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
    • zmd1201
    • By zmd1201 4th Apr 18, 7:52 PM
    • 8Posts
    • 0Thanks
    zmd1201
    Another high electricity question!
    • #1
    • 4th Apr 18, 7:52 PM
    Another high electricity question! 4th Apr 18 at 7:52 PM
    Hi all,
    I've been a lurker round on the forum for several months and so I have seen how useful all your advice is and so was hoping you could all give me some please! I recently moved from a 1 and a box room flat to a big 2 bedroom flat with my partner. We have received a bill for 508 KW electricity for 5 weeks (actual not estimated)- in our old flat we used the same amount over 4-5 months over the same time of year so I am very confused and would appreciate any advice to determine if this is reasonable or if there is any other reason.

    Our consumption is as follows:

    - Dishwasher about 4 times a week
    - 8 in 1 slow cooker type thing for porridge 5 times a week and occasional slow cooker / rice cooker usage (1 per week?)
    - Washing 2 a week
    - No tumble dryer
    - Nearly no ironing (one shirt every 3 weeks?)
    - Believe the shower is gas, there is no "electric" box in the shower
    - Don't drink tea or coffee, just use kettle for cooking.
    - Cooking (admittedly not every night as we eat out a lot..., every other night for about an hour) with a gas hob
    - No TV - we use one laptop that is not charged over night.
    - 1, sometime 2 phones is charged over night
    - We have heated towel rails - only one of which is turned on for about 2-3 hours in the morning.
    - I also have a feeling that we might have halogen lights - would these make up the difference and if so does anyone know how I can tell the difference?

    It is the addition of the heated towel rail and dishwasher that is different to the old flat.
    Our gas and hot water are central heating and we have had several problems recently with the boiler breaking down. It is a combi boiler but as far as I am aware I didn't think that heating or hot water from gas would have any impact on the electricity? (Sorry if this is stupid!). We had quite a high gas bill at my old flat because our insulation was terrible, but our gas has been significantly lower since we have moved as the flat has much thicker walls and insulation.
    Please let me know if you have any advice. I am contemplating buying a energy monitor to help, but given that I am really trying to pay off my credit card bill (the credit card is in the freezer in a block of ice – who knows if it will survive) I would rather avoid the £50 spend unless it “pays for itself” in the long run!
    I would rather not assume that the initial meter reading is wrong or that the meter is faulty until I am sure that I am not just missing a big electricity item that I was unaware of!

    I've also been charged 17p a KW on a "move in saver" which is nearly 5p a unit more than there standard tariff.. but that is a separate battle I feel!

    Thanks so much in advance
Page 1
    • zmd1201
    • By zmd1201 4th Apr 18, 7:54 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    zmd1201
    • #2
    • 4th Apr 18, 7:54 PM
    • #2
    • 4th Apr 18, 7:54 PM
    I also forgot to mention that I have been making the effort to wash at 30 instead of 40 as I heard that this is a big difference in usage, and finally that we have a dyson that we use about twice a week.
    Last edited by zmd1201; 04-04-2018 at 8:05 PM.
    • CashStrapped
    • By CashStrapped 4th Apr 18, 8:41 PM
    • 1,293 Posts
    • 725 Thanks
    CashStrapped
    • #3
    • 4th Apr 18, 8:41 PM
    • #3
    • 4th Apr 18, 8:41 PM
    I assume you gave an accurate opening reading, and are basing that calculation from ab up to date reading.

    One thing to immediately check with a flat is that the MPAN/ MPRN number on the bill correlates with that on the meter.

    A further check, especially in flats with communal meter areas or recent conversions is that the meter you think relates to your flat, does actually relate to your flat. Even if the mpan/mprn match, it may have been assigned incorrectly.

    So, you need to do a quick and simple check.

    1) Turn all the power off in the flat (you can do this at the consumer unit/fuse box) just make sure any sensitive equipment is turned off first. (take a torch with you!)

    2) Check the meter you think is yours. It should not be recording any use. If an old analogue meter, the disc should not be spinning. If it is a digital meter, the red light should not flash.

    3)Wait for a bit, and again check no use has been recorded.

    4)Then, turn the power back on and start a full kettle boiling. While it is heating, go and check the meter again. You should now see the red light flashing or disc spinning and use being recorded.

    5) Repeat if you wish.

    ----

    Back to your use. The main contributors to high electricity use will often be anything with a heating element.

    While your boiler was on the fritz, did you use any portable heaters? This would/could have more than contributed towards a high energy bill for the period in question.

    The main culprits for high electricity use is anything with a heating element that is on for an extended period.

    ---

    Also, as a side point, without a tumble dryer, please please please do not start drying your clothes on the radiators, especially in colder months. It is bad for the property and you will end up creating a lot of condensation, and in the worst case scenario, mould. It is a classic tenant mistake.
    Last edited by CashStrapped; 04-04-2018 at 8:48 PM.
    • zmd1201
    • By zmd1201 4th Apr 18, 9:56 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    zmd1201
    • #4
    • 4th Apr 18, 9:56 PM
    • #4
    • 4th Apr 18, 9:56 PM
    I assume you gave an accurate opening reading, and are basing that calculation from ab up to date reading.

    One thing to immediately check with a flat is that the MPAN/ MPRN number on the bill correlates with that on the meter.

    A further check, especially in flats with communal meter areas or recent conversions is that the meter you think relates to your flat, does actually relate to your flat. Even if the mpan/mprn match, it may have been assigned incorrectly.

    So, you need to do a quick and simple check.

    1) Turn all the power off in the flat (you can do this at the consumer unit/fuse box) just make sure any sensitive equipment is turned off first. (take a torch with you!)

    2) Check the meter you think is yours. It should not be recording any use. If an old analogue meter, the disc should not be spinning. If it is a digital meter, the red light should not flash.

    3)Wait for a bit, and again check no use has been recorded.

    4)Then, turn the power back on and start a full kettle boiling. While it is heating, go and check the meter again. You should now see the red light flashing or disc spinning and use being recorded.

    5) Repeat if you wish.

    ----

    Back to your use. The main contributors to high electricity use will often be anything with a heating element.

    While your boiler was on the fritz, did you use any portable heaters? This would/could have more than contributed towards a high energy bill for the period in question.

    The main culprits for high electricity use is anything with a heating element that is on for an extended period.

    ---

    Also, as a side point, without a tumble dryer, please please please do not start drying your clothes on the radiators, especially in colder months. It is bad for the property and you will end up creating a lot of condensation, and in the worst case scenario, mould. It is a classic tenant mistake.
    Originally posted by CashStrapped


    Hi,
    Thanks for replying! Yes I have an accurate reading.. I was hoping the landlord gave me an old reading, but the date of the picture shows it was the date I moved in! The meter is in our bedroom in a wardrobe so it should (!) be hours. I will double check the number though!

    We didn't use any heaters as our heating worked but our hot water didn't, so we were just showering at our local gym. I also learnt the hard way at a property a few years ago about drying clothes so I am careful to do it properly now!

    I've started researching the usage of our appliances, so am going to try and work out what I would expect us to use and go from there....
    • macman
    • By macman 5th Apr 18, 10:40 AM
    • 42,298 Posts
    • 17,687 Thanks
    macman
    • #5
    • 5th Apr 18, 10:40 AM
    • #5
    • 5th Apr 18, 10:40 AM
    OP, don't obsess about irons and Dysons. What matters is heating and hot water, these will account for the vast majority of your usage.
    Bear in mind that you are looking at usage over some of the coldest weeks of the year, so your annual usage cannot be pro-rata'd up from that period.
    Your combi boiler uses electricity to power it's ignition etc, but this is negligible.
    What rating are your halogen lamps, and how many are there? The cost will be the kWh total usage (rating x hours) x your unit kWh cost.
    Last edited by macman; 06-04-2018 at 10:25 PM.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 5th Apr 18, 11:02 AM
    • 3,640 Posts
    • 2,282 Thanks
    matelodave
    • #6
    • 5th Apr 18, 11:02 AM
    • #6
    • 5th Apr 18, 11:02 AM
    If you are sloppy about turning lights off and you've got halogen lamps then they can ramp up your costs.

    Our kitchen had 10 x 50 watt halogens = 500w/h, now changed to 10 x 4watts = 40w/h, saving around 6p for every hour that they are on. It doesn't sound like a lot but say four hours a day, thats over £80 a year saved
    Love makes the world go round - beer make it go round even faster
    Look after our planet - it's the only one with beer
    • CashStrapped
    • By CashStrapped 5th Apr 18, 12:35 PM
    • 1,293 Posts
    • 725 Thanks
    CashStrapped
    • #7
    • 5th Apr 18, 12:35 PM
    • #7
    • 5th Apr 18, 12:35 PM
    One thing I noticed on your opening post is you mention "heated towel rails" in a way that leads me to suspect they may be electric ones.

    Can you confirm this?

    If they are stand alone, retrofitted heating rails attached to the wall via a fused spur, this may be one contributor to your daily electric use.

    As I said, anything with a heating element is likely to be a major contributor to an overall electric bill.

    In your case the rails probably come on for the 2-3 hours per day and are quite possibly on permanently for that length of time. While not having thermostats that react to room temperature, they are probably restricted to stay at a specific temperature for that duration to give off a consistent low heat to dry any towels. So I can imagine them using enough electricity to impact a daily bill slightly. Maybe 1-3kwh per day.

    If the heated rails are part of the central heating system, this does not apply.


    ----
    As matelodave says above, halogens, if they are actual halogen (incandescent) bulbs, can add up if they are the 50w variety.

    It is certainly worth swapping them out for LED varieties which have far more flexibility and options.

    Traditional halogens are very focussed spots. They became very ubiquitous as a design trend but are often inappropriately used in kitchens, bedrooms etc. So if you have a house full of 50w (or even 30w) halogens, they can soon add up.

    LED ones give you options of colour temperature, 2800 (warm) 4000 (cold) and beam angle. Traditional halogens only had a beam angle of 30degrees. LED ones can give a wide angle up to over 100degrees. Although some of the super wide ones can give off a bit more glare.

    Something like this

    ---

    Just be aware that if your halogens are low voltage type, you cannot just swap in LED bulbs. They require the transformer to be replaced with an LED driver, which is not always as easy as it sounds.
    Last edited by CashStrapped; 05-04-2018 at 2:45 PM.
    • zmd1201
    • By zmd1201 6th Apr 18, 6:54 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    zmd1201
    • #8
    • 6th Apr 18, 6:54 PM
    • #8
    • 6th Apr 18, 6:54 PM
    If you are sloppy about turning lights off and you've got halogen lamps then they can ramp up your costs.

    Our kitchen had 10 x 50 watt halogens = 500w/h, now changed to 10 x 4watts = 40w/h, saving around 6p for every hour that they are on. It doesn't sound like a lot but say four hours a day, thats over £80 a year saved
    Originally posted by matelodave
    I've been testing the meter over the past couple of days and its definitely the lights - my meter went down by half on the day we didn't use the lights!

    Thanks for all of your help - just got to get the LED Lights installed now!
    • BooJewels
    • By BooJewels 6th Apr 18, 7:39 PM
    • 278 Posts
    • 208 Thanks
    BooJewels
    • #9
    • 6th Apr 18, 7:39 PM
    • #9
    • 6th Apr 18, 7:39 PM
    If you can change to LED lights, they're significantly less power hungry and much, much better than they were 10 years ago for colour and even power consumption. I just swapped the first LED bulb to blow this week and the replacement bulb was 3w less than the original I took out.

    We have spotlights, under cupboard lights and side lamps on in our kitchen all day and they're less than 30w an hour for the lot. When I first got them, I worked out that the power saving would pay for the fittings and bulbs in about 15 months.
    • CashStrapped
    • By CashStrapped 6th Apr 18, 7:50 PM
    • 1,293 Posts
    • 725 Thanks
    CashStrapped
    Those Enlight bulbs from Screwfix are really very good.

    As I said, pay close attention to the beam angle and colour temperature.
    4000k is a great colour for kitchens and 2800k-3000k is a good warm colour for cosy areas.

    Also, the most efficient bulbs have a good lm per watt. Lumens (lm) is what you should start measuring bulbs brightness by. Wattage is not longer a good direct indicator.

    ---

    As I said above, you do need to ensure they are not low voltage halogens as mains voltage LED bulbs will not be compatible.

    Low voltage LED bulbs are also not compatible as they require their own driver (transformer for LEDs).
    • macman
    • By macman 6th Apr 18, 10:27 PM
    • 42,298 Posts
    • 17,687 Thanks
    macman
    You still haven't told us: how many lights, and what wattage?
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • zmd1201
    • By zmd1201 8th Apr 18, 8:58 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    zmd1201
    You still haven't told us: how many lights, and what wattage?
    Originally posted by macman

    I haven't got the wattage yet because as stupid as it sounds I haven't yet worked out the bestway to take the spotlight out the actual fitting without dislodging the fitting and not being able to put it back in properly, but all in all.. there are 33 in the property - they look like the 50w ones I've seen online too!
    • CashStrapped
    • By CashStrapped 9th Apr 18, 1:38 PM
    • 1,293 Posts
    • 725 Thanks
    CashStrapped
    Serach youtube until you find an example of one like yours....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4D-Ft-YF4yY

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-E7Iy4qF0w

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMQLOdeHcUo

    They can be fiddley !!!!!!s...
    • Robin9
    • By Robin9 9th Apr 18, 5:47 PM
    • 2,948 Posts
    • 1,954 Thanks
    Robin9
    .. there are 33 in the property - they look like the 50w ones I've seen online too!
    Originally posted by zmd1201

    33 x 50 = 1650 watts @ about 12p a unit = 20 p an hour; perhaps £1 a day !
    Never pay on an estimated bill
    • D_M_E
    • By D_M_E 9th Apr 18, 9:01 PM
    • 1,687 Posts
    • 63,835 Thanks
    D_M_E
    Those little halogen things are probably held in place by a spring clip.

    Look around the edge of the glass and you should see what looks like a steel ring with the ends slightly bent.

    Carefully prise one end of the spring clip clear of the housing and pull the clip off - the bulb may drop down a little.

    You should now be able to remove the bulb from the holder.

    Check the wattage and, most importantly, the bulb voltage, both of which should be printed on the rear. Also important is the fitting the bulb fits into.

    Any replacement LED which you buy should have the same rated voltage and the same fitting as the halogen but the wattage can be 10% less - 50watt halogen, replace with 4 or 5 watt LED.
    • zmd1201
    • By zmd1201 15th Apr 18, 1:06 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    zmd1201
    Those little halogen things are probably held in place by a spring clip.

    Look around the edge of the glass and you should see what looks like a steel ring with the ends slightly bent.

    Carefully prise one end of the spring clip clear of the housing and pull the clip off - the bulb may drop down a little.

    You should now be able to remove the bulb from the holder.

    Check the wattage and, most importantly, the bulb voltage, both of which should be printed on the rear. Also important is the fitting the bulb fits into.

    Any replacement LED which you buy should have the same rated voltage and the same fitting as the halogen but the wattage can be 10% less - 50watt halogen, replace with 4 or 5 watt LED.
    Originally posted by D_M_E

    Hi thanks for that! We have taken the lightbulb out, only to find that it has absolutely no printed details on wattage or voltage on! It looks like a GU4 Halogen bulb though. I've seen that these are 12v online - do you think I should just make a guess with this and assume these are too?
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 15th Apr 18, 1:20 PM
    • 3,640 Posts
    • 2,282 Thanks
    matelodave
    Look at the pins - if they are fairly large, mushroom shaped and you had to twise the buld to rmove it then it's a 240v GU10. Almost everything else is 12v. You could take a bulb with you to compare it when you go to the shops.
    GU10 LEDs will replace halogen ones easily. 4 or 5 watts will give the same amount of light as a 50watt halogen. Some like warm white better than daylight although it's a personal thing

    If you've got 12v lamps (Gu4 pins) then these can be a bit more of a problem because most 12v transformers won't drive LEDs properly and the lights can flicker because there's insufficient load. Some do so it's worth trying one to see what happens.

    You might need to change the transformers for LED drivers or do what I did, take the transformers out and convert them to GU10. It's easy for me as I live in a bungalow so I can get to them without a problem
    Love makes the world go round - beer make it go round even faster
    Look after our planet - it's the only one with beer
    • zmd1201
    • By zmd1201 15th Apr 18, 1:29 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    zmd1201
    Annoyingly, I've just discovered that we need to have an electrician fit an LED converter. Our landlord already refused to help us change all the lightbulbs (I was hoping for some help after our boiler broke and multiple other problems to make up for it a bit) .. Looks like we are just going to have to live in the dark!
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

1,299Posts Today

7,028Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Ta ta... for now. This August, as I try and do every few yrs, I'm lucky enough to be taking a sabbatical. No work,? https://t.co/Xx4R3eLhFG

  • RT @lethalbrignull: @MartinSLewis I've been sitting here for a good while trying to decide my answer to this, feeling grateful for living i?

  • Early days but currently it's exactly 50 50 in liberality v democracy, with younger people more liberal, older more? https://t.co/YwJr4izuIj

  • Follow Martin