£125 Electricity bill pcm. Small 2 bed house 1 person :(

edited 27 February 2017 at 2:21PM in Energy
59 replies 4.6K views
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  • edited 1 March 2017 at 3:34PM
    CashStrappedCashStrapped Forumite
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    edited 1 March 2017 at 3:34PM
    Did you manage to turn down the immersion thermostat?

    There could be a few other reasons why your Direct Debit went up.

    A direct debit is meant to be a similar amount year round (if accurate). In summer it is meant to overpay, and build up a credit. In winter the direct debit will underpay (as bills are so much higher) but it will use up the credit built up from summer.

    Problems arise when the customer requests the surplus credit back (or the company auto-refunds), especially if this is done just before winter. People then spend the money over Christmas. As there is no credit surplus to cover winter bills, the direct debit now has to go up a lot to cover the energy use. The customer, having spent the surplus credit, is now in debt.

    Another scenario is that the direct debit was set too low to begin with.
  • Dannii75Dannii75 Forumite
    105 Posts
    Seventh Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I'm going to do it this evening when I'm back from work. I'll let you know how I get on with that. I'll be interested to see what it's set at!

    It's definitely a case of the DD being too low I think. When I went back across my bills from more than a year ago they started at £30 & have increased then gone back down again. The same thing happened last winter, I ended up paying over £100 for 3 months - I deleted this from my memory. It's obviously the trauma of paying so much!

    I'll make all my energy saving 'must do's then set my DD at £80 & keep it there so I overpay in the summer. FU seem to reduce/ increase as & when! Probably not the best idea!

    I've had an idea! I only use my hot water for doing the washing up, washing my hands & having a 'bird bath' in the morning.
    My shower is electric. I'm wondering .... if I turn off my immersion heater for a bit that'll save me money!
    There's a power switch on the wall by the heater so I'm assuming I can't only have it on eco7. Unless you can tell me otherwise?!?! So it must be keeping itself at a constant temp for next to no need at all!
    Opinions on the back of a postcard please?!?!
  • edited 1 March 2017 at 5:02PM
    CashStrappedCashStrapped Forumite
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    edited 1 March 2017 at 5:02PM
    If the tank just has a single bottom immersion, it may only come on at night during the e7 hours anyway. Once it reaches the set temperature it turns itself off.

    The idea is the tank insulation keeps the water hot enough for the rest of the day.

    It is unlikely to ever be on during the day as it is probably on a separate circuit like the storage heaters.

    So turning off the immersion during the day may not do anything. A test would be to try and heat a cold tank during the day. If the tank is not warm after a hour, then it is clear the circuit gets no power during the day.

    One thing to consider, if you do not need a whole tank of stored water, is to turn off the tank completely.

    Use the electric shower as you normally do. As you use it anyway, you are not increasing or adding to your energy use/cost by using it.

    Then you can use a kettle to boil the little water you need for washing up.

    This should reduce your overall cost, even if the tank is heated on a cheap rate.

    Experiment, do both for a week (taking meter readings each day and see which is cheaper).
  • Dannii75Dannii75 Forumite
    105 Posts
    Seventh Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Thank you, yes it's certainly worth testing! Didn't think it would be on the eco7 circuit but that makes sense!
    Updates will be coming.. hold the line please caller! :)
  • Dannii75Dannii75 Forumite
    105 Posts
    Seventh Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Hi there! Just altered the thermostat on the immersion heater! It was set at 70c! It's now at 55c! Much much better!
    Now I'll go & buy it a jacket as a treat! :)
    I feel like I'm making some progress! Thank you!
  • jamesperrettjamesperrett Forumite
    978 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Name Dropper
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    It has been over 20 years since I had a house with eco7 but the immersion heater in that house was on the normal circuit so we only switched it on for an hour or less per day. I always treated the immersion heater's cut out as a safety feature to prevent the water in the tank from boiling - I had always assumed that immersion heaters should be switched on/off manually.
  • edited 1 March 2017 at 7:56PM
    CashStrappedCashStrapped Forumite
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    edited 1 March 2017 at 7:56PM
    It has been over 20 years since I had a house with eco7 but the immersion heater in that house was on the normal circuit so we only switched it on for an hour or less per day. I always treated the immersion heater's cut out as a safety feature to prevent the water in the tank from boiling - I had always assumed that immersion heaters should be switched on/off manually.

    There are lots of variations as to how an E7 system can be wired up. Some can be on a separate timed circuit, some are not, or there is a mix. Hence it is worth doing a daytime cold water check.

    As the OPs day use is so low, it is unlikely that the immersion is being used in the day, suggesting it is on a separate circuit.

    With regard to the immersion turning itself on/off:

    It is a misconception that immersions have to be manually turned on and off.

    You are confusing two features. An immersion has a thermostat which can be manually set at a desired temperature. The thermostat turns off the heating element once that temperature is reached. It will turn it on again if the tank cools (unless it gets cut off on a day rate circuit). The more insulation the tank has, the less it will have to turn on/off to maintain the set temperature.

    The separate safety feature you are referring to is also there. As you say it is to stop the tank overheating and boiling. If the tank gets too hot (i.e the thermostat fails), the cut-off is triggered. However this disconnects the immersion until it is manually reset. You have to open it up and press a button each time this happens.

    So the thermostat and overheat cut-off are two separate things.

    Hope that clears it up.

    ----

    Glad you managed to reduce the temperature @Dannii75
  • Dannii75Dannii75 Forumite
    105 Posts
    Seventh Anniversary Combo Breaker
    & I'm glad you knew where I'd find it! I would have been far too worried to unscrew that without your advice!
    Went to Wickes & have bought an insulated jacket for the boiler & pipes as they were really hot in the cupboard! Will attempt to put that on tomorrow evening!
    Getting there! :)
  • SystemSystem Forumite
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    The reason that people get into a flap over DD payments is two-fold:

    1. They fail to give the supplier a meter reading once a month.

    2. The do not monitor they own usage.

    I use a 99p App called Meters. It takes a couple of minutes to enter your tariff details. Update the app with the meter reading that you give to your supplier and it will tell you how much you owe since the last bill. It also records usage, day by day, week by week, and year by year in a graphical and numerical form.
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