricity use, it's pretty simple to get an energy monitor that!clips!underneath your meter and then turn everything off.!Start turning things on and seeing if they use energy in standby &!then start turning on everything and watching it.!Also!keep an eye on it when it's showing a high!figure and go round turning things off that you don't need and see what happens.

    If you make it a game to reduce your energy use, then you can make real savings. You do become really boring and obsessive though,!so you might want to include part of your energy bill in your entertainment budget.
    Originally posted by phillw
    I agree. With an electicity bill that large there are bound to be several "low-hanging fruit" efficiency improvements that can be easily identified with the combination of a whole-house electricity power monitor and a plug-in single device power monitor. These are likely to cost less than £50 combined. The phrase "measure, don't guess" applies here.
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 11th Jun 17, 8:44 AM
    • 2,986 Posts
    • 1,754 Thanks
    matelodave
    How often are you reading your meters - I'd be doing it at least once a week to get an idea of my energy consumption to see when it's getting used up.

    You'll only be able to do something about it when you know when it's being used and what is using it all. keeping records rather than just guessing is the way to do it.

    As suggested, get an energy monitoring system so you can see what's happening. This is mine http://www.energyhive.com/dashboard/dave (we are all electric so it's easy)

    Others are available that will monitor your gas as well. When you can see it you can do something about it

    You could also look at this, it relies on you reading your meters weekly, ideally on a Monday morning and it will record and analyse your data referring it to the temperature profiles for your area (called degree days) and can give you a measure of the efficiency of your heating system v the weather. http://www.piliogroup.com/home-monitoring/ (it's a project thats been formulated by Oxford University)

    Dont forget that there's lots you can do to save energy, shorter showers, shallowr baths, fit flow restrictors on taps & shower heads.

    Dont run water down the sink when washing stuff inclusing you, try using cold water instead of hot (every time you sun off the cold water to get the water hot, you leave the same amount of hot sitting in the pipework to get cold)

    Only use your washing machine, dryer or dishwasher with full loads, they cost the same to run whether empty or full.

    Turn electrical stuff off at the wall when it's not in use, dont leave it on standby. That includes computers, printers, x-boxes and the like. We even turn the cooker, washing machine and dishwasher off as they all have touch controsl, so use energy when just sitting there waiting for a command.
    Last edited by matelodave; 11-06-2017 at 9:45 AM.
    Love makes the world go round - beer make it go round even faster
    • reeac
    • By reeac 11th Jun 17, 10:20 AM
    • 1,087 Posts
    • 432 Thanks
    reeac
    Usage can vary a lot depending on where you live. I am trying to save money so I am sitting here in lounge at 15C with the kitchen at 14C. It is currently 9C outside. In the evening I put the lounge fire on at low (5p / hour) and close the door. The lounge then reaches 19C.
    The last 12 months to date I have used electricity 1561kWh and gas 6237kWh, but this winter I am trying harder to reduce my bills (last winter I had the gas central heating on at this time but I do not remember the temperature). My rule now is if the outside temperature goes below 5C I will put the central heating on but I don’t know if I can continue to achieve this as it feels quite cold.
    By comparison in 2012 when I had lodgers (again I don’t know if it was a warm or cold year) I used 5134kWh electricity and 20248kWh of gas !
    So, obviously, where you live and what you are prepared to do, makes a lot of difference.
    When people quote figures I wish they would say which area they live in. The difference between south and north is vast, and makes a lot of difference to the cost.
    Oh, to add, I live in a 3 bedroom terrace house. About 110 square yards.
    Originally posted by northernsoul
    It's not so much where you live but rather whether you own enough sweaters to be able to sit around in 15C temperatures.
    • tiredredhead
    • By tiredredhead 13th Jun 17, 3:27 PM
    • 73 Posts
    • 65 Thanks
    tiredredhead
    Thanks for the ideas, I already have a smart monitor which has not highlighted and high usage. Except obviously boiling kettle or using toaster but this is for a few minutes at a time a couple of times a day at most.

    I've started reading the meters at least once weekly and have a spreadsheet to compare the readings on.

    I am alone in the house currently and my smart meter is showing as using between 420-437 w currently. Obviously have my computer on, fridge, freezer and the standby's on the main TV etc.

    Not sure what a normal base line would be for a home with a few appliances running.

    I have wondered if the freezer is taking extra electric as It has broken down so many times in the last year. This results in the motor working harder to try and freeze the top section. The repair man just keeps clearing the ice internally and then saying lets see how it goes. Different repair man each time though. Last time I took pictures to prove to them next time how bad it gets.
    We shower instead of bath, I shower with my husband as well ( a habit from escaping from teenagers for a chat) so that further saving money. I use eco washes on DW and WM (not sure what a half load is, haven't seen one for so long). Hang washing online only softening some items in the tumbler for a few minutes at most.
    Now that I am moving supplier I am hoping a smart meter might be more forthcoming as Sainsburys were not good in this area.

    I'll try doing a day by day check on the monitor for now to see if I can identify spikes.
    Thanks again.
    • glennevis
    • By glennevis 13th Jun 17, 5:00 PM
    • 112 Posts
    • 82 Thanks
    glennevis
    "Not sure what a normal base line would be for a home with a few appliances running."

    Well my base line is 125W with the usual fridge, freezer, TV on standby, phone chargers, led lighting etc. I know when I've left the garage light on because the fluorescent tube is 60W so the monitor reads about 180W in that case.

    If you have an energy monitor it is simple maths to find out which appliance(s) is/are the culprits. Switching the freezer off for a minute to take a reading won't do any harm. Repeat for each appliance in turn.
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 13th Jun 17, 6:39 PM
    • 2,986 Posts
    • 1,754 Thanks
    matelodave
    Whilst on holiday my daily consumption is about 2.6kwh. The fridge is switched off, the freezer is running together with the Sky box, router, energy monitor and a couple of poweline adapters.

    Normally in the summer we use around 7kwh a day which includes cooking, hot water, TV, computers,printer, fridge, freezer (both large uprights), sky box, the router and other computer stuff.

    That can increase up to around 10-12kwh/day when it's washing day using the washing machine, dryer and perhaps the dishwasher.

    In the winter when the heating is running it can get up to 50kwh a day if it's cold, wet and windy.

    As Glennnevis says, I know exactly wha'ts using energy by looking at the monitor so I'm aware of stuff being left on when it shouldn't be.
    Love makes the world go round - beer make it go round even faster
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