Electricity bill Shock

Swim Jim

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I’ve just received our electric and gas summary for the year from Utility Warehouse. This year the we were paying £133 per month direct for both. It was reduced to this as we were in credit from the previous year.
When the summary arrived it showed we were in credit with the gas £120 and in debit with the electric £600 !!!
Obviously I could of kept tabs on this, monitoring the statements but we haven’t before and quite often we’ve been in credit.

Im trying to work out how the massive increase could of occurred. One contribution will be that during the lockdown I was looking after my elderly mum. Doing her laundry a couple of times per week at our house. Plus the wife me and the two lads 17 and 24 at home on lockdown for several months.

Looking back at the statements, our electricity consumption has been well up since August 2019

Utility Warehouse over the last couple of years have been hassling us to fit a smart meter (I’ve been following the parallel thread running about this subject) but have been wary after hearing early installations were dangerous after being fitted by poorly trained engineers. The last try by them was only two weeks ago, one reason they used was our meter was coming to the end of its life and needed modernising. Which is understandable we’ve been in the house 27 years and it’s never been changed. This leads me to think could the meter be reading high. Can you get the meter checked and calibrated

My actual plan is to sort this all out, pay what we owe. Then change supplier for hopefully a cheaper tariff and let them fit a Smart meter.

Any ideas on how I should proceed or recommendations for power suppliers (y)
 

JohnLondon

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Your best bet is to do a comparison on a site like Uswitch, they will find the cheapest suppliers for your usage. Were you on a fixed tariff that expired but you didn’t realise?
 

mickthechippy

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Dont really help, but Im with EON,

got a letter of them this week stating that my gas, and elec prices, plus the standing charge are being reduced

leccy down from 18.296 to 17.883p

gas from 3.594 to 3.088p

standing charge down from 27.343 for the gas to 26.074p

not a mahoosive amount, but will tally up over the year
 

Dave

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What was your previous dd before it was reduced to £133?

Perhaps they made a mistake reducing it and add on a percentage increase over the time, that might account for the difference.

Its hard to say but have you got your start of year readings and worked out your actual annual usage?
 

Swim Jim

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Your best bet is to do a comparison on a site like Uswitch, they will find the cheapest suppliers for your usage. Were you on a fixed tariff that expired but you didn’t realise?
No fixed tariff it was just the plan that has been suitable for us over the past 7 years.
 

Ken the Pacman

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Years ago a customer who was a meter engineer told me it was impossible for a meter to over read unless it was set up that way in the first place but they could under read if they were older units as they were near the end of their usable life due to wear in the moving parts I would think.
 

JohnLondon

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No fixed tariff it was just the plan that has been suitable for us over the past 7 years.
You say your usage has increased since Aug 2019. Is the increased electricity usage fairly consistent or are there months that are far higher than others? Suppliers do make mistakes so it’s worth checking each month thoroughly & if you cannot think of a good reason why it has increased, take it up with them
 

Swim Jim

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What was your previous dd before it was reduced to £133?

Perhaps they made a mistake reducing it and add on a percentage increase over the time, that might account for the difference.

Its hard to say but have you got your start of year readings and worked out your actual annual usage?
These are the amounts we have paid since 2016 and the amount we have to pay for the upcoming 12months. I totally accept fluctuations from year to year as can be seen, but this one stands out a country mile and doesn’t follow the trend. D63F18F0-B062-4F90-805F-55F31A1F8AC5.jpeg
 

Dave

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So they're saying you've got a deficit of £398.25, or £33.19/month?

That added onto the £133.40 you are currently paying, plus the same amount again to prevent a further deficit accumulating over 2020/21 is £199.77 per month, + approx 5% which I presume will be to cover increases in fuel charges.

Get rid!

We pay £122 a month dual fuel for a 4 bed house and the missus is always bunging the heating on when my back is turned.
Put your annual consumption readings into this website: Switch to Igloo Energy and get £50 and see what they quote you. (it is a referral link, other suppliers are available, this is the one I use though)

I would also take it up with your current supplier re the shortfall as they have dropped a big one somewhere if that is what they are saying they have underestimated your usage by.
 

Swim Jim

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So they're saying you've got a deficit of £398.25, or £33.19/month?

That added onto the £133.40 you are currently paying, plus the same amount again to prevent a further deficit accumulating over 2020/21 is £199.77 per month, + approx 5% which I presume will be to cover increases in fuel charges.

Get rid!

We pay £122 a month dual fuel for a 4 bed house and the missus is always bunging the heating on when my back is turned.
Put your annual consumption readings into this website: Switch to Igloo Energy and get £50 and see what they quote you. (it is a referral link, other suppliers are available, this is the one I use though)

I would also take it up with your current supplier re the shortfall as they have dropped a big one somewhere if that is what they are saying they have underestimated your usage by.
I’ll certainly move on.

When we do get a Smart meter I’ll be hell to live with. My main bug bear is how long the wife and kids spend in the shower (this has been for years not just recently) 5 minutes for me in the shower and there’s a lot to wash
;)
Those lot can take upto 20 mins a couple of times a day. When the 10.8kw shower gave up I swapped it for a 9 kw.
Thinking back quite a few things have changed which should bring and keep the electricity lower.
Karate is a big part of the families life for the past 14yrs and our 4 gi’s would have to be washed upto 4 times a week. The wife and eldest don’t participate now and training presently takes place on Zoom only wearing shorts and T-shirt.
We also stopped using a dishwasher several years ago.
So considering all these facts I don’t think we could be accused of blatantly wasting electricity.
I need to talk to Utility Warehouse and see what they have to say.
 

Markywhizz

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We always use Uswitch and generally find an improved deal. We’re on a contract till April but we’ll switch then.
 

Markywhizz

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The main benefit we’ve had from a smart meter has been that the company get a reading every day so we don’t get surprise bills. We also have internet access to the daIly readings so we can see if we’ve used a lot on a particular day. We got a one off benefit when we first got it as I could see certain things that used a lot unnecessarily. I don’t ever bother with the display now unless we seem to be using more than we were.
 

Dave

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The only issue I've found with the switching companies is it is done by automatic request to your existing company and if you are in arrears which can often happen if you are paying a set amount per month over the course of the year, your existing company can and more often do reject the request.
Likewise watching usage too often to me is pretty pointless unless it's to gauge a new purchase usage because once you've used the electricity its not like you can return it, it's used, needs paying for :)
 

Markywhizz

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Yes but if I discover I’ve used a lot more gas than the same month last year I know I could do to turn the heating down. It was handy to discover that if we put our two desktop computers into sleep mode when we are not using them I saved loads.
 

mickthechippy

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I’ll certainly move on.

When we do get a Smart meter I’ll be hell to live with. My main bug bear is how long the wife and kids spend in the shower (this has been for years not just recently) 5 minutes for me in the shower and there’s a lot to wash
;)
Those lot can take upto 20 mins a couple of times a day. When the 10.8kw shower gave up I swapped it for a 9 kw.
Thinking back quite a few things have changed which should bring and keep the electricity lower.
Karate is a big part of the families life for the past 14yrs and our 4 gi’s would have to be washed upto 4 times a week. The wife and eldest don’t participate now and training presently takes place on Zoom only wearing shorts and T-shirt.
We also stopped using a dishwasher several years ago.
So considering all these facts I don’t think we could be accused of blatantly wasting electricity.
I need to talk to Utility Warehouse and see what they have to say.

Your Mob sound a lot like my wench

she also might bath or shower twice or even three times a day (though our hot water is straight off a combi boiler), and change her clothes just as much, bunging them in the wash each time

Ive never understood how she thinks she gets that dirty basically doing very little

she does now though after years of giving her stick, put the clothes out on the line to dry rather than going through a tumble drier

whereas I will wear a polo for three days running and the same trousers to work all week, plus I dont shower every day, just a simple strip wash at the basin, if Im not going out anywhere, just lurking at home, I dont see the point

maybe your nippers need to up thier keep if they require such service ?

the dishwasher is only used on high days and holidays
 

Arfer Mo

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I joined "Look after my bills" which is free, they automatically switch you to a better or cheaper company every year.
 

Swim Jim

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Just throwing a few figures through comparison sites. I could be paying between £375 and £300 less on most of the plans suited to my present usage o_O

That equates to a very nice feeder rod and reel set up.
 

rudd

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Our energy bills run in tandem with my tax code!
I pay to much, get credit, pay less then get told I owe them, DD goes up and down faster than a yoyo.
Same with tax code - its not been right for near on five years, I have had rebates with cheque attached followed by a letter adjusting code as I owe them 😵😵😵😵
 
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