Electric bill help!!

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
32 replies 2.2K views
Mentalminis_2Mentalminis_2 Forumite
82 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
I am currently in large amounts of debt and am trying to get my household bills down to a all time low, however my electricity bill is stupid money, i live by myself in a 2 bedroom house, i have a water emergen that i only use at night and apparently my usage is over £40 a month, unfortunatly during my first year i was only paying £10 a month and so i now have a huge debt with them that needs paying off, i would like to change energy providers however i don't know if i can with the debt in place... unfortunatly i am not in a position to be able to pay this off in one foul swoop either...can anyone help me... i have tried to get the electric board to come check the meter i have because it must be faulty if i am using £40 worth of electric each month.... all i run is a computer and the emergian heater :S
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Replies

  • Tony_H_3Tony_H_3 Forumite
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    The first thing to do is to go straight to the meter & take the meter readings. Write these down on a piece of paper. Make a note of the time & date you took the readings.

    Do this again every day for the next seven days, you will then be able to calculate approx. what your annual usage actually is, and whether you are being over charged ( and by what amount ).

    Keep these safe, and you will be able to repeat this check at later intervals to compare usage.
    Once you have this information you will be in a better position to negotiate what you should be paying, you will find it difficult to leave this company until the debt is cleared.
  • i have already done the 7 day self reading and they tell me that the usage is about right for my house...it doesn't seem a lot on paper but my neighbour..a single lady on her own is only using about £60 a quater, the houses are the same size, the only difference being that she has gas heating for her water where mine is electric however i am unable to see how it would cost and extra £60 a quater to run the single appliance
  • Tony_H_3Tony_H_3 Forumite
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    So I take it the 7 day readings show that you are using £40.00 / month (YES/NO). You will be able to request that they investigate excessive usage. Are there any streetlights etc fixed to your property or is it a shared building etc?
  • PlasticmanPlasticman Forumite
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    Do you mean immersion heater? These can be expensive to run. Do you know what wattage this is? Do you have Economy 7? Does the immersion heater have a timer? If the timer isn't working it could be running all day rather than using cheap E7 electric.

    Or...

    The immersion heater could be faulty - (not switching off when the water reaches the required temperature) or the thermostat could be set too high. How hot is your water? :o
    If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered." -Thomas Jefferson 1802
  • your immersion element is probably 3kwh or 3 units an hour @ say 6p per unit = 18p per hour x 24hrs = £4.32 x 90 day average 1/4 = £38.88.

    Think of your water tank as an enormous kettle on constantly, you need a timeswitch to run it for few hours a day, keep it well insulated and buy a new element once every few years, they chalk up like a kettle element so need more power to work.
  • your immersion element is probably 3kwh or 3 units an hour @ say 6p per unit = 18p per hour x 24hrs = £4.32 x 90 day average 1/4 = £38.88.

    Think of your water tank as an enormous kettle on constantly, you need a timeswitch to run it for few hours a day, keep it well insulated and buy a new element once every few years, they chalk up like a kettle element so need more power to work.

    You're out by a power of ten: you mean £388.80 (wow!). Of course, the immersion should turn itself off when the tank reaches a certain temperature, as posted above, so the calculation is of limited value anyway. I don't quite see how a chalked up element would use more power: I bung 3 kW down the wires, 3kW goes into the water - where else would it go?

    SJB
  • bridiejbridiej Forumite
    5.8K Posts
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    Immersion heaters are the biggest electricity eaters.

    When I lived alone I used one and sometimes forgot to turn it off (the timer was broken) and my bills were astronomical.

    The other thing you can do is common sense really, make sure lights are off if you're not in the room, switch things off rather than leave them in standy mode, that sort of thing. It does save a lot too...

    I just pop in now and then.... :)
    transcribing

  • You're out by a power of ten: you mean £388.80 (wow!).  Of course, the immersion should turn itself off when the tank reaches a certain temperature, as posted above, so the calculation is of limited value anyway.  I don't quite see how a chalked up element would use more power: I bung 3 kW down the wires, 3kW goes into the water - where else would it go?

    SJB

    Whilst my maths maybe questionable, what I said about the chalked up element is correct, the thermostat will cut the element out at the required temperature say 60'c but it will take longer to do this as the element isnt exposed to the water, the heat has to pass through the chalk taking longer to heat to the required temperature therefore using more power, so instead of taking 1 hour to get to 60 it may take 2 therefore 6 units used not 3.

  • Whilst my maths maybe questionable, what I said about the chalked up element is correct, the thermostat will cut the element out at the required temperature say 60'c but it will take longer to do this as the element isnt exposed to the water, the heat has to pass through the chalk taking longer to heat to the required temperature therefore using more power, so instead of taking 1 hour to get to 60 it may take 2 therefore 6 units used not 3.

    No, this is claptrap. It won't do the OP any good to fill his mind with rubbish. Previous posters' sugggestions to check insulation, thermostat settings, and timing, are spot on.

    SJB
  • MATHMATH Forumite
    2.9K Posts
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    We recently changed our immersion cos it broke down, the one they took out was chalked up. Since having the new one fitted it takes 1/2 hr less to heat a full tank and yet the same wattage element was fitted. I've also noticed that my kettle comes to the boil quicker once de-scaled.
    Life's a beach! Take your shoes off and feel the sand between your toes.
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