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  • FIRST POST
    • LostCdn
    • By LostCdn 4th Dec 19, 1:31 PM
    • 43Posts
    • 3Thanks
    LostCdn
    Why is my gas use so high?
    • #1
    • 4th Dec 19, 1:31 PM
    Why is my gas use so high? 4th Dec 19 at 1:31 PM
    Hi all,
    I moved into a tiny wee flat to save money and its been costing me way more since moving there. Been there only two weeks, already my gas alone has cost 60.
    My life now revolves around my gas metre.
    The flat is a VERY small (the size of my old living room and hallway) one bedroom in the East end.
    It's a ground floor single glazed but I've got that plastic stuff around the windows, aluminium behind the radiators, and the thermostat (which is ancient - don't even know if it works) is at the lowest - 10.
    I have the boiler on so low that I'm freezing all the time, hardly have hot water.
    The gas is a prepayment but still I can't imagine it's that much more expensive that it should be using so much gas.
    My supplier has taken my metre readings and says there's nothing wrong and no debt on it.
    Something has to be wrong.
    From Saturday afternoon until Monday evening the metre readings went from:

    Sat 13:22
    21.65
    09725.847m3

    Tues 20:22
    10.57
    09750.604m3

    That's 11 in 4 days and I was cold!
    My rate per unit is 3.56p and standing charge at 35.6p per day.
    So I used 25 units during that time which they say the cost reflects. So I can't figure out if it's the metre or the flat but something isn't right and I can't keep living like this.
    Landlord - who has been useless - said boiler is only a year old though it's due for servicing he hasn't called in the engineer and says he'll do it when he's back in town but isn't sure when that is. Insists there can't be why problems with th boiler.
    I'm also from Canada so I've never dealt with this stuff before and my old flat was so warm and cost very little and we huge, so never dealt with any issues.

    I don't know what to do...or even what to get looked at.
    SSE wants to charge 35 to have metre looked at and at this rate I can't afford that.
Page 6
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 9th Dec 19, 1:24 PM
    • 4,924 Posts
    • 3,221 Thanks
    matelodave
    As said above, just looking at what a boiler uses in the first hour or two is pointless, because it's going full blast until the thermostats take over, the same with hot water if you've got a combi boiler - it goes flat out just to pull through a couple of gallons to rinse your hand in warm water.

    Getting panic stricken, upset, crying and all the rest wont help you solve your problem thats assuming that you've even got one. Try doing as has been suggested in the last 100 posts and look at what's going on in a rational manner.

    Unfortunately keep having a go at the landlord and energy company and getting annoyed,upset, angry, crying etc with them will have a negative effect and they'll all walk away and let you get on with it.
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
    • Gerry1
    • By Gerry1 9th Dec 19, 1:56 PM
    • 1,276 Posts
    • 818 Thanks
    Gerry1
    Getting panic stricken, upset, crying and all the rest wont help you solve your problem thats assuming that you've even got one. Try doing as has been suggested in the last 100 posts and look at what's going on in a rational manner.

    Unfortunately keep having a go at the landlord and energy company and getting annoyed,upset, angry, crying etc with them will have a negative effect and they'll all walk away and let you get on with it.
    Originally posted by matelodave
    Ooh, er ! That's quite a reality check.

    But sadly the gist of it is indeed correct, the problem needs investigation and analysis; it can't just be wished away and it certainly won't go away by itself.

    However, the positive news is that there's plenty of help available including WHD, Cold Weather Payments and Winter Fuel Allowance depending on the OP's personal circumstances. Citizens Advice can also be very helpful, and of course the forumites are always here to lend a hand.

    There's really no need for anyone to have stay in bed because of the cold, although it's quite understandable that it can be very enervating. Just persevere !
    • Blackpool_Saver
    • By Blackpool_Saver 9th Dec 19, 3:43 PM
    • 6,209 Posts
    • 7,845 Thanks
    Blackpool_Saver
    You will find that if you have let your flat go so cold that it is going to take a lot of energy to warm it though. You will now have to warm the fabric of the flat through as well.

    It is normal for gas boilers to use more gas when they first fire up as they are warming up the water in the system. Once it is to temperature it then shuts down and uses less.

    You have to keep warm. Put the heating on.
    Originally posted by RelievedSheff
    Yes, all this, put it on or you will be ill, apply for warm home discount on the grounds you use high percentage of your income for energy, and any other means private to yourself.
    You can also apply for grants to pay bills, but now you MUST put the heating on.
    Blackpool_Saver is female, and does not live in Blackpool




    • Blackpool_Saver
    • By Blackpool_Saver 9th Dec 19, 3:44 PM
    • 6,209 Posts
    • 7,845 Thanks
    Blackpool_Saver
    https://www.gov.uk/the-warm-home-discount-scheme
    Blackpool_Saver is female, and does not live in Blackpool




    • Blackpool_Saver
    • By Blackpool_Saver 9th Dec 19, 3:45 PM
    • 6,209 Posts
    • 7,845 Thanks
    Blackpool_Saver
    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/energy/energy-supply/get-help-paying-your-bills/grants-and-benefits-to-help-you-pay-your-energy-bills/
    Blackpool_Saver is female, and does not live in Blackpool




    • LostCdn
    • By LostCdn 10th Dec 19, 12:33 PM
    • 43 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    LostCdn
    Thank you to everyone who has been kind, gentle and patient with me. Not to mention full of helpful suggestions.
    I have indeed tried all those things - I am not eligible. While to me a wee tiny flat costing 4/day in gas that's barely on is a lot, I am not considered low income and can't access the supports and I talked to a complaints manager a sse said it's the engineers that can't fit me in before Feb. I don't qualify for a speed up bc I don't have medical conditions.

    And yes I have been tracking the meter usage and calculated it and it does seem to match the cost coming off but I still don't see how so much is being used by a boiler for a teeny wee flat.
    I feel the wind through the bedroom wall no matter what I do and the flat was misadvertised as double glazed but it's single. When I complained the landlord told me I should just move. It is stressful and costly so yea, I have been crying bc I'm doing all the right things and keeping track and nothing is working so I am indeed frustrated and sad and angry. Maybe it won't get me anywhere but it's a normal reaction to an issue that seems impossible to fix at the minute. Doesn't mean I'm not trying to fix it, what it does mean is that I am at my wit's end and rude - if true - comments aren't going to help. So with respect, thanks but I don't want your help. As I've said I'm trying my best here and do not understand how this (Sorry but archaic) British heating systems work.

    I appreciate everyone who has been immensely kind and your helpful suggestions. I'm picking up a few rugs this week hopefully to help with the floor and am generally just thinking I'll move in the new year if I can find the will. And thinking I'll cover the bedroom walls with blankets because it's so windy in the bedroom even with two pairs of curtains and plastic even with heat on.

    What would help to know is if the radiators with TRVs (all but the hallway which has nothing) don't heat up between 1-3 but do between 4-5 does that mean they need bled? I asked the landlord to add a trv to the one radiator using the most heat that is in a place least needed, the hallways and again she suggested I move.
    I am currently keeping all radiators with TRVs on about 3-4 and hot water on combi boiler at the 2-3 dot though the water always takes forever to heat up.

    Thanks again (especially to Gerry1) for your helpful suggestions and I'll leave you alone.
    • JJ Egan
    • By JJ Egan 10th Dec 19, 12:37 PM
    • 13,666 Posts
    • 6,299 Thanks
    JJ Egan
    Costs nothing to bleed the rads.
    • Gerry1
    • By Gerry1 10th Dec 19, 12:58 PM
    • 1,276 Posts
    • 818 Thanks
    Gerry1
    A TRV is not a volume control. If the room temperature is above the level to which it is set then it will shut off the water flow and the radiator will go cold until the room temperature drops back below the threshold. That's how it's supposed to work; it's essentially binary, just like a fridge thermostat makes the motor turn on and off at intervals.
    • RelievedSheff
    • By RelievedSheff 10th Dec 19, 1:34 PM
    • 1,098 Posts
    • 1,136 Thanks
    RelievedSheff
    Try turning all of your TRV's on full. All of your radiators should then heat up and pump some heat into the flat.

    We have to have all of ours on full to stop the boiler cycling in and out as the developers in their ultimate wisdom have fitted a boiler that is far too big for the house!!

    Also try and find the source of the draughts and do what you can to reduce the worst of them. Although remember not to block up vents which are there for ventilation of the property.
    • Talldave
    • By Talldave 10th Dec 19, 2:06 PM
    • 648 Posts
    • 393 Thanks
    Talldave
    Moving is the only option. If the draughts are as bad as you say, then you're effectively heating outdoors because all your warmth is being cooled by the incoming cold air.

    Did you view the flat and its single glazed double glazing before signing up? If not, you're wiser for the next property.

    Ask about glazing, ask about heating, ask about meters, ask about average bills/consumption. Of course bear in mind that letting agents are often ignorant of the facts and will lie, just to give an answer. But if, for example, you ask about heating and hot water, check whether there's a hot tank or if it's a combi. If they say there's a hot tank, ask to see it - is it well insulated (one with foam formed around it) is there an immersion heater as backup, does it work? If it's a combi, turn on a hot tap, check that the boiler fires up and see how long hot water takes to arrive. Ask to see the gas safety certificate. Generally be a pain in asking questions and if you feel you're being fobbed off, walk away. If it's electricity only, don't even view.

    Best option is a purpose built block, middle floor, mid block so that you're insulated by the flats around you.
    Last edited by Talldave; 10-12-2019 at 2:08 PM.
    • RelievedSheff
    • By RelievedSheff 10th Dec 19, 2:20 PM
    • 1,098 Posts
    • 1,136 Thanks
    RelievedSheff
    Moving is the only option. If the draughts are as bad as you say, then you're effectively heating outdoors because all your warmth is being cooled by the incoming cold air.

    Did you view the flat and its single glazed double glazing before signing up? If not, you're wiser for the next property.

    Ask about glazing, ask about heating, ask about meters, ask about average bills/consumption. Of course bear in mind that letting agents are often ignorant of the facts and will lie, just to give an answer. But if, for example, you ask about heating and hot water, check whether there's a hot tank or if it's a combi. If they say there's a hot tank, ask to see it - is it well insulated (one with foam formed around it) is there an immersion heater as backup, does it work? If it's a combi, turn on a hot tap, check that the boiler fires up and see how long hot water takes to arrive. Ask to see the gas safety certificate. Generally be a pain in asking questions and if you feel you're being fobbed off, walk away. If it's electricity only, don't even view.

    Best option is a purpose built block, middle floor, mid block so that you're insulated by the flats around you.
    Originally posted by Talldave
    More modern purpose built flats tend to be all electric which would rule them out!

    And also with the amount of new topics on other parts of the forum about neighbour noise transmission between flats you would be wise to try to get a feel for that as well.

    To be honest I would say that moving is your best bet as well as you are clearly unhappy with this property. Just stay warm prior to moving. 4 per day is a small price to pay for your health.
    • victor2
    • By victor2 10th Dec 19, 2:41 PM
    • 5,074 Posts
    • 3,412 Thanks
    victor2
    As you have doubtless seen OP, forums such as this one are full of people only too happy to express their opinions. Many will be helpful, some not.
    It is down to you to trawl through it all and determine what is useful. Maybe you have a friend or neighbour who would be willing to explain your system to you as best they can? There is inevitably a lot of guesswork goes on in sites such as this where not all details are there, and posters such as yourself can't explain what they have as they don't understand it themselves (no insult intended).
    Perhaps the best answer is to find a new flat, while in the meantime coming to terms with what you have as best you can. Hopefully you do have more knowlege about heating systems and their associated costs than you did when you started this discussion, and will be more prepared when looking at options going forward.
    Good luck, put it aside for a while if you can and enjoy Christmas!
    • Gerry1
    • By Gerry1 10th Dec 19, 3:23 PM
    • 1,276 Posts
    • 818 Thanks
    Gerry1
    I asked the landlord to add a trv to the one radiator using the most heat that is in a place least needed, the hallways
    Originally posted by LostCdn
    Traditionally the thermostat used to be in the hall, and if so it would not make sense to fit the hall radiator with a TRV. The boiler would keep trying to reach the temperature set by the wall thermostat but would be defeated by the TRV if its setting were lower. The boiler would never shut down, resulting in sauna temperatures in rooms without TRVs.
    • LostCdn
    • By LostCdn 10th Dec 19, 3:42 PM
    • 43 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    LostCdn
    Thank you all. The idea of moving is so stressful but this has taken over my life. I'm actually leaving the UK for Christmas which is good because the thought of spending the holidays in this flat is horrific.
    I have reported the wind to the council though I don't imagine I'll get much from it.
    Thanks again to you all x
    • Blackpool_Saver
    • By Blackpool_Saver 10th Dec 19, 3:54 PM
    • 6,209 Posts
    • 7,845 Thanks
    Blackpool_Saver
    Can you not close the bedroom off and live totally in the lounge, that's what I would do.....
    Blackpool_Saver is female, and does not live in Blackpool




    • LostCdn
    • By LostCdn 11th Dec 19, 9:51 AM
    • 43 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    LostCdn
    Just letting you know that the manager at SSE called to say she was able to book in a smart meter for Jan 10. She said she was sorry and wished she could do better.
    Still that's better than Feb 18.
    So just a wee note to say that getting sad and frustrated doesn't equate to not being able to get things done.
    Though I do still think the issue is in fact extra high abnormal usage but at least a slightly cheaper tariff and standing charge will help a wee bit...
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