Are we paying too much for our hot water?

Hi guys, we're just looking for a little bit of advice on our hot water bill. We're a young couple (23 and 25) living in a new build 1 bed apartment in West London. We are the first people to live in our flat, therefore there were no previous bills to guide us, only what we had been told by estate agents, landlords and whomever else.

Our flat came with a Vital Energi meter, where we are supposed to track our hot water and heating and top up with Vital Energi. We top up this meter to pay for the hot water we use in our 1 bed flat, we have never ever had the heating on in our flat, yet our hot water only charge from Vital Energi ends up being £60 per month; topping up £20 each ten days and being charged a standard daily rate when we are away. This is for a shower a day each, a dishwasher and a washing machine that we don't use above 30.

I have mentioned it to friends who feel this is extortionate, but being inexperienced on this front (particularly with meters) I'm not quite sure if this is to be expected. To add to this, our Vital Energi payments do not cover our electricity, so we are also paying £35 per month to Eon for this, which in previous places I've lived has also covered hot water. Our water bill at £25 per month with Affinity tops this off. This comes to around £120 per month just for these bills, which to me seems crazy! We've both lived in other places before, including in London and weren't paying nearly this much for 2 and 3 bedroom places. Should it be any different now?
Any advice, similar stories or even tellings off for being so naive would be much appreciated or if there's any organisation we could contact to give us further information.

Comments

  • victor2
    victor2 Posts: 7,514
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    Can't comment on Vital Energi, as I am not familiar with it, except that it's some sort of eco-friendly energy producing system. Does sound very expensive for just your hot water in the summer though.
    Your electricity sounds high too. That's about what we pay for two of us in a 4 bedroom detached house and at least one person home nearly every day. Maybe E.On have set your monthly Direct Debit a bit high for your usage. With no history, it will be difficult to see how you are doing, but without any electric heating, I would not expect your usage to vary that much through the year, especially if you have energy efficient lighting. Do make sure your billing is using actual readings and not estimates though. Your water cost seems a bit high as well, but assuming it is metered, that presumably equates to the amount you have used.

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  • HappyMJ
    HappyMJ Posts: 21,115
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    Hi guys, we're just looking for a little bit of advice on our hot water bill. We're a young couple (23 and 25) living in a new build 1 bed apartment in West London. We are the first people to live in our flat, therefore there were no previous bills to guide us, only what we had been told by estate agents, landlords and whomever else.

    Our flat came with a Vital Energi meter, where we are supposed to track our hot water and heating and top up with Vital Energi. We top up this meter to pay for the hot water we use in our 1 bed flat, we have never ever had the heating on in our flat, yet our hot water only charge from Vital Energi ends up being £60 per month; topping up £20 each ten days and being charged a standard daily rate when we are away. This is for a shower a day each, a dishwasher and a washing machine that we don't use above 30.

    I have mentioned it to friends who feel this is extortionate, but being inexperienced on this front (particularly with meters) I'm not quite sure if this is to be expected. To add to this, our Vital Energi payments do not cover our electricity, so we are also paying £35 per month to Eon for this, which in previous places I've lived has also covered hot water. Our water bill at £25 per month with Affinity tops this off. This comes to around £120 per month just for these bills, which to me seems crazy! We've both lived in other places before, including in London and weren't paying nearly this much for 2 and 3 bedroom places. Should it be any different now?
    Any advice, similar stories or even tellings off for being so naive would be much appreciated or if there's any organisation we could contact to give us further information.
    Dishwasher and washing machine will most likely be cold feed only and your electricity used to heat the water so that won't affect your hot water bill at all.

    You could turn the Vital Energi taps on or near the meter off and use the immersion element in the cylinder to heat the water instead. I personally wouldn't top it up any more and let it shut itself off.

    Yes electricity is more expensive than district heating but it's 100% efficient so the efficiency savings should offset the lower cost of the district heat.

    You probably don't use heating is your flat as the heat lost from the pipes feeding your cylinder are heating your flat and you're paying for that lost heat.
    :footie:
    :p Regular savers earn 6% interest (HSBC, First Direct, M&S) :p Loans cost 2.9% per year (Nationwide) = FREE money. :p
  • Sorry to high jack the thread but I wonder if someone can help me. I run private gym lessons in a cabin in my garden and have to pay for heating the hot water. Sometimes I have one client a day sometimes one a week and sometimes non a week depending on my commitments as I am a mum. In the summer I may have 4 clients a day. The hot water is only used for clients to take a shower. I am the sole user. The gym has a prostel direct 120l cold fill unvented hot water cylinder heated electrically. Is it cheaper for me to leave on all the time or only put on the boost function when I know a client is coming. It is possible to set a timer too so that could be an option although as I said there are days and weeks when I won't use it at all. I'm not sure what would be the most economical way to run it. Also on the boost function how long would I need to leave it on for the water to heat. Or could it be better to leave on constant based on the theory that if the water is rarely used it won't cost much to top it up? Thanks
  • matelodave
    matelodave Posts: 8,575
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    edited 21 December 2015 at 3:57PM
    If we can calculate the volume of water and the required temperaure rise, we can answer this question.

    The following formula is used to calculate the power of heating element needed to heat a specific volume of water by a given temperature rise in 1 hour.
    volume in litres x 4 x temperature rise in degrees centigrade / 3412
    (4 being a factor and 3412 being a given constant)

    for example 120 litres of water, to be heated from 10ºC to 60ºC, giving a temperature rise of 50ºC would give – 120 x 4 x 50 / 3412 = 7kwh

    Meaning that the water would be heated in 1 hour by 7kwh of applied heat.
    so it would take around two and a half hours if you've only got a 3kw immersion heater

    If you pay for you leccy at peak rates (around 14p kwh) it would cost you 7 x 14p = 98pence to heat the tank.

    Obviously if you decided that you didn't need the water so hot you could save some time & money by turning the stat down and in the summer the incoming water wouldn't be as cold so it would take less time and thus less power to heat the water.

    Only you can decide when you need hot water but it will cost you more to keep it hot all the time. Ideally you'd need to limit the flow volume and time that people stand in the shower.

    A standard shower can supply 15-20 litres a minute x 10 minutes = 150-200 litres which could easily empty your tank. Whereas a flow restricted shower at 7lpm and limiting showers to 5 mins = 35ltres = 3-4 showers out of a tank full. (it's not quite that as you'd be mixing cold water with the hot - but you get the idea)

    Alternatively an electric shower which only heats the water when it's being used might be a better option.
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • Hi matelodave how long do you think the water will stay hot for? Could it be put on a timer overnight for an hour and then it would stay hot for use through the day?
  • matelodave
    matelodave Posts: 8,575
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    I heat my 200l water tank for about 1.5 hours every morning to 45 degrees before we get up. My shower delivers around 7lpm.


    I shower for about 2 minutes, my wife for about 4 = 6 minutes = 42litres. I also wash & shave


    We also wash, do pots & pans - other stuff goes in the dishwasher. There is still enough hot water left for a shower each before bedtime if we want or even one the next morning if needs be.


    So there's no reason that an hour or so of heating in the morning couldn't stay hot all day if you don't use it all up. The best idea is to try it and see.
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
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