I really need help

Hi I just moved into a ground floor flat 2 bedrooms. It’s all electric and has storage heaters (new style) I’m on a prepayment meter but it’s costing me 10 pounds a day. They say there’s no debt on the meter.. but how can I be using that much. I haven’t even got my cooker or washing machine plumbed in yet so haven’t used my tumble drier either, I’m on the safeguard economy 7 tariff with British Gas.. I’m using 4 storage heaters 2 small 2 bit bigger is this right? I really can’t afford this. Any advice is appreciated..


  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,036 Forumite
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    Welcome to the forum.

    When you say 'storage heaters (new style)' do you mean the type that top up during the day if necessary - like the Dimplex Quantum?

    You need to read your meters and tell us how much is being used in the 7 hours off-peak(night) period and how much during the day.

    It is essential that you maximise off peak usage - particularly heating and Hot Water - and minimise daytime usage.

    Also the last time I looked British gas charged a very high price for Off-Peak electricity - over 10p/kWh. and this was on a credit meter not your PAYG meter. You may be advised to switch to a cheaper tariff.
  • Hi yes they are the dimplex quantum storage heaters.
    How do I know what’s being used during the off peak period I don’t even know what time it starts. I’m on the phone to British Gas now to find out. Do I have to have the hot water switch on all day too. This is all very confusing,I’ve moved from a new build house with gas central heating and solar panels etc to this and no one seems to be helping me. I am thinking to change supplier but bulb which I’ve never heard of before seems to be the only one with a big difference a year edf,eon,etc are about 7 pounds cheaper a year. I’m classed a vulnerable and disabled person I really don’t know what to do. I can’t afford this. But it’s to cold to have them turned off. Thanks for replying.
  • Similar posts had replies saying some utility providers will run it all on a day rate.....
    Blackpool_Saver is female, and does not live in Blackpool

  • Gerry1
    Gerry1 Posts: 9,936 Forumite
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    edited 16 December 2019 at 2:42PM
    If there's a hot water tank, it probably has two immersion heaters, one low down to heat the full tank, and one higher up that heats the only upper part. Presumably you are on Economy 7, so you should use the overnight supply to the lower immersion heater. The upper one should be left permanently off unless you run out of hot water in the daytime by mistake. Use it very sparingly because it will be charged at the very expensive daytime rate.

    Dial 105 to find out the switching times, and check by looking at the meter (it usually tells you which rate it's on at that moment). There may also be an indicator light on the supply to the lower immersion heater so you can look at that.

    Similarly, don't use the boost switch on the storage heaters because it uses peak rate electricity.

    You should make sure you are on the Priority Services Register and claim all relevant benefits such as Warm Home Discount and Cold Weather Payment.

    Also consider switching to a credit meter to get cheaper tariffs.


  • Blackpool_Saver is female, and does not live in Blackpool

  • Hi yes there is a hot water tank and I think I have the day switch on I can’t see another switch for it anywhere. The switch I have on just says hot water. And as I say I can’t find another. I’m on the safeguard payg tariff British Gas and I put in for warm home discount she said I was accepted as I’m ill on esa and pip. The woman said off peak is 12am-7am and that is when they’re storing as when I check my electric that light is flashing like mad and that’s when obviously most of money comes off. All the well known companies are saying I won’t save much more with them. Only this one called bulb but I’m not sure about it as I’ve never heard of them til now. Maybe I will go search for another hot water switch. This is a very old flat and things aren’t where you expect them to be. But I can’t afford the 70 -80 a week so I guess il just have to be cold. Thanks for your help. :beer:
  • Gerry1
    Gerry1 Posts: 9,936 Forumite
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    Check the tank and see whether there are two immersion heaters. If there's only one it will probably be on an unswitched anytime supply and it will cost you a fortune because it will top up on full price electricity as you use hot water in the daytime. If so, consider an adequately rated timeswitch next to the tank, it will soon pay for itself. If you're still unsure, just turn off the 'hot water' switch and see whether it goes cold the next day.

    There's no need to be cold, but you need to get away from the BG Safeguard tariff PDQ because it's about as expensive as you can get. You haven't confirmed that you're on E7, so if you're using storage heaters at full rate it's not at all surprising that you're going bankrupt !
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,036 Forumite
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    Gerry1 wrote: »
    You haven't confirmed that you're on E7, !

    This from OP's first post:

    I’m on the safeguard economy 7 tariff with British Gas..

    That of course doesn't neessarily mean that as much Hot Water Heating and storage heating as possible is carried out during the 7 hours off-peak period.
  • Gerry1
    Gerry1 Posts: 9,936 Forumite
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    Cardew wrote: »
    This from OP's first post:
    Kerry1977 wrote: »
    I’m on the safeguard economy 7 tariff with British Gas
    Err... I wondered who'd be the first to spot that ! dunce.gif
  • I am so dumb I don’t know what I’m looking for can I post a picture of the tank on here? British Gas say I am on economy 7 the safeguard tariff 12am-7am off peak time. I honestly don’t know anything about boilers etc I’ve always had gas apart from when a lot younger and I had the old grey storage heaters and I had a normal hot water switch and an immersion switch. So I’m sorry I can’t give much info but there’s definitely no 2nd switch. Am I better off asking my housing officer to send someone round to tell me what’s what and change from British Gas to another supplier?
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