Advice on electricity use and smart meter

Hi looking for some advice as my electricity costs seem to be going up and up and I’m worried about the upcoming price cap rise.  
i live in a new well insulated house.  A lot of the time it’s just me in the house.  
I was under the impression that the smart meter costs included the standing charge but looking at eon next they don’t.  So I get up in the morning and my smart meter is already on about 90p before I’ve even made a cup of tea!

I have solar panels so try to only use the dishwasher, washing machine etc when I’m generating.  

I went to my neighbours house last night and her total cost for the day was .59p!!!  So I came home and switched off everything except the boiler and oven.  Still .89p this morning   

The only thing I can think of is that I have a very old larder freezer in my garage, Could that be using that much electricity overnight?.  

Would appreciate some advice, theoretically with solar panels I should be saving money during the day, which I think I am.  I don’t want to invest in a battery because I won’t be here that long.  

I’m currently on eon next flex but reading all the advice there’s no point switching at the moment.

the other thing to mention is that I do run an electric car but that’s not on overnight and I try to do this in daylight hours so it reduces the cost a bit.  

Any advice on how to bring down costs would be appreciated


  • Hi dizzybee and welcome, I cannot speak for others but our in home display always shows the daily standing charge as a minimum when we awake in the morning, or perhaps one or two pence more. So maybe there is a variation in how the IHD operates or is set up. I'm very fortunate in being on a fixed tariff until Feb so standing charge is a mere 25p, maybe your neighbour is on something similar hence the variation between you. But equally your very old freezer could be drawing more than a modern day version would although 89p would seem excessive to me. Why not fit a simple energy metering device between it and the socket to gain an accurate figure. Failing that just switch it off overnight on one occasion.
    If you've an EV then I'm surprised you haven't switched over to Octopus and sought their go tariff with the cheap four hour overnight slot. I appreciate switching isn't easy presently but your situation makes for an ideal fit with them and as you are not from a company that's gone to the wall then they might take you on. It's certainly worth putting an email together stating your case. Nothing ventured nothing gained.
    Like you we're not sure the investment in batteries etc will benefit us, but what a legacy to pass on to those who follow! In fact they are a godsend at the moment as our PV Inverter is down so with no generation taking place were charging batts up on the cheap over night rate and running on those daytime.
    East coast, lat 51.97. 8.26kw SSE, 23° pitch + 0.59kw WSW vertical. Nissan Leaf plus Zappi charger and 2 x ASHP's. Givenergy 8.2 & 9.5 kWh batts, 2 x 3 kW ac inverters. Indra V2H . CoCharger Host, Interest in Ripple Energy & Abundance.
  • It might also be surprising how much of a baseload (your hormal 'background') consumption is that runs nearly all day everyday. Add that to a standing charge and with a very old device that can add up.

    I have a background electricity baseload that is between two and three kWh a day, much higher than I would wish owing to several devices on 24 hours a day , that includes a very old chest freezer.
    So it can certainly add up and I hope it will reduce as and when more cost efficient appliances are purchased.

    Perhaps you should review what is on overnight that might be accounting for 1 to 2 kWh? Solar inverter on standby, phone chargers, tv on standby, your big fridge plus maybe more such as a central heating pump? I regularly see an absolute minimum of 100w power use overnight so over 10hours that is 1kW by itself!

    Do a general review and consider given present electricity prices switching off those unecessary things and purchase of more efficient devices. That can pay for itself over a few years!

    .....oh dear 'payback time' is sure to get a comnent or two.....:-)
  • thanks both.  Really useful advice.  
    I turned everything except my phone charger and the garage electricity off last night and I still had 81p when I got up. I hope that does include the standing charge which is 45p a day!! 
    I think it must be the old freezer in the garage sapping energy overnight.  I will consider a new one but reading up on them none are energy efficient and I guess even less so when using in an outbuilding? 
    I did go on the octopus energy site but it said it wasn’t talking new customers.  I will ask them though whether it’s possible to switch if that will save me money? 
    Battery for the solar - I would consider this if it will save me money but also help with the house price when I move? 
    Can I be cheeky and still get a SEG payment from one company for what I give back to the grid and switch to Octopus for the cheap electric overnight? 
  • I understand that you can get a fixed export rate of 4.1p/kWhr from Octopus with Go.
    4.3kW PV, 3.6kW inverter. Octopus Tracker. Zoe. Ripple x 2. Cheshire
  • Exiled_Tyke
    Exiled_Tyke Posts: 1,175
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    edited 10 September 2022 at 12:31PM
    My Dad got accepted by Octopus a week ago.  He phoned them and told them he has an electric car and there wasn't a problem.   If you get accepted onto the Go (import tariff) then one the solar system is no longer producing enough electricity (like today where I am, but everyday in another few weeks) then dishwashers and washing machines are best run over night.   Many modern machines have timers so they can be programmed to come on with cheap electricity.  

    Do you monitor the electricity production? I have a friend who assumed that whenever the sun was out they could use as much electricity as they liked but didn't realise how the panels orientate to the sun nor that high electricity appliances can't be run at the same time.  (Unless you have a huge solar system).  My In Home Display for the smart meter usefully tells me when I'm exporting as well as importing electricity.  I guess everybody knows this but I only discovered this feature a couple of weeks ago. 

    Which? currently have a Logik chest freezer as a Best Buy.  They say it's £209 from Currys. Suitable to run at temperatures from 10oC and upwards and should cost around £37 a year to run (at 34p per unit).  So should be less than a pound a week.  
    Install 28th Nov 15, 3.3kW, (11x300LG), SolarEdge, SW. W Yorks.
    Install 2: Sept 19, 600W SSE
    Solax 6.3kWh battery
  • Hi that’s brilliant advice thank you. 

    I have to say I am a bit obsessed with my m
    smart meter and I monitor how much I am using per hour. I only put dishwasher /washing machine on in the day when I’m generating and I have been known to stop a wash half way through if it starts costing me!!! 

    I will have a look at Octopus though as it sounds as if it will work for me. If I can charge the car at night cheaply, and get a new freezer then the day time cost should reduce too.  

    Wondering if I can keep my SEG contract with Eon as I don’t think you can have Octopus go alongside the seg scheme with octopus and it would be good to keep getting paid for the electricity I generate to the grid.  

    Also would it be worth me looking into a battery if I am only planning on staying in the house another 2 years or so (then I’m hoping to downsize) 

    Thanks again for the advice I really appreciate it. 
  • Hadn't appreciated you were moving in two years or so, however depending on your next move a battery and it's inverter can go with you and still be used to charge overnight on cheap tariff to run domestic appliances through the day, even if there is no PV array installed so still worthy of consideration.
    East coast, lat 51.97. 8.26kw SSE, 23° pitch + 0.59kw WSW vertical. Nissan Leaf plus Zappi charger and 2 x ASHP's. Givenergy 8.2 & 9.5 kWh batts, 2 x 3 kW ac inverters. Indra V2H . CoCharger Host, Interest in Ripple Energy & Abundance.
  • Screwdriva
    Screwdriva Posts: 1,104
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    Hi! At risk of cementing my reputation for going against the herd on batteries (and a few other things), I would suggest spending some time with this calculator. You may find that the Octopus Outgoing Agile tariff offers a compelling alternative to the upfront spend and relatively shorter life of a battery. 

    What panels do you have? I'm assuming you don't have the benefit of a FIT tariff so they shouldn't be <350Watts? Our household usage averages ~3 kWh (0.70p-£1) on most days this month if that helps? We export between 2-3X this amount and are paid well over 0.25p per kWh via Outgoing Agile, and so, are effectively paid a small amount everyday. 

    -  10 x 400w LG + 6 x 550W SHARP BiFacial Panels + SE 3680 HD Wave Inverter + SE Optimizers. SE London.
    -  Triple aspect. (22% ENE/ 33% SSE/ 45% WSW)
    -  Viessmann 200-W on Advanced Weather Comp. (the most efficient gas boiler sold)
  • Petriix
    Petriix Posts: 2,014
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    You need to stop thinking in terms of £ and look at the energy used im kWh. What is your background usage in W - the IHD should show you what you're using at any given time.

    Do you have an immersion heater?

    If you have an EV then there absolutely is point in switching, especially if you have solar panels. Get on to Octopus Go/Go Faster /Intelligent ASAP and you'll save loads. Use a referral code to get a bonus £50 (not allowed to post these on the forum).
  • QrizB
    QrizB Posts: 13,624
    First Post First Anniversary Photogenic Name Dropper
    Wondering if I can keep my SEG contract with Eon as I don’t think you can have Octopus go alongside the seg scheme with octopus and it would be good to keep getting paid for the electricity I generate to the grid. 
    You can't have Outgoing Fixed or Outgong Agile alonghside Go, but 70sbudgie was correct:
    70sbudgie said:
    I understand that you can get a fixed export rate of 4.1p/kWhr from Octopus with Go.
    EON's SEG rates aren't great, I think they're only paying 3p/kWh?
    N. Hampshire, he/him. Octopus Go elec & Tracker gas / Shell BB / Lyca mobi. Ripple Kirk Hill member.
    2.72kWp PV facing SSW installed Jan 2012. 11 x 247w panels, 3.6kw inverter. 30MWh generated, long-term average 2.6 Os.
    Ofgem cap table, Ofgem cap explainer. Economy 7 cap explainer. Gas vs E7 vs peak elec heating costs.
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