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Help! - electricity usage is incredibly high?!

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Help! - electricity usage is incredibly high?!

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DrumslootDrumsloot Forumite
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MoneySaving Newbie
Hi everyone,
My housemate and I are at our wit's end trying to figure this out. Our energy usage each month, according to our electricity meter, is far higher than we expect. Here are the facts:
  • We live in a 2-bedroom apartment, in a newly renovated building with approximately 180 apartments. Everything except for heating is electric.
  • We are with E.On.
  • We pay for our heating separately to a different company. This applies to ALL forms of heating - radiators, shower hot water, etc. This comes in at between £40-£65 a month.
  • To help save money, we've spent some evenings cold in an effort to reduce the separate heating bill.
  • We are told that "similar homes" in our area have an average usage of a whopping 1,224 kWh.
In December, we used 537 kWh.
In January, we used 609 kWh.
Our monthly electricity bills were bouncing in the £90-£120 mark.
We decided that this was too much, and decided to start turning things off at the wall/mains just in case that was inflating our energy usage. We also decided to stop leaving the living room light on, which we had been doing every evening.
And now, at the end of February, we have somehow used just shy of 1,000 kWh. Our usage increased by over 50%, even though we'd made a conscious effort to use less.
Today, I ran a test where I turned everything off for 1 hour, and checked our energy meter either side of that hour. The energy reading was the same, which suggests that our meter is not faulty and is indeed providing accurate readings.
I'd like some advice; we do have a dishwasher, and a washer-drier, and I suspect that these are the biggest culprits in energy usage. We use the dishwasher about once a week, and the washer-drier about once a week each on average (so, that's 2 wash and 2 dry cycles a week total, roughly). However, could there be other appliances or devices that are draining a ton of energy that I've not considered? How on earth are we - and everyone else in our area - hitting such a high amount of energy usage? We're paying £180 a month just for heating and energy, and it's leaving us without much money to put away in savings. Is this normal?
Thanks for getting this far. If anyone can offer any sound advice on realistically reducing our energy usage it would be greatly appreciated.

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Replies

  • matelodavematelodave Forumite
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    Have you tried reading and recording the meter daily rather than waiting until the end of the month, you'll get a much better idea of whats using it and when it's being used.
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • Robin9Robin9 Forumite
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    Other big consumers of electric  are halogen lights - how many have you got.  Also have you an Immersion Heater ?
    Never pay on an estimated bill
  • edited 28 February at 8:46PM
    zagfleszagfles Forumite
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    edited 28 February at 8:46PM
    Immersion heater the most likely. Do you have a hot water tank? If so is there something stuck in the top with a electric cable leading to a switch? Is the switch on? If so that's probably your problem. Turn it off. You might find your heating bills go up as your gas boiler will heat the water instead, but it should be cheaper overall.
    Otherwise, check your housemate hasn't sneaked an electric fan heater into their room! Seems a bit suspicious if electric usage is going up when you're in the cold!
  • DrumslootDrumsloot Forumite
    9 posts
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    MoneySaving Newbie
    zagfles said:
    Immersion heater the most likely. Do you have a hot water tank? If so is there something stuck in the top with a electric cable leading to a switch? Is the switch on? If so that's probably your problem. Turn it off. You might find your heating bills go up as your gas boiler will heat the water instead, but it should be cheaper overall.
    Otherwise, check your housemate hasn't sneaked an electric fan heater into their room! Seems a bit suspicious if electric usage is going up when you're in the cold!
    Oh dear, I'm a bit clueless on all that stuff, but we do have this:
    https:// imgur. com/a/ bESr8rE (remove the spaces, forum won't let me post links yet)
    Is that it? What do I do with this exactly?
  • edited 28 February at 9:52PM
    Gerry1Gerry1 Forumite
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    edited 28 February at 9:52PM
    No that's a heat meter for your district heating scheme or whatever.  Probably costs a fortune and is completely unregulated, so likely to be 'take it or leave it'.
  • JC_DerbyJC_Derby Forumite
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    Pic three looks to be a water meter. Pic 1......a quick google shows them to be district or community heating meters....

    are these in your flat or in a cupboard downstairs?

    Does your meter have an isolator next to it?

  • JC_DerbyJC_Derby Forumite
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    Electricity meter.... 
  • edited 28 February at 9:58PM
    DrumslootDrumsloot Forumite
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    MoneySaving Newbie
    edited 28 February at 9:58PM
    JC_Derby said:
    Pic three looks to be a water meter. Pic 1......a quick google shows them to be district or community heating meters....

    are these in your flat or in a cupboard downstairs?

    Does your meter have an isolator next to it?

    It's in my flat, in a cupboard just over our washing machine.
    This is what our meter looks like: https:// imgur. com/yVy6Vas
    Is that an isolator next to it there? It just looks like a fuse switch. But I don't know what I'm talking about with this stuff!
  • JC_DerbyJC_Derby Forumite
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    Drumsloot said:
    JC_Derby said:
    Pic three looks to be a water meter. Pic 1......a quick google shows them to be district or community heating meters....

    are these in your flat or in a cupboard downstairs?

    Does your meter have an isolator next to it?

    It's in my flat, in a cupboard just over our washing machine.
    This is what our meter looks like: https:// imgur. com/yVy6Vas
    Is that an isolator next to it there? It just looks like a fuse switch. But I don't know what I'm talking about with this stuff!
    Yes that’s an isolating switch. no fuse in that it’s just a switch on/off.

    well that’s in your flat then? Have you checked your bill has the same meter number on it?
    i think you need to be recording usage every day by taking meter readings
  • DrumslootDrumsloot Forumite
    9 posts
    First Post First Anniversary
    MoneySaving Newbie
    JC_Derby said:
    Yes that’s an isolating switch. no fuse in that it’s just a switch on/off.

    well that’s in your flat then? Have you checked your bill has the same meter number on it?
    i think you need to be recording usage every day by taking meter readings
    The meter itself is not in my flat, it's in a communal cupboard that we don't have access to. We need to ask the concierge for access every time and they're not always available, so unfortunately that's much easier said than done.
    We've arranged to get a smart meter installed, as it would help us to track usage, so that might go a long way towards finding out the main culprit(s) of our massive energy usage.
    Our bill definitely has the right meter assigned - I've contacted E.On twice about this to make sure - and I've checked our reading each month, so I know it all matches up and it's all correct. :( 
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