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  • FIRST POST
    • aled_morgan
    • By aled_morgan 26th Jul 17, 7:06 PM
    • 9Posts
    • 7Thanks
    aled_morgan
    High Electricity Usage??
    • #1
    • 26th Jul 17, 7:06 PM
    High Electricity Usage?? 26th Jul 17 at 7:06 PM
    Hi everyone, I would be grateful if anybody could advise me or provide an opinion on the following as I am at my wits end and not sure what to do next. Iíve provided as much info as possible so apologies for info overload.

    Basically Iím really concerned that my electricity usage is far more that it should be and based on what Iíve used during previous years. Based on the following meter readings Iím using approx 20kwh per day, which is over 7,000kwh per year.
    10/10/2016 - Meter Reading 32323kwh
    22/07/2017 - Meter Reading 38186kwh
    Total over 285 days = 5863kwh ( ave 20.5kwh/day)
    Projected Annual Consumption=(365*20.5kwh)= 7,500kwh/year

    Iíve lived at the property since 2010 where my annual average usage between 2011 and 2015 was around 3,400kwh. So Iím using roughly twice the amount of electricity I use to.

    For background the four of us (2 Adults and 2 Children ) live in a bungalow that was constructed in 2010, the heating is LPG and we havenít had anything new or different added to the house since we moved in 2010. The main suspects I use are as follows Electric shower, washing machine, tumble dryer, fridge freezer, under counter freezer, TV, Laptop and electric cooker which have been in place and used since we moved in 2010. The only difference is that as and when needed Iíve replaced some of the white goods but for better energy rated ones.

    My tariff is with isupplyenergy called iFix 21 mnth v2 which has a rate of 13.227p per unit and 17.5p per day standing charge.
    Iíve bought myself an ďOwl MeterĒ to see if I could work out where my electricity is going but Iím struggling to see where it is going. Iíve taken simultaneous meter and owl readings over the last 20 days and there is discrepancy of around 160kwh between the two which seems a lot. On top of that following the advice of my energy supplier I did a ďBlackout TestĒ where I turned the electricity off at the ďfuse boxĒ. I assumed that there would be no or very little electricity being used but according to the electricity meter Iím still using 90w/hr of electricity, over the course of the day this amounts to over 2kwh with my electricity off!! .
    Would all of this point towards that my electricity meter might be faulty or is there any other tests I can do myself??
    Thanks in advance
    Al
Page 1
    • Wolf3
    • By Wolf3 26th Jul 17, 9:17 PM
    • 216 Posts
    • 109 Thanks
    Wolf3
    • #2
    • 26th Jul 17, 9:17 PM
    • #2
    • 26th Jul 17, 9:17 PM
    Would all of this point towards that my electricity meter might be faulty
    Its unlikely but not impossible and you would be charged to have a check meter installed anyway. This may record the same usage through the current meter as well, so its best to discount everything before going to this stage

    Can you see any additional wiring coming out of either the meter or the fuse box on the meter side of the main switch. If you can provide pictures this would help

    You state the heating is with LPG, how is the water heated?? Just wanted to check if its not such a simple thing as leaving the switch on for the immersion heater etc
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 26th Jul 17, 9:27 PM
    • 3,040 Posts
    • 1,785 Thanks
    matelodave
    • #3
    • 26th Jul 17, 9:27 PM
    • #3
    • 26th Jul 17, 9:27 PM
    I'm guessing that if you've done a blackout test by shutting off the main switch and the meter is still recording then there's something wrong with the meter.

    Assuming that the two thick cables from the meter go straight into the fuse box main switch and nowhere else then it's got to be the meter.

    You could request a meter test, for which they'll probably charge you around £60-£70 but you should get that refunded if it's found to be faulty.

    There's always going to be a discrepancy between what the leccy meter reads and what the Owl meter records as it's measured in a different way but I'd expect it to be within about 10%.

    As has been said many many times, it's easier to see an anomaly if you read the meter regularly (at least monthly) as any significant change in consumption becomes instantly apparent as the problem is no more than a month old rather six to eight months or even more if you've been getting estimated bills..

    It also helps you with any discussions with the energy company.
    Love makes the world go round - beer make it go round even faster
    • aled_morgan
    • By aled_morgan 26th Jul 17, 9:28 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    aled_morgan
    • #4
    • 26th Jul 17, 9:28 PM
    • #4
    • 26th Jul 17, 9:28 PM
    Hi Wolf3, thanks for taking the time to reply. Our heating is done by the combi boiler (LPG). I'll get pics done tomorrow if that helps. The supplier has offered to do a test or check the meter by an engineer but it'll cost me £120 to £160. So hence before going down that road I want to do everything I possibly can . Thanks
    • Jonesya
    • By Jonesya 26th Jul 17, 10:10 PM
    • 1,308 Posts
    • 809 Thanks
    Jonesya
    • #5
    • 26th Jul 17, 10:10 PM
    • #5
    • 26th Jul 17, 10:10 PM
    It's high but I don't think that seems massively high for 4 people.

    4 people having an electric shower each day - 9kW shower, 10 minutes each? That's 6 kWh per day.

    Cooking at night - 3kW for 1 hour, if not more, if running hobs and the oven.

    So that's 9kWh for showering and cooking, add in fridge/freezer, washing machine. Dishwasher each day? Kids have their own TVs, PC, consoles?

    Throw in other stuff - electric towel rails? Use any electric heaters during winter to boost heating in certain rooms? Any halogen lighting?

    I'd start by taking a daily reading of your meter, and perhaps buy yourself a plug-in power meter to monitor your individual appliances - then you can build up a picture of what's using what.
    • Vegastare
    • By Vegastare 26th Jul 17, 10:35 PM
    • 35 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Vegastare
    • #6
    • 26th Jul 17, 10:35 PM
    • #6
    • 26th Jul 17, 10:35 PM
    We were given the use of some type of reader when querying a bill couple years ago, hubby turned off everything bar the fridgefreezer, we plugged it in with the lights on in the hall, when we turned the lights of it dropped dramactically, seems the recessed downlights were lapping it up.

    Would your supplier loan you one
    • firefox1956
    • By firefox1956 27th Jul 17, 8:38 AM
    • 1,254 Posts
    • 694 Thanks
    firefox1956
    • #7
    • 27th Jul 17, 8:38 AM
    • #7
    • 27th Jul 17, 8:38 AM
    We were given the use of some type of reader when querying a bill couple years ago, hubby turned off everything bar the fridgefreezer, we plugged it in with the lights on in the hall, when we turned the lights of it dropped dramactically, seems the recessed downlights were lapping it up.

    Would your supplier loan you one
    Originally posted by Vegastare
    Recessed downlights could be 50w halogen bulbs.
    Change them for 5w LED.............
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 27th Jul 17, 10:51 AM
    • 3,040 Posts
    • 1,785 Thanks
    matelodave
    • #8
    • 27th Jul 17, 10:51 AM
    • #8
    • 27th Jul 17, 10:51 AM
    My daughter's leccy bill dropped dramatically when she changer her 10 x 50w halogen downlighters for 10x 4w LEDs in the kitchen. She's also learnt to turn them off when she's not in there, rather than leaving them all virtually all day and in the evening.

    Half a kilowatt for the best part of 10 hours a day = 5kw a day is now down to about 40w for an hour or so = 40 watts, a saving of 4.5kwh just in the kitchen. She's still got eight 50watt halogens in the bathroom and eight in her utility room but she's now trying to teacher her kids and her husband to turn them off when they leave the room - it's a bit of an uphill battle but the savings are very significant.

    Likewise, stuff like Playstations, Wii's and Sky boxes use a fair bit when sitting on standby so it's worth turning stuff off at the wall.

    My 50" TV, Sky box and surround sound chews through about 200w when it's on.
    Love makes the world go round - beer make it go round even faster
    • aled_morgan
    • By aled_morgan 27th Jul 17, 9:00 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    aled_morgan
    • #9
    • 27th Jul 17, 9:00 PM
    • #9
    • 27th Jul 17, 9:00 PM
    Hi thanks everyone for the responses much appreciated just to briefly answer some of the queries raised.

    Wolf3 – Hi I cant attach a photo but I can only see two wires coming out of the meter and I cant see any wires going in or out of the fuse box.

    Matelodave yes I’ve did the blackout test and I’m still reading 90w/hr of electricity being used. I can only can see two cables coming out of the electric meter and I cant see any for the fuse box. My provider has suggested a test meter but its going to cost me around £120 to £160 so will try suggestions here first as it might be cheaper to do those. I also totally agree with taking regular readings and it’s the main lesson I’ve learned from this experience.

    Jonesya thanks for the reply just to clarify that 4 of us have lived in the same house for last 7 years with either less energy efficient or same appliances being used but using half of what we are currently using.
    Just to confirm only 2 of us shower as the kids bath, so I agree with 3kw/day and also the additional 3kw for cooking so 6kw. We also do use the washing machine, tumble dryer and a laptop but we don’t have any consoles (Playstations or Wii's), no Sky box only a wifi router and a Fire stick, no surround sound, only one TV, I’m the dishwasher , no electric towel rails, no immersion or electric heaters and all halogen downlights have now all been replaced over the years as they’ve failed with 4w LED bulbs.

    For the last three weeks I’ve been doing daily meter and owl meter readings. Thanks for the advice regarding the plug-in power meter its now been added to my shopping list

    Again thanks all for the responses I will take onboard advice given.
    • Rubidium
    • By Rubidium 27th Jul 17, 9:17 PM
    • 658 Posts
    • 437 Thanks
    Rubidium
    If your meter is still registering units when your main consumer unit (fuse box) switch is OFF, you don't need a check meter you need a new meter!

    If you host your pictures on a hosting site like tinypic etc. you can post the link less the http part of the url or simply add spaces to disguise the url from the forum.
    • jack_pott
    • By jack_pott 27th Jul 17, 9:50 PM
    • 4,181 Posts
    • 5,309 Thanks
    jack_pott
    Iíve taken simultaneous meter and owl readings over the last 20 days and there is discrepancy of around 160kwh between the two
    Originally posted by aled_morgan
    That goes most of the way to explaining the excess usage, so taken in the context of the meter continuing to read with the consumer unit off it's fairly evident your meter is faulty. I think your £160 should be safe if you call them in to check it.
    • aled_morgan
    • By aled_morgan 11th Oct 17, 5:12 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    aled_morgan
    Given that people kindly provided me with advice on my initall query I thought I’d provide a quick update which may also be useful for others in a similar situation.

    I've finally managed to get an engineer to call out and install a check meter. Well that’s kind of correct!! When the engineer called to install the check meter the old meter lost its LCD display and tripped the electricity to the house, so in his opinion the meter was indeed broken/faulty. So instead of installing a check meter he went and replaced the meter with a new working meter. This is great news for me as having a new meter should hopefully resolve the high energy readings I’ve witnessed the last 12 + months.

    The only problem is that I’m still left with a £100 p/month electric bill until such time that I’ve enough history of readings on my new meter. After which depending on my readings the company may then consider whether or not to reduce my monthly D/D payments from there on.

    However I've not been given any guarantees or assurance over reclaiming any of the historical overcharging that may have occurred as a result of the old faulty meter.
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