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Unusually high gas usage of 43000kwh per year

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giles007
giles007 Posts: 20 Forumite
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About 6 years ago we moved into a modest sized 5 bed house, my wife and 2 teenagers. We had some work done on half of the house a couple of years ago which made it more insulated than when we first moved in. I have always thought our gas bills were high, but put that down to us having an AGA oven, but when prices started to rise last year the bills became astronomical so I started investigating.

We are currently with Shell Energy who took over from First Utility a couple of years back.

Our annual usage for gas is averaging about 43000Kwh

I looked up on the web, on the ofgem website, about average consumptions based on the size of your house and although i understand it is only an "average", the figure they give is 17000Kwh

www.ofgem.gov.uk/information-consumers/energy-advice-households/average-gas-and-electricity-use-explained

Like I said earlier I thought that it might be the AGA, so just before Christmas last year I turned the AGA completely off. The usage only went down by about 10%, month on month.

So does anyone have any ideas as to how I might be using so much gas? Over twice the average for a 5 bed house, and i would say we are not overly above average gas users.

We have had a new and very efficient boiler for a couple of years which has its regular servicing, we don't smell gas anywhere so don't think its an obvious leak

I did a test a while back when I knew the heating was off. I turned on the hot water, saw the gas meter needle tuning, then turned off the hot water, and the needle stopped.  So its not like the meter might be faulty in that it runs all the time. I am thinking that maybe the meter is faulty in that it runs too fast when gas flows through it?

We don't run the heating very high, we have efficient underfloor heating in much of the downstairs. We don't have an unusual amount of showers or baths either.

Just FYI we have an imperial meter and have had it since we moved in 6 years ago

many thanks in advance

Giles
«13456710

Comments

  • [Deleted User]
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    Check that your actual meter and statements are showing the same meter type. Gas meters can record usage in cubic feet or cubic meters. Suppliers have been known to bill using an incorrect volume to kWh calculation.
  • Krakkkers
    Krakkkers Posts: 1,136 Forumite
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    The bills would be lower if that were the case?
  • FreeBear
    FreeBear Posts: 14,897 Forumite
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    edited 25 October 2023 at 9:41PM
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    Check that your actual meter and statements are showing the same meter type. Gas meters can record usage in cubic feet or cubic meters. Suppliers have been known to bill using an incorrect volume to kWh calculation.
    The error that leads to inflated usage & bills is when the supplier thinks it is an imperial meter when it is in fact a metric meter and apply a conversion of 2.83. When it is the other way round (imperial meter, charging as a metric meter), the readings come out low and is to the customer's advantage until the supplier realises the mistake and recalculates the bills.

    In either situation, it is worth checking the bill and make sure the supplier is charging for cubic feet (x100) or cubic metres.

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  • JGB1955
    JGB1955 Posts: 3,528 Forumite
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    giles007 said:

    We don't run the heating very high, 
    What temperature do you consider 'not very high'?
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  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 Newbie
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    edited 25 October 2023 at 9:41PM
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    FreeBear said:
    Check that your actual meter and statements are showing the same meter type. Gas meters can record usage in cubic feet or cubic meters. Suppliers have been known to bill using an incorrect volume to kWh calculation.
    The error that leads to inflated usage & bills is when the supplier thinks it is an imperial meter when it is in fact a metric meter and apply a conversion of 2.83. When it is the other way round (imperial meter, charging as a metric meter), the readings come out low and is to the customer's advantage until the supplier realises the mistake and recalculates the bills.

    In either situation, it is worth checking the bill and make sure the supplier is charging for cubic feet (x100) or cubic metres.

    You are correct. 

    The other thing to check is that the reading provided to the supplier excludes the digits to the right of the decimal point. Just ruling out everything before we get into paying SGS for an independent meter check.
  • victor2
    victor2 Posts: 7,659 Ambassador
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    It is presumably a combi boiler, so with the heating and Aga off, run the hot water for say, one or two minutes, and see how much gas is used. It will be fractions of units. Convert that to kWh and see if it is anything like the rated power of your boiler, or less.
    Underfloor heating can take quite a lot of power, especially when warming the house/floor up from cold. Is it on constantly or on a schedule?

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  • macman
    macman Posts: 53,098 Forumite
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    edited 31 March 2023 at 5:42PM
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    What gas appliances do you have bar the gas boiler and gas AGA?
    Has the usage been consistently this high (or in the region thereof) for the five years you have occupied the property? Can you check back via historical meter reads or bills? In particular, did the consumption alter after you had the new boiler installed.
    For the avoidance of all doubt, can you state what start and end dates you are basing that usage on, and what are the opening and closing meter reads for those dates? 
    Are these estimated or actual reads?
    What hours does the heating run for, and what temp is set on the room 'stat?
    Subject to the above, your usage is staggeringly high, about 250% more than would be typical for such a property with gas CH and DHW.
    If a meter fault is suspected here, then I'd upgrade to smart meters anyway (as your imperial meter must be ancient) and request a meter test on the old gas meter.
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  • giles007
    giles007 Posts: 20 Forumite
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    Hey all - thanks for all your replies - i will check a few things and come back with some more information for you ... 
  • markin
    markin Posts: 3,854 Forumite
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    Underfloor is only efficient its its used correctly, that usually means on always on at very low flow temps of around 35c vs using it as a big rad for 2hrs morning and 3hrs evening at 55c
  • Petriix
    Petriix Posts: 2,077 Forumite
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    Gas powered under floor heating is anything but efficient. It wastes loads of energy heating the floor which then disburses over a long period rather than heating the air only at the times you actually require heat.

    We can't really help unless you give some detail about the temperatures and heating periods you use. I suspect your idea of 'very high' differs significantly from mine. 
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