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    • Bounty1
    • By Bounty1 5th Nov 17, 1:31 PM
    • 38Posts
    • 4Thanks
    Bounty1
    British Gas huge bills!
    • #1
    • 5th Nov 17, 1:31 PM
    British Gas huge bills! 5th Nov 17 at 1:31 PM
    Iíve been with British Gas for almost 2 years, I have both electric and gas with them. Had been paying £133 per month for around a year when suddenly after a few estimated bills I sent a reading and I owed £360 that month, I called and spoke to someone who worked out over a year I wasnít paying enough and £180 per month would cover it (this was arranged mid September this year) I have just sent another reading and got a bill saying my monthly payments need to increase to £438 per month!! I have called them but itís like talking to a brick wall I cannot afford this, itís like another mortgage. Any advice would be greatly appreciated
Page 5
    • Bounty1
    • By Bounty1 17th Nov 17, 10:19 AM
    • 38 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Bounty1
    It’s a converted 4 car garage, part of it including the bathroom is used from original house so is heated by two radiators that were originally used for the house. It does have a kitchen, my parents live in it but only have the tv on a few hours and not many else.
    • Bounty1
    • By Bounty1 17th Nov 17, 10:42 AM
    • 38 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Bounty1
    Itís a converted garage, part of it including the bathroom is part of the house and the two radiators are what was already there to heat the house. It does have its own kitchen and my parents live in it, the tv is on a few hours a day but not much else apart from fridge and freezer
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 17th Nov 17, 10:52 AM
    • 3,157 Posts
    • 1,879 Thanks
    matelodave
    You are obviously struggling with the concept of turning EVERYTHING off or measuring everything to see whats using it all. Especially if you don't really have control on what's going on in the annex which seems to be effectively another dwelling with it's own base load with someone else in control of the consumption in there. You are making assumptions, which may be wrong on what's going on in there

    Most people under estimate what "just the TV or whatever" is using) - my flat screen TV, with a surround sound system & Sky box takes 200watts = 1kw for a five hour watching session.

    I reckon you need a whole house monitor (like an Efergy or Owl) clipped onto your incoming supply - only then will you see what's being used, when it's being used and how much it's using by switching stuff on & off - alternatively a smart meter would also give you the same info unless you are anti them for some reason.

    I'ts been a really hard journey trying to tease out from you what is actually going on (a bit like pulling teeth) but it's not hard to see why your consumption is high if you've got two households using the same supply.

    As I said earlier, if you dont measure stuff (and that includes what's happening in the annex) then you dont know whats going on and cant do much about it. Just guessing doesn't help
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    • Bounty1
    • By Bounty1 17th Nov 17, 11:07 AM
    • 38 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Bounty1
    I do know what’s being used in the annex and I’ve turned everything off and measured. If you read earlier in the post I did say that we had a small annex. My problem was that it’s suddenly gone up from what we have previously used, lived here 12 years and only in the last 8 months have my bills become so huge.
    • Robin9
    • By Robin9 17th Nov 17, 12:14 PM
    • 1,943 Posts
    • 1,257 Thanks
    Robin9
    You are effectively running two households off the one supply and its no surprise to me that your bills are double that of a single household.

    May 16- 05825 (actual reading)
    Aug 16- 08333
    Nov 16- 10991
    Jan 17 14321 (actual reading )
    Feb 17- 15709
    May 17- 18489
    Aug 17- 21072 (I sent a reading but it’s saying estimated)
    Oct 17 - 23440

    Looking at the readings you gave earlier May 16 to Jan 17 is 8 months and 8500 units; Jan 17 to Oct 17 is 9 months and 9000 units. So your consumption is constant (but high) and is about £1700/1800 a year. So your DD was underpaying and you've only just (in September) got to a better figure but you still had a debt to clear.
    Never pay on an estimated bill
    • Bounty1
    • By Bounty1 17th Nov 17, 1:27 PM
    • 38 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Bounty1
    Thanks for the replies, I do appreciate the help. I see what your saying about our readings, we were paying £180 per month, then in September we paid about £350 over our monthly payment, British Gas told us that we were back on track and didn’t owe anything, then in October we were told our monthly payments were going up to £438 per month! This is the bit I don’t understand.
    • Robin9
    • By Robin9 17th Nov 17, 2:26 PM
    • 1,943 Posts
    • 1,257 Thanks
    Robin9
    Have you got your actual opening reads (call these A) from when you started with BG, have you got the reads today (call these B) ; take A from B and multiply by the unit rate (call this C). Add the number of days you have been with BG (D); multiply D by the daily standing charge to give E. Add C and E multiply by 1.05 (VAT). This is how much you owe. How much have you paid ?

    BG will be trying to ensure that you are not in debit at the end of your fixed tariff (assuming you did have a new tariff at the end of your 12 months) and will be doing guesswork on the limited actual readings they have.

    Hope this helps - my signature is "never pay on an estimated bill". In that way I hope I will never be caught out. As has been said on these forums there is no substitute for very regular readings and reading and understanding bills.
    Never pay on an estimated bill
    • Bounty1
    • By Bounty1 18th Nov 17, 10:30 AM
    • 38 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Bounty1
    Thanks Robin9 seems confusing but Iím going to try work this out up to todayís reading but the first reading I have with British Gas is an estimate.

    Iím going to switch and get a smart meter. British Gas are saying my projected cost is £2900, Iíve done a comparison with the usage Iíve got on my bill and Iím getting £1,800 if I switch, Wondering if Iím working it right? Iíve used my usage over the last year in kWh to get a price.
    • Robin9
    • By Robin9 18th Nov 17, 11:45 AM
    • 1,943 Posts
    • 1,257 Thanks
    Robin9
    Iíve used my usage over the last year in kWh to get a price.
    Originally posted by Bounty1
    The important bit is to use ACTUAL readings 12 months apart - never use the DD you are paying.

    Use a comparison website and then do you own calculations. Don't believe the BG prediction of £2900 as this will assume the remaining months on your present tariff and the rest of the 12 months on the standard tariff.

    The present school of thought is that you are better off switching gas and electric to separate suppliers.

    You may not be able to switch if you are in debt to BG.

    Regardless what others may say about Smart and issues with future changes I think the system will help you get on top of your bills.
    Never pay on an estimated bill
    • teddysmum
    • By teddysmum 18th Nov 17, 12:45 PM
    • 8,606 Posts
    • 5,093 Thanks
    teddysmum
    Op, do you have rumble dryers ?


    Some years ago, a work colleague grumbled that their electricity usage had soared, but it turned out that they bought a small tumble dryer (less efficient than larger ones)as they had a new baby and this dryer was used for all washes. Drying washing on a line, unless the weather was wet, solved the problem.
    • Bounty1
    • By Bounty1 18th Nov 17, 2:43 PM
    • 38 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Bounty1
    I’ve done my calculations from my readings and make my electric £114 in debit, my bill was telling me I was £157 in debit on 31 October, my monthly payment has since gone out and I’m using roughly 60kwh a week less than before. I may have this wrong �� but I’m hoping to pay what I owe and switch.

    Can’t work the gas out as it’s imperial.

    Teddysmum
    I do have a tumble dryer but I’m aware of how much energy they use so I don’t use it, thanks anyway
    • Robin9
    • By Robin9 18th Nov 17, 2:51 PM
    • 1,943 Posts
    • 1,257 Thanks
    Robin9
    Iíve done my calculations from my readings and make my electric £114 in debit, my bill was telling me I was £157 in debit on 31 October, my monthly payment has since gone out and Iím using roughly 60kwh a week less than before. I may have this wrong �� but Iím hoping to pay what I owe and switch.
    Originally posted by Bounty1
    Excellent progress - you are a lot wiser than you were a couple of weeks ago and you will manage your electric better in the future and also have reduced your bills.
    Never pay on an estimated bill
    • Bounty1
    • By Bounty1 18th Nov 17, 3:01 PM
    • 38 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Bounty1
    Thanks so much for your help
    • molerat
    • By molerat 18th Nov 17, 3:16 PM
    • 17,469 Posts
    • 11,694 Thanks
    molerat
    Can’t work the gas out as it’s imperial.
    Originally posted by Bounty1
    kWh = meter units x 2.83 x calorific value x 1.02264 / 3.6. As a rough calculation kWh = meter units x 32. Unless you download the daily CV from NG you will not be able to work it out exactly anyway.
    Last edited by molerat; 18-11-2017 at 3:22 PM.
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    • gold4silver
    • By gold4silver 5th Dec 17, 1:16 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    gold4silver
    We have 2 security lights that come on quite a bit but other than that I can’t think what’s using it compared to what others use.
    Originally posted by Bounty1
    This has been missed and is quite significant, if they are the 400w halogen lights they will burn 800w an hour between them, not sure what "quite a lot" means, PIR activated a lot or manual and being left on lots?

    Say they were on 4 hours a day that's 3.2kwh on its own.

    OK im make a few assumption here, they may not be the 400w ones and we don't know what "on quite a bit" means. OP also says "come on" so they may well be PIR but again If they are activated a lot through the night and are set with long "on" periods it can still be a lot.

    Guy across the road leaves his on constant all night, maybe 12 hours at a time, this would be 4.8kwh a day (while he is asleep!)
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 5th Dec 17, 2:05 PM
    • 3,157 Posts
    • 1,879 Thanks
    matelodave
    I've got two 10watt LED security lights, which have inbuilt microwave detectors rather than PIRs so there's a lot less false triggering.

    Mine are similar to these and have remote controllers as well https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Remote-Control-Motion-Sensor-Activated-Microwave-PIR-LED-Security-Flood-Light-/162181365290

    They replace the 300w halogen unit, saving 280watts every time they come on.
    Last edited by matelodave; 05-12-2017 at 2:09 PM.
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