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Gas and electric bills excessively high

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zeeshytzeeshyt Forumite
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hi there just needed some help, iv recently had a proper look into my gas and electric bills, and it seems as though I've been using over the odds for many years. My house is a 5 bedroom house and have recently got a new boiler installed. 
My Gas usage is 66,000 kwh per year and I have been told by many that this is way too high, almost 4 times higher than the average household, i just needed ideas as to how I can check if my usage is being calculated correctly/incorrectly. 
Thanks in advance 
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Replies

  • edited 4 July at 7:36AM
    frugalmacdugalfrugalmacdugal Forumite
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    edited 4 July at 7:36AM
    Hi,
    you need to read your meter regularly, at the very least once a month, and provide readings to your supplier, especially check reading anytime you get an estimated bill/statement.
    Check your gas meter to see if it is cubic metre M³ or cubic feet ft³, and check to see if you are being charged accordingly.

    Y'all take care now.
    happy0207.gif

  • Robin9Robin9 Forumite
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    Has your meter been changed in recent years - its not unknown for records not to have been updated. ?  Is the meter serial number the same as on your bill. ?
    Read your meter today - if its a modern meter watch out for the decimal point - a photo would be good - compare the reading with your bill.
    Never pay on an estimated bill
  • brewerdavebrewerdave Forumite
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    I don't think I could use 66000 kwh of gas even if I left my boiler on 24/7 all Winter !!. Sounds to me like a m3/100s cu ft confusion on meter reads. Either that ,or you have a large hole in the roof and no insulation.
  • edited 4 July at 9:54AM
    TalldaveTalldave Forumite
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    edited 4 July at 9:54AM
    It's high but almost believable.  We spent a year in a single glazed cottage (fridge) and got through 54,000kWh. Currently in a 5 bed place and on target for 43,000kWh but a large part of the property is a very well insulated modern extension with underfloor heating. It's the radiators in the older parts of the (1930s) house that take most of the heat. As an example, last week it was hot so gas consumption was 83kWh for the week just heating hot water. In our coldest week back in January we got through 1570kWh in a week. 

    Can you use TRVs to reduce the temperature in less used rooms?  Use programmable thermostats to run heating lower overnight? Check roof insulation?

    Cost wise you really need to shop around for the lowest unit rate. Just over a year ago I was paying 42p standing charge to get a really low rate and saved a packet. I am 99% sure that separate suppliers will be your cheapest option.  Look at Zog, Gulf and So for gas - I've used them all and would recommend any of them.
  • edited 4 July at 10:50AM
    matelodavematelodave Forumite
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    edited 4 July at 10:50AM
    You really need to start reading your meters regularly, at least monthly so you've got a really good idea of what you are using and when you are using it (weekly is even better). Just looking over your old bills is fine if you have been sending in regulary meter readings but not everso helpful if a lot of them have been estimated and you haven't checked them against the meters.

    As others have said, check whether your meter is recording in Cubic Feet (Cu.ft) or Cubic Meters (M3) and then check that your bills are using the correct conversion factors otherwise you could end up with bills three times what they should be.

    You also need to make sure that you get yourself on a decent tariff so you aren't paying over the odds - note what Talldave says, about standing charges, a higher standing charge doesn't mean a higher bill if your unit rate is lower (10p/day extra s/c = £36.50 year, 0.5p/kwh less on your consumption of 60,000kwh = £300)

    Finally start looking around and see where you can make savings, extra controls, better settings, using less, turning stuff off when not in use, extra insulation (including your hot water tank if you've got one). At this time of the year you should only be using gas for hot water and possibly cooking, so see what you can do to reduce your consumption -  take fewer showers, spend less time in there, don't waste hot water, use cold when possible.

    Doing that will give you a base line for when you start the heating up in Oct/Nov. keep your own records rather than waiting for the bill because it's too late to do much about it when it's already been used and you've got the bill. Either use a spreadsheet or notebook/diary. If you've got kids get them involved in monitoring and recording (it will help them when they've got bills of their own to contend with)

    Do the same with leccy - if you don't monitor it you cant control it
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • edited 4 July at 10:50AM
    matelodavematelodave Forumite
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    edited 4 July at 10:50AM
    Gerry1 said:
    As others have said, check whether your meter is recording in BTU or M3 and then check that your bills are using the correct conversion factors otherwise you could end up with bills three times what they should be.
    Gas meters don't measure BTU !  Cubic feet sometimes (actually 100s of cubic feet).
    Yes, sorry about that - I'll change my post (It's ten years since we had a gas meter)
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • edited 4 July at 12:48PM
    MWTMWT Forumite
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    edited 4 July at 12:48PM
    zeeshyt said:
    My Gas usage is 66,000 kwh per year and I have been told by many that this is way too high, almost 4 times higher than the average household, i just needed ideas as to how I can check if my usage is being calculated correctly/incorrectly. 
    Thanks in advance 
    5 bed house here using 14,000kWh of gas a year, doesn't necessarily mean yours is 'wrong' as you may be heating an uninsulated barn :)  ... but it does seem a bit high I'd say.
    Do check the meter units as suggested earlier, if your meter is measuring cubic metres (M³)  and you are being billed for cubic feet (ft³) that has the effect of multiplying your usage by 2.83 which would bring your 66,000kWh down to a more believable 23,300kWh...



  • onlyfoolsandparkingonlyfoolsandparking Forumite
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    If its of any help to you OP (I'm not as clued up as the regulars here when it comes to consumption etc) we are in 4 bed detached house (built circa 1980's) reasonably well insulated, recent new boiler and we're using around 21000 units gas and 3800 electric, your usage sounds REALLY high to me. 
    The real meaning of life is the pursuit of happiness and avoidance of pain:rotfl:
  • dogshomedogshome Forumite
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    The Basics
    There are two types of Gas Meter in use - The older one's are "IMPERIAL", are marked ft3 and deliver appx 35Kwh of gas for each meter unit
    The newer type is METRIC, marked m3 and delivers appx 11.2 Kwh of gas for each meter unit

    It's not uncommon for the supplier to think you have one type when in fact it's the other
    CHECK the mark on your meter, then look at the bill and divide the number of Kwh charged by the number of units used - If the meter is Metric the answer should be appx 11.2, but if it is appx 35 the supplier is confused and is over charging you by 83%

  • Gerry1Gerry1 Forumite
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    Not quite.  The usage element of the bill would be 2.83 times what it should be, so you'd be overcharged by 183%.
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