Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • David848435
    • By David848435 15th Dec 17, 8:40 PM
    • 12Posts
    • 1Thanks
    David848435
    One bed flat, electricity only huge bill
    • #1
    • 15th Dec 17, 8:40 PM
    One bed flat, electricity only huge bill 15th Dec 17 at 8:40 PM
    Hello,

    I was just wondering if anyone knew what the average hill for a one bed flat with just electricity is?

    I've bee in a constant battle with Npower as I do not believe my bill is correct £155 per month. They have just told me that next year my annual usage is looking to be £1870.

    1 bedroom, modest kitchen, bathroom abd bedroom, fairly large lounge but not huge.
    Storage heaters that only got fixed last month, before then never had them during the 2 years I've lived here. Water heater which is on for an hour a day. Smallish fridge freezer, generic items anyone would have. Not excessively used. Two loads of washing on average a week. Newish products (all A rated energy).

    It just seems absolutely mental. When I put what we use into some providers the monthly cost is as low as 38 rising to 50 with others. Even on npowers most expensive tariff it would still be 79 they suggest for our flat.

    Any advice appreciated.
Page 2
    • tberry6686
    • By tberry6686 17th Dec 17, 10:07 AM
    • 996 Posts
    • 959 Thanks
    tberry6686
    "Storage heaters never economic these days as far as I can see."

    Completely wrong. If there is no mains gas available (common outside of towns and cities) Storage heaters are often the most economical form of heating there is.

    Take myself as an example.

    I am currently on storage heaters and E7. I looked at getting gas installed (main is approx 5m away in the road beside my garden).

    Quote for getting gas to my house - >£10k. add in a boiler, radiators and plumbing and I would be looking at around £15k. Current annual electricity bills total £1600. Saving using gas would probably be less than £600 annually. Total payback time (taking into account annual servicing, replacement boiler after 20 years etc) around the 40 year mark or in other words storage heaters are far more economic for me than gas would be.
    • cjdavies
    • By cjdavies 17th Dec 17, 11:17 AM
    • 3,365 Posts
    • 3,594 Thanks
    cjdavies
    Mine averages at the moment £70 for both gas and electric, just me, mid terrace 2 bedroom.

    Heating is only on for a few hours when drying clothes. Other than that 1 hour in morning, the temperature is 13.5 degrees, hoodie and quilt when on sofa does the job.

    Yours is very high.
    Last edited by cjdavies; 17-12-2017 at 11:19 AM.
    • Zither
    • By Zither 18th Dec 17, 6:35 AM
    • 330 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    Zither
    Hello David,

    I had something similar several years ago. Used to rent a one bedroom electric only studio flat in Gateshead. A new build complex with a shared meter room. Elec bill was ridiculously high. Because meter room was shared I could see that my meter was using more power than other bigger 2-3 bed properties in the complex. But I was running elec boiler for just like 40 mins per day for shower, sitting in freezing cold without heater on with hot waster bottle in mid winter etc.

    I spoke to Scottish Power (my supplier at the time) and they told me that the meter was fine but if I wanted someone to come out and have a look at it but there was nothing wrong with the meter then they would charge me £75 (which I couldn!!!8217;t afford at the time).

    I eventually moved out 6 months later-ish... then about another 6 months later I got an email from Scottish Power telling me !!!8216;hello Mr X, we are writing to let you know that the meter at your property was found to be faulty - here is a refund for £700!!!8217;.

    Elec is more expensive but unless you!!!8217;ve got a cannabis farm in the bedroom with heat/light on 24h per day you!!!8217;re definitely paying too much. If you!!!8217;re renting I!!!8217;d take it up with the landlord first and then, if you can, compare to other meters and then raise with elec company again.
    Last edited by Zither; 18-12-2017 at 6:38 AM.
    • Scilly
    • By Scilly 18th Dec 17, 12:42 PM
    • 41 Posts
    • 20 Thanks
    Scilly
    Hello David,

    I had something similar several years ago. Used to rent a one bedroom electric only studio flat in Gateshead. A new build complex with a shared meter room. Elec bill was ridiculously high. Because meter room was shared I could see that my meter was using more power than other bigger 2-3 bed properties in the complex. But I was running elec boiler for just like 40 mins per day for shower, sitting in freezing cold without heater on with hot waster bottle in mid winter etc.

    I spoke to Scottish Power (my supplier at the time) and they told me that the meter was fine but if I wanted someone to come out and have a look at it but there was nothing wrong with the meter then they would charge me £75 (which I couldn’t afford at the time).

    I eventually moved out 6 months later-ish... then about another 6 months later I got an email from Scottish Power telling me ‘hello Mr X, we are writing to let you know that the meter at your property was found to be faulty - here is a refund for £700’.

    Elec is more expensive but unless you’ve got a cannabis farm in the bedroom with heat/light on 24h per day you’re definitely paying too much. If you’re renting I’d take it up with the landlord first and then, if you can, compare to other meters and then raise with elec company again.
    Originally posted by Zither

    Hi David,
    I have a small 2 bed house, with night storage heaters on Eco 7 (e.on's best rate - used MSE energy club to find it).
    At this time of year I'm using anything between £3--4.50 per day (the majority of that is to heat up the NHS' overnight) .... & it''s still not warm*... & an additional 50p-£1 during the day depending if we're home, number of showers, oven usage etc. I have a smart meter & can see that when I come down stairs in the morning I'm generally £3ish.
    In the summer, with the heating off, I don't go over £1 per 24hrs!
    *My house doesn't heat up easily, it's a concrete pour with single glazed windows, but has great insulation, I suspect the heat is leaking out sides!
    I wish I could afford to get double glazing & external insulation (as a home owner in full time employment I can't get funding .... I'm saving up furiously so I can get warmer & bring my bills down! Crazy isn't it!!! I've got film over the windows to create my own double-glazing & draught excluders everywhere I could put them!
    On we go.....
    • mbmonty
    • By mbmonty 20th Dec 17, 1:44 PM
    • 110 Posts
    • 57 Thanks
    mbmonty
    "Storage heaters never economic these days as far as I can see."

    Completely wrong. If there is no mains gas available (common outside of towns and cities) Storage heaters are often the most economical form of heating there is.

    Take myself as an example.

    I am currently on storage heaters and E7. I looked at getting gas installed (main is approx 5m away in the road beside my garden).

    Quote for getting gas to my house - >£10k. add in a boiler, radiators and plumbing and I would be looking at around £15k. Current annual electricity bills total £1600. Saving using gas would probably be less than £600 annually. Total payback time (taking into account annual servicing, replacement boiler after 20 years etc) around the 40 year mark or in other words storage heaters are far more economic for me than gas would be.
    Originally posted by tberry6686

    That is totally flawed, you did not allow for inflation in cost of electricity over gas, you did not allow for like for like costs of replacing storage heaters when they are beyond use or services, you did not allow for savings in cooking with gas.

    A change in energy source should be amortised across the lifetime of use which may be beyond your lifetime.

    You also did not allow for increased value of your house for having the choice.

    People prefer central heating, it is instant, I can come home to a freezing cold home at 5pm and have it warm very quickly at under 4p per kWh, you on the other hand have to depend on what is left of some bricks you warmed up last night or put on the electic panel heater at 17p per kWh.

    I appreciate some people do not have choice, but when I lived in a flat with storage heaters I found it more effective you put a tea candle in a chicken brick.

    With storage heaters they are warm in the morning but in the evening they are rubbish.

    Also never been allowed one in a bathroom and the electric heaters in a bathroom of such properties were always awful.
    • David848435
    • By David848435 7th Jan 18, 2:46 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    David848435
    No closer to finding a solution to this issue.

    Spoken with the executive liaison team which are just fobbing me off. Hugely disappointed in Npower.

    They won't come out, won't do a thing. Just say it all seems correct.
    I just want to leave now but the bills outweigh what I can pay, so it's a never ending cycle at the moment. Ombudsman sided with them also. It has completely baffled me.
    • jk0
    • By jk0 7th Jan 18, 2:56 PM
    • 2,321 Posts
    • 24,847 Thanks
    jk0
    David, as far as I can see, you have done none of the hourly meter readings or checks that have been suggested here.

    God helps those who help themselves.
    • David848435
    • By David848435 7th Jan 18, 3:29 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    David848435
    Sorry I have, been off net for a little while, ill pop them up in a bit.
    • mbmonty
    • By mbmonty 8th Jan 18, 1:22 AM
    • 110 Posts
    • 57 Thanks
    mbmonty
    No closer to finding a solution to this issue.

    Spoken with the executive liaison team which are just fobbing me off. Hugely disappointed in Npower.

    They won't come out, won't do a thing. Just say it all seems correct.
    I just want to leave now but the bills outweigh what I can pay, so it's a never ending cycle at the moment. Ombudsman sided with them also. It has completely baffled me.
    Originally posted by David848435

    No Closer because you have done NOTHING

    You came on here nearly a month ago, I and other people wasted their time giving you suggestions, telling you how to check things and asking you to post readings.

    You very rudely did not respond to those posts and now you come back on here whining again.

    Well what would you have us do, re-post what we said last month?

    How about you go try all the things people suggested and then post back something useful to help them help you.

    Is it any wonder the Ombudsman sided with them?

    It completely baffled me how you manage to get on in life.

    You have all you need on page one of this thread to figure this out.


    Whoa settle down.

    I obviously have done things. I escalated to the CEO which is why I'm now talking to the executive liaison team.
    I threatened ombudsman and they sent a deadlock letter.
    I did daily readings (admittedly not hourly). Sent these off to them.

    I sent them the video of everything shut off and the meter still ticking, but no response.

    If the ombudsman sided with them, after all this what realistic hope is left?
    Also as mentioned above, I haven't been online that much as I've been half way across the world for the holiday season
    Originally posted by David848435

    Your message says it all, you are unable to follow simple instructions and you do not even understand when you are told AGAIN then you blame your supplier or the ombudsman and say "poor me".

    When I said you have done NOTHING I meant NOTHING in response to all the posts on page one of this thread that you started, you then come back on here and whinge.

    I see others have tried to help you again and no doubt you will NOT follow the instructions they have given you, then you will come back here in a month whining again.

    You say you took readings, they are not anywhere on this thread, worse than that you just disappeared for a month then come back as if people owe you something.


    Have you checked if the meter might be faulty?
    Originally posted by elsien
    You were asked whether YOU HAD CHECKED if the meter might be faulty, your reply was that you had asked Npower to come out, if as you say they refused to come out it is because you gave them no evidence of a problem. So YOU have done NOTHING, you expect them to spend £100 to send an Engineer when you make no effort to give them evidence.

    You were asked

    Maybe you could switch everything off, including fridge, tv, broadband router, absolutely everything and then watch the meter. It should not be registering any usage at all. That's the first thing I would do.
    Originally posted by Loanranger
    You replied

    Yeah think I'll have to do that. Well do it in the morning and report back. It just doesn't seem right at all.
    Originally posted by David848435
    YOU DIDN'T REPORT BACK, nor have you since,

    You were asked

    Read your meter every hour and post the readings here.
    Originally posted by st999
    YOU DIDN'T REPORT BACK, nor have you since,

    You were asked

    You can't manage what you do not track, so start by reading your meter hourly for 4 hours, then turn off storage heaters by switch next to them and by their ring on fuse box.

    Keep monitoring hourly, if the consumption goes down a lot then you have your answer.
    Originally posted by mbmonty
    YOU DIDN'T REPORT BACK, nor have you since,

    You were asked to check Eco7


    I think the eco7 meter should have a reading of it's own, it should not be moving in the day.

    So if the day reading decreases when you turn off the storage heaters then they are wired to the wrong meter and that is Npowers fault so they should refund excess.
    Originally posted by mbmonty
    YOU DIDN'T REPORT BACK, nor have you since,

    You were asked

    If on the other hand the night rate increases during the day then the meter timer is faulty.
    Originally posted by mbmonty
    YOU DIDN'T REPORT BACK, nor have you since,

    You were asked

    This part of the post implies that it might not be the usage that's the problem. Do you have details of your historic usage as well, and your 24 hour usage? Then put this information into the tariff and see what it actually is in terms of cost, not in terms of monthly DD amount.
    Originally posted by anniecave
    This is an important post, you think in terms of the amount to spend per month as a direct debit, you do not seem to be reconciling your actual usage with your bills, at least that is the impression because as usual YOU DIDN'T REPORT BACK, nor have you since,

    Fast forward 3 weeks and you come back complaining and blaming, you are told

    David, as far as I can see, you have done none of the hourly meter readings or checks that have been suggested here.

    God helps those who help themselves.
    Originally posted by jk0
    You reply

    Sorry I have, been off net for a little while, ill pop them up in a bit.
    Originally posted by David848435
    as usual YOU DIDN'T REPORT BACK, nor have you since but you can come back and tell me to settle down.

    It is not nuclear physics, you take a reading, wait a few hours, take another reading. By doing this for 24 hours every hour you can see hour by hour if there are any peaks. You also measure your current consumption and create the baseline which is what we compare to as we test.

    Get a piece of paper, draw lines and give headings or use a spreadsheet.

    Date - Time - Day meter - Night meter - Day usage - Night usage Comments

    Here is some example data

    Date | Time |Day meter -| Night meter | Day usage | Night usage | Comments
    01/08 | 18:00 | 8000 | 5000 | N/A | 000 | Start of baseline test
    01/08 | 19:00 | 8003 | 5000 | 003 | 000 | Oven Dinner TV
    01/08 | 20:00 | 8007 | 5000 | 004 | 000 | Watching TV
    01/08 | 21:00 | 8010 | 5000 | 003 | 000 | TV Washing clothes
    01/08 | 22:00 | 8015 | 5000 | 005 | 000 | Watching TV
    01/08 | 23:00 | 8018 | 5000 | 003 | 000 | Watching TV PC on
    01/08 | 00:00 | 8022 | 5000 | 005 | 000 | Watching TV
    02/08 | 01:00 | 8025 | 5005 | 003 | 005 | Heating came on
    02/08 | 05:00 | 8033 | 5020 | 008 | 015 | Breakfast and Shower
    02/08 | 06:00 | 8041 | 5025 | 008 | 005 | Left for work
    02/08 | 18:00 | 8065 | 5000 | 024 | N/A | Return from work

    The above is just an example the numbers are not meant to reflect normal use.

    We will call this curremt consumption test TASK A

    Once you have done that for a day or a week you have a baseline.

    As other have suggested you need to identify on the fuse box (consumer unit) which switches apply to what (rings), there is usually one ring for the oven, one for the heaters, one for the hot water, one (or more) for the lights and one or more for the power sockets etc.

    We will call this TASK B

    When checking power usage you can turn off individual rings, but the most likely cause for such a large increase is heating or water, so it makes sense to check them first, forget what you think you have checked and start over.

    There are fourt things to check here

    1. Is the heating and water usage correctly wired to the Eco7 meter ? (which would make day rate high and night rate low)

    If you had posted your readings when requested we could have seen whether your usage was abnormal.

    2. Is the heating and water usage coming on in the day (suggesting the meter timer clock is faulty)

    3. Have you made a mistake in the timer, (e.g, thinking on is off and off is on)

    4. Do your storage heaters have a day heater for when bricks have gone cold and is this on?


    So to check 1...

    Is the heating and water usage correctly wired to the Eco7 meter ? (which would make day rate high and night rate low)


    TASK C. Take a meter reading and note it down along with date and time taken, plus comment on what you are testing (use a new sheet similar to TASK A.

    TASK D. Turn off the ring for the heaters at the fuse box but also turn off the isolation switch for storage heaters. Each Storage heater has an isolation switch next to it (sometimes with an orange light) turn them all off.

    TASK E. The water heater too has an isolation switch next to it, turn it off.

    TASK F. Check the meters hourly with these turned off or even after 24 hours. YES this will mean no hot water for a day.

    TASK G. For each reading make a note of units used since TASK F started and since each reading layout in same way as table in TASK A.

    TASK H. Compare usage for that 24 hours on Eco7 and day meter to baseline you took in TASK A

    If Day metre reading is substantially lower than the baseline day usage, it would suggest that your heaters are using energy on the day meter, so then we have to find out WHY.

    To recap, we are testing Storage heating and water which should be coming off night meter, you should NOT be using any other heating nor have separate panel heater built into storage heater swithed on.

    Check 2...

    Is the heating and water usage coming on in the day (suggesting the meter timer clock is faulty)

    This is quite simple to check, the water heater will have two power switches, one for day and one for night. The storage heaters will have the timer that heats the bricks and they may have a panel heater used when bricks run cold.

    TASK I. Make sure any Panel heater on each storage heater is OFF.
    TASK J. Make sure water heating day switch is OFF.

    TASK K. Take readings of meters as per TASK A.
    TASK L. Turn on ring main for storage heaters and water
    TASK M. Record meter readings every 15 or 30 minutes

    As you perform this check the storage heaters timers and the water timers should be set to night time hours, so they should NOT be coming on, most installations will not even let them come on in the day because they are wired only to Eco7, so if you have turned on the ring at fuse box and they are increasing the Eco7 or Day meter during the day it would suggest a faulty install. You need to take readings while you test, ideally every 15 or 30 mins, you can then repeat this check for just water and for just storage heaters, while again taking readings.

    In theory the eco7 meter should not be moving in the day at all, I say in theory because I once lived in a flat that had two EXTRA storage heaters wired into 13amp sockets, these were put in by a former tenant and against regulations.

    At the same time your day reading when you leave for work and return from work should be relatively low, with just the fridge and any items on standby to power.

    Now to check 3

    Have you made a mistake in the timer, (e.g, thinking on is off and off is on)

    I have seen this on old installations but usually storage heaters brick heating is isolated to eco7, but as you think you have water on for just 20 minutes there is a chance you have that wrong and it is costing more than you think but this should still be on Eco7

    Finally check 4


    Do your storage heaters have a day heater for when bricks have gone cold and is this on?

    This would be a basic error, such heaters have a switch with orange light so hard to miss during day.

    If the unit has been wired correctly the biggest culprit is the timer switch on the meter, because this is what prevents the heaters using day time electricity, the meter readers are supposed to check this, they have a wand they can run over the wires and it illuminates red if there is voltage. My energy company failed to check this for over 5 years, I was able to prove it with historic meter readings from previous tenants which I asked them to provide to me and the ombudsman.

    Once you have ruled out heating and water is being correctly applied to the right meter it is a case of measuring appliances. You do that with the £6 device I recommended in my post 3 weeks ago.

    Then you do the same in different testing conditions, OBVIOUSLY the easiest thing to is to start by turning every thing off and checking one thing at a time.

    I find it hard to imagine that such a huge usage would be caused by things like a TV, Oven and Washing machine need to be tested (take meter readings before and after use) Fridge can be a factor if faulty thermostat even if labelled as Class A. That device from ebay allows you to put in unit rate from your bill, it then tells you the usage since reset, as well as the current Volt, Watt and Amp usage.

    As I have said YOU CAN'T MANAGE WHAT YOU DO NOT TRACK and as others have pointed out you can't help people who will not help themselves; so do the above tasks and report back, otherwise pay up or move home!
    Last edited by mbmonty; 06-04-2018 at 3:43 AM.
    • David848435
    • By David848435 8th Jan 18, 1:52 AM
    • 12 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    David848435
    Whoa settle down.

    I obviously have done things. I escalated to the CEO which is why I'm now talking to the executive liaison team.
    I threatened ombudsman and they sent a deadlock letter.
    I did daily readings (admittedly not hourly). Sent these off to them.

    I sent them the video of everything shut off and the meter still ticking, but no response.

    If the ombudsman sided with them, after all this what realistic hope is left?
    Also as mentioned above, I haven't been online that much as I've been half way across the world for the holiday season
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 8th Jan 18, 8:52 AM
    • 5,936 Posts
    • 3,655 Thanks
    Hengus

    I sent them the video of everything shut off and the meter still ticking, but no response.
    Originally posted by David848435
    Shut off - how exactly? The only way to test whether something is amiss is to turn off everything at the consumer box. That is, isolate all the circuits. If the meter is still recording usage then there is a problem on YOUR side of the meter. You need to get this investigated by a qualified electrician. You cannot expect a supplier to check how you, and possibly others, are using your supply. They just want to bill for energy used.
    • Robin9
    • By Robin9 8th Jan 18, 8:59 AM
    • 2,673 Posts
    • 1,746 Thanks
    Robin9
    Whoa settle down.


    I did daily readings (admittedly not hourly). Sent these off to them.
    Originally posted by David848435
    Please post them here
    Never pay on an estimated bill
    • NineDeuce
    • By NineDeuce 8th Jan 18, 9:16 AM
    • 827 Posts
    • 766 Thanks
    NineDeuce
    Only one way to check if your electricity supplier is at fault. Take control and take the readings yourself. If you are so sceptical, even take dated photos as proof.

    If the readings are ok, then you are either: -
    a) on a high tariff or
    b) are just using too much electricity

    If you are on a dual tariff you will be spending a lot of money if you are activating your heating during the day time, where higher tariffs apply.
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 8th Jan 18, 9:51 AM
    • 5,936 Posts
    • 3,655 Thanks
    Hengus
    Let's take a step back here. Sending videos; e-mails etc will get the OP absolutely nowhere. There are 3 scenarios here:

    1. A faulty meter. The OP can ask the supplier for this to be checked but if it is found to be functioning correctly there will be a charge. As I said above, the meter function can be checked by isolating all the circuits. If the meter is still turning then, in my opinion, current is still being drawn by something/somebody in the property. If the meter stops then a simple test needs to be run by turning on a device of known wattage for a given amount of time.

    2. The OP needs to check that he/she is being billed correctly for the units that are being used. This is easily done by looking at the most recent statement.

    3. The meter is recording properly and the OP is actually consuming the amount of energy recorded on the meter, or, some of the energy is being diverted after the meter to another user. This can only be checked by a qualified electrician at the OP's expense.

    By agreeing to issue a Deadlock Letter, it is pretty clear to me that the supplier believes that The EO will find that it has done nothing wrong.
    • Robin9
    • By Robin9 8th Jan 18, 9:59 AM
    • 2,673 Posts
    • 1,746 Thanks
    Robin9
    Storage heaters that only got fixed last month, before then never had them during the 2 years I've lived here.

    Any advice appreciated.
    Originally posted by David848435
    Going back to your original post what were you using for heating before the storage heaters got fixed ?

    If this was convector heaters/ focal point fires etc then your heating bills would cost a fortune.

    But as the OP won't tell us consumption/ tariffs etc .................
    Never pay on an estimated bill
    • m0bov
    • By m0bov 8th Jan 18, 10:44 AM
    • 1,299 Posts
    • 884 Thanks
    m0bov
    Why not get a sparky to come out and test the system, see if there is a draw and where its coming from. Then if its a faulty meter, you can send them a copy of the report and claim for the cost of the sparky. The quicker you do this, the quicker you start saving.
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 8th Jan 18, 8:47 PM
    • 9,608 Posts
    • 10,687 Thanks
    AnotherJoe
    Do you have an immersion heater ? Mine was once accidentally left switched on for several weeks. That by itself could easily cost £50 or more a month.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

2,594Posts Today

8,308Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Ah these care free days of watching #ENG score 5 goals in the first half of a World Cup match. It reminds me of... Never.

  • Then it should be. It's not some accident. It's deliberate grappling https://t.co/UxVTuUSNio

  • Penalty yes but time someone was sent off for these wrestling moves #WorldCup

  • Follow Martin