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most expensive Energy bill in 3 years - why!? help.

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most expensive Energy bill in 3 years - why!? help.

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
7 replies 558 views
little_greenlittle_green Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
Got my g&e bill through today & seriously peeved.

My current provider is first utility and I have been with them for over 3 years. I pay via variable direct debit therefore pay for my actual usage over the month as opposed to paying a set amount each month then being in credit or debt.

I have a spreadsheet with bar chart of my g&e monthly costs since 2017. I have a note of my meter readings from previous years but have not documented them in a spreadsheet. As Jan 2019 I started a new tariff Feb fixed 2020 v3. My January bill was fine no concerns though if my understanding is correct as this was Decembers usage I was being charged the prices from my old contract. My new contract came into effect Jan 2019 so I’m guessing my Feb bill (of energy usage for Jan) will be the first bill using the new rates for this tariff.

This month is the highest my bill has ever been since I started the spreadsheet in Jan 2017 (and i'm pretty sure my highest bill ever). Not only that but it's a good £15 higher than what would have previously been my highest bill. I do not feel the usage has increased vastly enough to justify this unexpected raise.

I have compared the bills from January & Feb.
Electricity usage Dec-Jan difference in readings (taken at start of month) = 122 units
difference in readings Jan-Feb (again taken at start of each month) = 123
so pretty much the same usage. Costing worked out to be pretty much the same.

Gas on the other hand,
Dec-Jan difference in readings (taken at start of month) = 75
difference in readings Jan-Feb (again taken at start of each month) = 99
so I used 24 units more of gas in Jan than I did in Dec.

Looking at a breakdown of the bills, standing charges remain in the same ball park, but wise my gas usage charge is £15 more this month than last month. So £15 more for using 24 units.... that doesn't seem accurate?

At the time of choosing my new tariff it gave personal projections for the various tariff options, now I know these are estimates BUT first utility do have 3 years of my usage stats to estimate from. For the tariff I selected it estimated an average payment of £20/month lower than what my bill is. Now I know I opt to pay variable amounts based on actual usage but £20 off seems very unlikely unless my circumstances had drastically changed for example.

Now, I’m not denying I’ve used more, that’s in the figures, however I’ve only used 24 more units of gas, that should not justify a £15 raise surely?

Frustratingly I’m now tied into this contract until Feb 2020 unless I pay £60 exit fee (30 per fuel). I’ve never had an issue with First Utility in the past but this latest bill just seems ridiculously over price.

Rant over (lol).

Would appreciate thoughts.

Replies

  • I don't know.

    If you post copies of the bills you refer to, someone will take a look at what has changed for you.

    Or take them along to the CAB, and they will be happy to go through them with you :)
  • Robin9Robin9 Forumite
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    There have been significant increases in tariffs since 2017 - 20% is not uncommon.

    Look at your bill from 2017 and note the tariff then. Now look at your Jan 2019 tariffs.

    QED
    Never pay on an estimated bill
  • It is a pity that you track the bills on your spreadsheet nut not the consumption. An increase of 32% from December to January is high (mine rose 15%), but then your circumstances might explain it. If you had your annual consumption calculated you would know if this was typical.


    24 units in cu.ft would be 758 kWh and @3.5p/kWh is £26.53
    24 units in cu.m would be 269 kWh and @ 3.5p/kWh is £9.41


    So depending on the rate in your tariff a £15 increase is possible but you can do the calculations.


    If you compare your rates p'kWh on the 2 bills you will also see how much the gas has increased. When you saw that your new tariff was going to be £20 lower it could be that they were comparing to what the charges would be if you didn't switch, nit with your last tariff. Prices have gone up significantly in 2018, so it is likely that you will pay more for the same consumption.


    Get your consumption added to your spreadsheet and you will have so much more information.
  • sevenhillssevenhills Forumite
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    Looking at a breakdown of the bills, standing charges remain in the same ball park, but wise my gas usage charge is £15 more this month than last month. So £15 more for using 24 units.... that doesn't seem accurate?


    Not sure about the units, in warmer weather my gas(heating) can vary greatly.
    My energy use can vary between £1 per day in summer and £3+ per day in winter, so £15 variation in one month is normal.

  • little_greenlittle_green Forumite
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    PeterGr wrote: »
    It is a pity that you track the bills on your spreadsheet nut not the consumption. .
    from 2016 onwards I have a record of all gas & electric meter readings from month to month. therefore I i wanted to i could go back & calculate usage. (though at this stage there is little point)
    from Jan 2017 I have a record of the meter readings & total cost of the bill (g&e)
    as of Jan 2019 I started a spreadsheet which has meter readings, usage for that month, monthly standing charge, .monthly usage charge & then total bill cost (incl vat).
  • PeterGrPeterGr Forumite
    154 posts
    There is a point of generating your monthly usage history. You will create your annual energy consumption, and be able to see if that is steady, increasing or decreasing. You can also compare the current month with the same month in previous years. It should be simple to extend your 2019 spreadsheet to include your 2016-2018 data.


    As well as this I chart the last 24 months to show the last 2 years monthly consumption. Good luck
  • PennineAcutePennineAcute Forumite
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    1 metric unit of gas is equal to approximately 11kw of gas
    1 cubic unit of gas is equal to approximately 33 kw of gas

    Your meter will state if you are metric or cubic

    So you have used either 264 kw of extra gas or 792 kw of extra gas

    At around 3.5p a kw, 264 * .035 = 9.24 or 792 * .035 = 27.72

    As said. this is approx, so £15 would be about right.
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