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  • FIRST POST
    • Kayleighb1
    • By Kayleighb1 14th Feb 18, 10:21 AM
    • 107Posts
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    Kayleighb1
    Electric usage has quadrupled, what to do?
    • #1
    • 14th Feb 18, 10:21 AM
    Electric usage has quadrupled, what to do? 14th Feb 18 at 10:21 AM
    If anyone could help I would really appreciate it.

    I used 1500KWH of electric May 2016-May 2017

    The reading that EDF took in February and my reading taken yesterday were classed as too high and so they have refused to take them. Instead they have guessed at a number. (why? no idea)

    However the reading I took yesterday is correct inasmuch as this is what the smart meter shows. And it is showing that in the 9 months since the last reading, I have used 6000KWH of electric.

    My usage at home hasn't changed, my appliances haven't changed and the house is empty 4 days a week. Our heating is gas powered and this shows an appropriate usage.

    Please can anyone advise on what i do and what the problem could be? The current readings will result in an account debit of over £1000 (from a £560 credit) and I am completely panicking about a) paying that back and b) future usage if i'm using 6000KWH in a 9 month period.

    Thanks in advance.
Page 2
    • Kayleighb1
    • By Kayleighb1 14th Feb 18, 3:27 PM
    • 107 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    Kayleighb1
    thank you, i will start recording as you suggest and then if my averages are showing that sort of usage when scaled up to 9 months, i will have to accept it and move on.

    EDF have suggested shutting everything off and seeing if the meter still increases, but the only way i can do that is via the fuse box. cant access my fridge power for instance.
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 14th Feb 18, 4:02 PM
    • 3,184 Posts
    • 6,302 Thanks
    Smodlet
    so 6000KWH is the norm for a 3-bed property over a 9 month period? if so maybe i just need to suck this up. just a shock at how much it has changed.
    Originally posted by Kayleighb1
    What kind of 3-bed property? I moved from a large, detached one to a semi-detached one half the size. Give us a clue. Do you cook with electricity? For your sake, I hope so with that usage. Do you have any electric fires/heated towel rails?

    It does seem that 15000 over a year was way too low. You say you have no "suspects" to turn off. Have you tried turning absolutely everything off and watching the meter to see if the reading still moves? Yes, I mean everything, fridges, freezers (if you keep the doors closed, they will be fine for half an hour) even Alexa (you won't stop breathing) Wait a while and if, after half an hour the reading has not moved, it follows the only thing still using electricity is the meter itself. If it moves within a few minutes something, somewhere is still using electricity. Do you have an immersion heater in a hot water tank, perhaps? That would do it if left on all the time.

    "Last reading taken was May 2017 and that one was 5311." Latest reading is 11213 = 5902 kwh used in 9 months = 655.777 per month = 21.859 kwh per day = 3 x our usage.

    We cook with electricity; we also have solar panels which we estimate save 35-40% on our annual usage. So you are using more than twice as much as us. I have no idea what an Alexa is for but doubt she uses that much unless she is one of these sex robots I keep hearing about.

    Lastly, as has been said already, take responsibility for your own energy account: Either submit meter readings at least once a month, on the same date every month, or face the situation you now find yourself in. So-called "smart" meters are at best controversial, at worst dumb when the supplier is changed. Try taking the old-fashioned approach for once and rely on yourself rather than on some "app" dressed up as an electricity meter.

    ETA: Why can't you access your fridge power? Because you would have to pull the fridge out?
    Last edited by Smodlet; 14-02-2018 at 4:04 PM.
    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...
    • BooJewels
    • By BooJewels 14th Feb 18, 4:12 PM
    • 278 Posts
    • 208 Thanks
    BooJewels
    EDF have suggested shutting everything off and seeing if the meter still increases, but the only way i can do that is via the fuse box. cant access my fridge power for instance.
    Originally posted by Kayleighb1
    Can you not turn everything off except your fridge and/or freezer and use the energy rating for the model[s] to see if the resultant usage looks right?

    For comparison; our energy consumption is around 8000Kwh per year (your projected annual use on this higher reading)- which I expect to be higher than most households. But I work from home and have computers, power tools, TV, music player, lots of lighting etc going all day and use a kiln periodically which uses as much juice in a firing as the rest of the house for a week, so I know this is a large expense for me. Plus I heat and use a dehumidifier in the cellar to make it a usable room. I have however saved some more recently by replacing almost all my light bulbs now with LED lighting.

    So the same amount for a household with people out at work during most days, does sound high. So even if it turns out to be correct, maybe this exercise will allow you to identify the culprit or modify the way you use power. But taking regular readings will put you in control - if you have lots of data for reference, you will start to see patterns and will soon see if there is a problem.

    It might also be useful to go around each room and tot up what is using juice in that room and how much they use and for how long and see if the usage numbers are plausible.
    • Kayleighb1
    • By Kayleighb1 14th Feb 18, 8:47 PM
    • 107 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    Kayleighb1
    Well this is why I asked about turning things off at the fuse box, will that have the same effect as turning off at the wall?

    The fridge canít be removed without quite a lot of faff and unscrewing and removal of cupboards and Iím not keen to do that if I can find another way.

    Iím not saying I canít turn the things I mentioned off (Alexa etc) Just that they are the only things turned on at the wall all the time.

    We cook some with electric (oven and slow cooker) and some with gas (hob).

    I would like to stress our usage hasnít changed since I went back to work nearly 3 years ago. This is why itís a shock. Detached well insulated property - though the heating isnít the issue here. No hot water tank, no immersion heater. No electric heating. 1 towel rail which is turned off as it burns legs.

    We have been in this place for 6 years and only improved the energy efficiency in that time - we have never had bills over £1000 a year for dual fuel, and often much less.

    Now we are looking at £1700 if Iíve calculated it correctly.

    And enough of the accusations. We werenít given a choice about having it installed and I havenít relied on it to send readings. I have given readings when I have been asked for. Again hindsight is just wonderful but there isnít a manual given to every bill payer stating perform monthly meter readings no matter what.
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 14th Feb 18, 9:04 PM
    • 3,184 Posts
    • 6,302 Thanks
    Smodlet
    Sending monthly readings is common sense... Which I learned once I became a moneysaver on here so apologies if I ruffled any feathers but I would never rely on a machine to do my thinking for me; they cannot be trusted, imho.

    Thank you for the information. It is beginning to sound as if your earlier bills were way below what they should have been and you are now reaping the results of that. If the energy has been used, you have to pay for it, as you know. If your estimated usage was way out, as seems possible, you now know the harsh reality of the situation.

    Best advice you have already been given; turn stuff off and measure what uses what. I hope this link may be of some use: https://www.cse.org.uk/downloads/advice-leaflets/energy-advice/advice_leaflet_what_uses_watt.pdf
    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...
    • macman
    • By macman 15th Feb 18, 9:11 AM
    • 41,920 Posts
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    macman
    As already stated, turning off your supply at the CU for a hour or so will not affect your fridge or freezer at all, as long as you keep the door shut.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • Kayleighb1
    • By Kayleighb1 15th Feb 18, 9:37 AM
    • 107 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    Kayleighb1
    I'm not worried about it affecting the fridge.

    What I said was, I cant physically get to the fridge plug, and will turning power off at the mains have the same effect on the meter i.e. if there is an error it will still go up.

    I will be testing the meter the next chance I get by turning power off at the mains.

    Incidentally last year's low bills were based on genuine readings both mine and theirs, and there was no flagging up that they were particularly low. So is there no culpability there for EDF?

    Additionally, the meter is showing that my usage this year was high. ridiculously so. I don't understand why low usage last year would impact on that?

    Based on the latest readings and new bill, EDF are now projecting a bill of £1900 for the next 12 months usage. Comparison sites are projecting £1200. Does anyone know if I can still switch if I am in debit on my account?
    • Kayleighb1
    • By Kayleighb1 15th Feb 18, 9:39 AM
    • 107 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    Kayleighb1
    At no point was I relying on a machine btw. I was relying on my energy
    company to ask for meter readings when they needed them.

    Not everyone knows this stuff without being told it and it's a bit harsh to take the line of "well you wouldn't be in this mess had you done monthly readings". I didn't know, I am in this mess, I can't afford the debit and knowing it was down to me not taking monthly readings doesn't help me right now.

    Good to know going forward that that is the correct action to take.
    • Robin9
    • By Robin9 15th Feb 18, 9:57 AM
    • 2,647 Posts
    • 1,723 Thanks
    Robin9
    At no point was I relying on a machine btw. I was relying on my energy
    company to ask for meter readings when they needed them.

    Not everyone knows this stuff without being told it and it's a bit harsh to take the line of "well you wouldn't be in this mess had you done monthly readings". I didn't know, I am in this mess, I can't afford the debit and knowing it was down to me not taking monthly readings doesn't help me right now.

    Good to know going forward that that is the correct action to take.
    Originally posted by Kayleighb1
    Nobody is being harsh on you. The advice comes from a variety of users inc those who have been there and had the same agonising journey that you have.
    Never pay on an estimated bill
    • Kayleighb1
    • By Kayleighb1 15th Feb 18, 10:09 AM
    • 107 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    Kayleighb1
    I have found this interesting.

    These are a record of my meter readings just emailed to me by EDF:

    GAS

    26.05.2016- 891.000
    20.02.2017- 1,646.000
    31.05.2017- 1,104.000
    13.02.2018- 2,483.000

    All taken by EDF themselves. I was given a credit last May of £215. I didn't query this as i trusted them. (yes yes very dim of me).

    It seems as though that reading in May was an error. So this has contributed to the big debit and also my monthly payments being reduced so much.

    THis has affected the account to the tune of almost £500 that I can work out.

    They are still investigating the meter readings for electric.
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 15th Feb 18, 10:36 AM
    • 3,587 Posts
    • 2,230 Thanks
    matelodave
    The main thing is to read the meter yourself regularly and to make sure that any bills or statements have up do date and accurate readings - if they dont then you should get them corrected immediately. Don't just rely on the smart meter doing it for you - makes sure the bills are correct

    Most of the queries and problems on this forum are related to errors or estimates that dont get corrected at the time they occur. They then become extremely difficult to rectify later. They also get compounded when meters are changed and the old readings get lost.

    The best advice is to save copies of bills or statements, dont just chuck them away. You dont have to print them, just download and save PDFs even when you change suppliers. It helps you challenge any problems in the future if or when the suppliers website goes down or gets corrupted especially when they are no longer your supplier and you lose access to your account.

    Suppliers are entitled to chase up any errors or arrears up to six years, so it's a good idea to make sure you've ammunition to refute it
    Love makes the world go round - beer make it go round even faster
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    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 15th Feb 18, 10:42 AM
    • 3,184 Posts
    • 6,302 Thanks
    Smodlet
    To answer one of your questions, KayleighB, no, turning the mains off will not help identify the problem as you would then cut off the supply to all appliances so would not be able to see if there is something using electricity you were not aware of.

    Perhaps you could try turning off everything you can access as a fridge does not use that much juice in half an hour or so. If you find the meter is still whizzing along with only a fridge plugged in, there must be something else using a considerable amount of electricity. If you cannot then identify what that is, perhaps there is a fault with the meter but, as already advised, if EDF come out and fail to find any such fault, they will charge you for the visit.

    Do you have a garage/outbuilding with a power supply to it? If so, could something have been left on in there? Sorry but I am stumped as you have eliminated most possibilities already. HTH.
    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...
    • Kayleighb1
    • By Kayleighb1 15th Feb 18, 10:58 AM
    • 107 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    Kayleighb1
    i dont know how many times i have to say i haven't relied on the smart meter.

    what i have done is relied on EDF telling me to read it when they needed a reading. lesson learned.

    i do have a garage but only thing plugged in in there is an additional fridge.

    I will turn everything off that i can access as suggested and see if the meter is still going up.
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 15th Feb 18, 11:31 AM
    • 5,919 Posts
    • 3,647 Thanks
    Hengus
    I have found this interesting.

    These are a record of my meter readings just emailed to me by EDF:

    GAS

    26.05.2016- 891.000
    20.02.2017- 1,646.000
    31.05.2017- 1,104.000
    13.02.2018- 2,483.000

    Originally posted by Kayleighb1
    The meter reading on the 31/05/17 does not make sense. If we talking cub metres here, then usage from Feb 17 to Feb 18 equals about 9400kWhs which is by no means high.
    Last edited by Hengus; 15-02-2018 at 11:33 AM.
    • Robin9
    • By Robin9 15th Feb 18, 11:46 AM
    • 2,647 Posts
    • 1,723 Thanks
    Robin9
    The meter reading on the 31/05/17 does not make sense. If we talking cub metres here, then usage from Feb 17 to Feb 18 equals about 9400kWhs which is by no means high.
    Originally posted by Hengus
    This looks like a reading error - probably should have been 2104.000 which has given OP a false sense of her consumption. If it 2104 then it all drops into place, the consumption overall is typical.

    In post #4 she says "May 17 was submitted by me and verified with similar readings from the provider. It is a smart meter but not an EDF one so readings aren't automatic." What does verified by provider mean - perhaps simply that the computer didn't reject it
    Never pay on an estimated bill
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 15th Feb 18, 12:11 PM
    • 5,919 Posts
    • 3,647 Thanks
    Hengus
    This looks like a reading error - probably should have been 2104.000 which has given OP a false sense of her consumption. If it 2104 then it all drops into place, the consumption overall is typical.

    In post #4 she says "May 17 was submitted by me and verified with similar readings from the provider. It is a smart meter but not an EDF one so readings aren't automatic." What does verified by provider mean - perhaps simply that the computer didn't reject it
    Originally posted by Robin9
    Up until the middle of last year, what is known as the Annual Quantity (AQ) for gas for every property was updated only once per year. In June 17, Project NEXUS was rolled out by Ofgem. Part of this upgrade is designed to allow suppliers to update the AQ with each actual or customer read via NEXUS. Before doing this, the meter readings have to be verified by the data collectors. Some suppliers are stating on this forum that the process takes 28 days others, such as Bulb, are saying that it is only 1 to 2 days. I assume that this problem will go away when smart meters are connected to The DCC which is independent of each supplier.
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 15th Feb 18, 12:13 PM
    • 3,184 Posts
    • 6,302 Thanks
    Smodlet
    This looks like a reading error - probably should have been 2104.000 which has given OP a false sense of her consumption. If it 2104 then it all drops into place, the consumption overall is typical.

    In post #4 she says "May 17 was submitted by me and verified with similar readings from the provider. It is a smart meter but not an EDF one so readings aren't automatic." What does verified by provider mean - perhaps simply that the computer didn't reject it
    Originally posted by Robin9

    Or that it is now actually a dumb meter which would account for things getting so out of hand if it was installed by a supplier other than EDF.
    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...
    • Kayleighb1
    • By Kayleighb1 15th Feb 18, 10:08 PM
    • 107 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    Kayleighb1
    It means they also took a reading, I took the electric. They took gas and electric.
    • Kayleighb1
    • By Kayleighb1 15th Feb 18, 10:09 PM
    • 107 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    Kayleighb1
    Yes the meter is very dumb it is an eon meter not def.

    This doesn!!!8217;t account for the electric readings I am waiting to receive those.
    • Kayleighb1
    • By Kayleighb1 15th Feb 18, 10:10 PM
    • 107 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    Kayleighb1
    That was an interesting apostrophe
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