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For money savers, the cost of heating your home is always a hot topic (pun intended). But for those with patchy maths skills, understanding the charges can be a bit of a nightmare.

At National Numeracy we want to help people understand the maths behind the charges, so we thought we'd ask for MSE users' help in explaining the numbers.

So, in that spirit - how would you work out the question below? What aspects of numeracy would you use to arrive at your conclusion?

**If you use 11,650 kWh of gas a year, what is a sensible amount for a monthly direct debit?**

**Gas Tariff:**

4.0p per kWh

Standing charge 22p/day

Originally posted by **National Numeracy**
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What a brilliant topic, imho! It being the first of the month, I have just been doing exactly this for my own usage so I know precisely (calorific value fluctuations notwithstanding) how much credit I have left.

11650 kwh x (multiplied by) 0.04 pence (unit price) = £466 for gas usage

Standing charge = 365 (days in a year) x (multiplied by) 0.22 pence = £80.30

Add them together and what have you got? £546.30 cost for the year, divide this by 12 months in the year = £45.53, normally rounded up to the nearest whole £ = £46 per month, assuming prices quoted include V.A.T.

If V.A.T. is not included, £546.30 x (multiplied by) 5% = £27.32, add this to £546.30 = £573.62 divided by 12 months = £47.80 so £48 per month DD.

As has been mentioned, the conversion to kwh is already done in this instance but, for those of us still on an antediluvian meter in 100s of cubic feet, the conversion formula should be on your bill. I have it down, now: meter reading subtracting previous meter reading multiplied by 2.83, multiplied by calorific value typically 39.5, multiplied by 1.02264 divided by 3.6 = kwh.

A grade 'O' Level maths... No idea what BODMAS is!

ETA: 4 pence per kwh for gas is astronomical, imo. Compare and switch, already, armed with the knowledge to work out for yourself how much you will save as the CEC can only go on average usage.

What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?

Every stew starts with the first onion.

I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...