Extremely high bill

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90Ninety90Ninety Forumite
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I am posting on behalf of my friend who is struggling to understand the electricity consumption on  her bill . She lives with two flatmates in a 3 bedroom apartment , the landlord is upstairs . This is a two floor apartment building , one flat on top , one below . 
Last bill for the month was £660  for the electric , and £ 31.50 for the gas.  According to Ofgem , this is over six times the average price of a dual fuel bill within the UK  (just over 100  per month ) . Me being the suspicious type thought maybe a neighbour was tapping the electric , or somehow the wiring was common amongst the two apartment building .  Out of curiosity , I had  instructed her to switch off the electric in the junction box and monitor the meter overnight . 
The consumption continued despite flicking off the main switch , however it transpires that the electric infusion heating was still warm , so I can only fathom that the heating is on its  own circuit and does not go off , when everything else is switched off in the junction box , Is this normal ?

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  • Gerry1Gerry1 Forumite
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    Why on earth is she using any electric heating when she has gas?
    Do you mean an immersion heater (hot tank)?
    Has she been giving monthly meter readings, or are the bills estimated?
    Pics of the meter, consumer unit and bills please, with personal info and S number etc redacted.
  • edited 27 February at 12:19AM
    90Ninety90Ninety Forumite
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    edited 27 February at 12:19AM
    Gerry1 said:
    G "Why on earth is she using any electric heating when she has gas?"
    I dont know , the oven is gas , the landlord has said the heater is electric . I have attached pictures ( in progress) 
    Gerry1 said:
    Do you mean an immersion heater (hot tank)?
    Its hard to say just judging by what she tells me , reading the landlords texts . I have looked at pictures , I cant really make sense of it . Attached ( in progress0 

    Gerry1 said:
    Has she been giving monthly meter readings, or are the bills estimated?

     They are estimated but  the estimate is topped up , as the electric goes over 

    Pics of the meter, consumer unit and bills please, with personal info and S number etc redacted.

    Edit Pictures now attached


     
  • 90Ninety90Ninety Forumite
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    Just to add , when turning off the fusebox in picture for six hours , the electric reading went from 81867 to 81896 . Though as I said , the heating 'seemed' to be on . 
  • edited 27 February at 12:36AM
    MWTMWT Forumite
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    edited 27 February at 12:36AM
    Sounds like the landlord may be getting his power for upstairs paid by those living downstairs...
    ... or it is wired as E7 and the heating is on a different consumer unit...
    It would help to get some photos of the meter showing the wiring between the meter and the 'junction box' ...
  • theoreticatheoretica Forumite
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    90Ninety said:

     
    That meter was installed after July 2013 - so has been averaging over 10,000kWh a year since.  So high readings are not new, the flat has used a lot of electricity since the meter was installed.

    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
  • Robin9Robin9 Forumite
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    Is the heating with storage rads, panel heating, underfloor, magic dust heaters .
    There may be a second consumer unit for the heating.

    I would presume electric showers - three girls together and electric showers !

    If it is electric heating in some form the 10,000 kWh is not unusual.

    Ask your friend to give that meter reading in the photo to her supplier

    As @MWT a photo of the wiring associated with the supply companies main fuse and going into the consumer units please.
    Never pay on an estimated bill
  • edited 27 February at 12:04PM
    Gerry1Gerry1 Forumite
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    edited 27 February at 12:04PM
    Does your friend live next door to @Gentlegiant?  There were cables in his flat that disappeared down towards an unoccupied flat below; forumites wondered whether it was a cannabis farm.  He was investigating similar unexplained high usage, but suddenly disappeared and was never heard of again... 
    .
    Seriously, find out exactly what the heating is and whether an up to date meter reading has been given.  Judging by the history it seems that it's probably electric heating, so it may be better for your friend to find a property with gas central heating, especially if the wiring is irregular and the flatmates are paying for usage by a third party.
  • jbuchanangbjbuchanangb Forumite
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    That "Tribune" water tank is equipped to be heated by a central heating boiler, as well as by an immersion heater. Is there in fact a gas boiler somewhere in the property?
    I can't see the electical feed to the immersion heater. What is the white box next to it?
    As suggested do have a good look (provide photos) at where the wires from the meter are going. With one main switch OFF there was still consumption, so where is that happening? Maybe the upstairs flat is wired into this meter too.
  • MicronMicron Forumite
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    90Ninety said:
    Last bill for the month was £660  for the electric ,

    That’s not quite correct, the electricity bill for the one month was £458.58

    It is very high usage, I personally wouldn’t like to be paying that much for one months electricity.

    If you make a lot of assumptions and work out some figures it looks to me like that something could have been drawing power continuously for 24 hours a day using about 4 units an hour, most probably the heating.

    Jan and Feb was bitterly cold this year, below freezing most days, we were in lockdown, spending lots of time at home, for three people possibly heating five rooms, hot water for baths or showers, washing machine, computers, lighting etc. etc. the usage for one month at £458.58 would be possible. 

    The only strange thing about all of this is that with the isolator switch in the off position the meter is still showing power usage, it could be that the heating is on a separate circuit but the Tribune tank only has one 3 kW heater, combine that with a pump possibly less than 200 W that would be a total load of 3.2 kW but over six hours with fuse box switched off the load was 4.8 kw per hour, very strange.

    The landlord upstairs could very well be getting some free electricity and he could also be getting some free hot water, who knows where all the pipes and cables go after they disappear under the floor boards.

     Lots more photos and information would be needed to make any real sense of the situation.


  • edited 3 March at 2:21AM
    90Ninety90Ninety Forumite
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    edited 3 March at 2:21AM
    Attached a few more pics. So it transpires the heating is on its own circuit with its own breaker switch though it' still most fed through the meter

    More pics below. It seems there are two  thick wires possibly 3 phase going to the flat above


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