My energy bill is going up by how much?

2

Posts

  • mattsawmattsaw Posts: 900
    Mine is down around 24% so far this year, but that's largely as the wife has gone back to work after being on maternity leave last year. I have also worked-out the central heating timer and threatened anyone on pain of death if they so much as look at it.

    I've also had a £1k rebate recently as the thieving bastards were overcharging us for two years, and it was only when I started submitting online readings that it came to light.
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  • TGOTBTGOTB Posts: 4,828
    Even that's pretty suboptimal, because you're still blocking convection behind the radiator, but aesthetics always seem to trump physics.

    If you think about it, the optimum location for a radiator is on the side of the room away from the window; I actually think the whole "radiator under the window" thing was instigated by those of an aesthetic persuasion, specifically so they could hide them behind the curtains...
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  • mattsawmattsaw Posts: 900
    This was the recent estimated bill that prompted me into action

    mCvgo3Q.jpg
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  • TGOTBTGOTB Posts: 4,828
    3 Grand a year, on gas? :shock:

    That's 3 times as much as my combined bill!
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  • mattsawmattsaw Posts: 900
    TGOTB wrote:
    3 Grand a year, on gas? :shock:

    That's 3 times as much as my combined bill!

    :x

    That was their estimate, as I said, it was a combination of,

    - The heating being on pretty much all the time last year
    - Them massively overcharging us

    I still have no idea how much we're actually using, but somehow we ended up £1.6k in credit with them which they somehow failed to take into account when sending out that estimate :roll:
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  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 19,409
    @g66 would you ride in winter without a hat?

    We in these them there parts have no gas instead we have oil which I can tell you came as a bit of a shock when I got my first bill, so shut it townies and such it up or wear another jumper you big Jessie's
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  • msmancuniamsmancunia Posts: 1,457
    rjsterry wrote:
    We have sash windows complete with traditional gaps. The previous owner had fitted wooden shutters on most of the windows. If we shut them and flip the slats closed upwards (so low edge is windowside, high edge is room side) they are pretty effective at keeping the drafts out and the heat in.

    However, they are equally effective at keeping the light out. Almost completely.

    Get your windows draught-proofed. There's a company called Ventrolla that does a full overhaul service including little brush seals to all edges. A 2-3mm gap around the perimeter of a 5'x3' sash window is equivalent to a 3"x4" hole - you wouldn't ignore a hole that big in any other circumstance


    Here's one thing that drives me nuts. In our bedroom we have full length curtains. Big thick heavy buggers. And a radiator - the only one in the room - under the window.

    So when it is cold, the radiator sits nice and warm behind the curtains, doing battle with the cold air that pours through the drafty windows. As the rad is behind the curtains - which do a perfectly good job of blocking the draft themselves - it provides very little heating of the room.

    I end up piling the curtains on top of the radiator, which although never expressly commented on is an arrangement that never seems to last very long before normal aesthetics are reinstated.


    So either get new shorter curtains, or a thick, lined roman blind, or if they are new and made to measure, have them shortened. Curtains that finish just under the sill still look nice, and if you put foil or one of those shiny back things, it will reflect back into the room. I have a single brick cottage in a frost pocket, and the difference when I changed from full length curtains to roman blinds was really noticeable.
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  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    I am on dual fuel with British gas. Direct debit. I quite like the even payments, which are adjusted year on year if in credit. Has gone up 10% though recently. Gas equates to about 600 a year for a 2 bedroom terrace.
  • rubertoerubertoe Posts: 4,261
    itboffin wrote:
    @g66 would you ride in winter without a hat?

    We in these them there parts have no gas instead we have oil which I can tell you came as a bit of a shock when I got my first bill, so shut it townies and such it up or wear another jumper you big Jessie's

    :shock:

    My boss has oil. She hates the out break of war in the middle east...
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  • navtnavt Posts: 374
    mattsaw wrote:
    This was the recent estimated bill that prompted me into action

    mCvgo3Q.jpg

    What's with all this "Divide by 11 months"? Last time I checked a year had 12 months. Do you pay your gas bill over 11 months and get a month's fee supply? I didn't think so. No wonder nPower always ends up owing the customer.
  • Greg, that is a spectacular bill. We are at 850ft in the teeth of the Scottish wind, in a 19th century oil heated cottage with a 20th century boiler. We have about 2000sqft and pay about half what you do.

    Get some warm jumpers. Or double glazing.

    I'm off to buy shares in Npower.
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 15,308
    rjsterry wrote:
    We have sash windows complete with traditional gaps. The previous owner had fitted wooden shutters on most of the windows. If we shut them and flip the slats closed upwards (so low edge is windowside, high edge is room side) they are pretty effective at keeping the drafts out and the heat in.

    However, they are equally effective at keeping the light out. Almost completely.

    Get your windows draught-proofed. There's a company called Ventrolla that does a full overhaul service including little brush seals to all edges. A 2-3mm gap around the perimeter of a 5'x3' sash window is equivalent to a 3"x4" hole - you wouldn't ignore a hole that big in any other circumstance


    Here's one thing that drives me nuts. In our bedroom we have full length curtains. Big thick heavy buggers. And a radiator - the only one in the room - under the window.

    So when it is cold, the radiator sits nice and warm behind the curtains, doing battle with the cold air that pours through the drafty windows. As the rad is behind the curtains - which do a perfectly good job of blocking the draft themselves - it provides very little heating of the room.

    I end up piling the curtains on top of the radiator, which although never expressly commented on is an arrangement that never seems to last very long before normal aesthetics are reinstated.


    Umm, shorter curtains? Those reflective sheets you fit behind radiators help, but if there are heavy curtains. Isolating them from the room then maybe half of the heat is going straight out through the wall. If you pointed a thermography camera at your house you'd see exactly where the heat was escaping and from what you've described, your bedroom window would be lit up like Blackpool.

    100%20Princedale%20Road%20Thermal%204.jpg

    It's really worth getting someone to look at the windows; they are one of the easier things to upgrade.
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  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 43,856 Lives Here
    What sent me over the edge was when they called me to justify the price rise by referring to 'volatile gas prices'.

    I happen to know that a number of gas trading desk have shut down entirely because of such low volatility.
  • Mikey23Mikey23 Posts: 5,028
    I hear that representatives from the energy companies are meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury today. That'll sort it...
  • mrc1mrc1 Posts: 852
    The switching services aren't all champagne and roses in my experience either.

    We live out in the sticks, with no mains gas so only have electricity bills. The house currently has night storage heaters so we are on an economy seven tariff, meaning cheaper units at night. We try to therefore use the washing machine etc at night, but as we work from home, we do use a fair bit of energy in the day from computers, kettles, lights etc etc. In summer we have very low consumption as we spend the majority of it in France running LDT with everything off, but in winter we use a normal amount of energy. The standing charges are therefore a major part of our bill.

    I ran through things on one of the switching sites based on our past 12 month consumption and it gave me a load of options promising to save us around £150 a year. I was about to do the switch over, but thought I would sit down and work it out manually based on the standing charges and tariffs on our current bill and the ones on the proposed tariff (lower unit costs but higher standing charges) and based on the last 12 months, we would actually have paid around £80 more on the tariff it was suggesting we go on. So moral of the story is not to put blind faith in the switching sites!
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  • We did a lot of work to the ground floor of our house this summer and the best thing by far was putting Rockwool loft insulation between the joists before we had new floorboards laid. Two rolls of 100mm thickness cost just over £35 and the difference has to be felt to be believed - last winter being downstairs before the heating came on was not nice, this year I can't feel the chill at all. This is in a 1930's solid brick semi - I can also recommend a dehumidifier to keep the condensation down on the colder mornings.
  • I got one of these for my garden....

    154282_463746489579_7222007_n.jpg


    On reflection, It be cheaper to heat the bath by setting fire to £20 notes... :(
  • I got one of these for my garden....

    154282_463746489579_7222007_n.jpg


    On reflection, It be cheaper to heat the bath by setting fire to £20 notes... :(

    Just so we're clear: the thing you've just got for your garden is the hot tub, or the smiling gimpy fellow who is being parboiled?
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  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    I'm on a meter. (Oh how the mighty have fallen) I don't even want to think about the bills. Desperately trying to keep the electricity to £50 a month and the gas to £60. That's what is was in my old flat in Wimbledon.

    We've moved to a temporary digs.
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  • Il PrincipeIl Principe Posts: 10,555
    I've lived in my current flat for 4 years. In that time I've never submitted a reading. No one seems to know where the meters are hidden. I'm sure I'm being ripped off. 2 bed flat, built in 2005. South facing, triple glazed, flats above and below. It stays so warm that only the baby's room has a heater on at the mo. All heaters are night storage jobs, and everything is electric and the lights are low wattage halogen jobbies. I pay £45 a month. Is that a lot or am I getting a good deal?

    Basically unsure whether finding the meter and submitting readings will leave me better or worse off!
  • I pay £45 a month. Is that a lot or am I getting a good deal?

    That is nothing. I am paying many times that a month.

    Git.
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  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    I've lived in my current flat for 4 years. In that time I've never submitted a reading. No one seems to know where the meters are hidden. I'm sure I'm being ripped off. 2 bed flat, built in 2005. South facing, triple glazed, flats above and below. It stays so warm that only the baby's room has a heater on at the mo. All heaters are night storage jobs, and everything is electric and the lights are low wattage halogen jobbies. I pay £45 a month. Is that a lot or am I getting a good deal?

    Basically unsure whether finding the meter and submitting readings will leave me better or worse off!
    You are being ripped off.
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  • davieseedaviesee Posts: 6,473
    I've lived in my current flat for 4 years. In that time I've never submitted a reading. No one seems to know where the meters are hidden. I'm sure I'm being ripped off. 2 bed flat, built in 2005. South facing, triple glazed, flats above and below. It stays so warm that only the baby's room has a heater on at the mo. All heaters are night storage jobs, and everything is electric and the lights are low wattage halogen jobbies. I pay £45 a month. Is that a lot or am I getting a good deal?

    Basically unsure whether finding the meter and submitting readings will leave me better or worse off!
    You have a good deal.
    None of the above should be taken seriously, and certainly not personally.
  • rubertoerubertoe Posts: 4,261
    I've lived in my current flat for 4 years. In that time I've never submitted a reading. No one seems to know where the meters are hidden. I'm sure I'm being ripped off. 2 bed flat, built in 2005. South facing, triple glazed, flats above and below. It stays so warm that only the baby's room has a heater on at the mo. All heaters are night storage jobs, and everything is electric and the lights are low wattage halogen jobbies. I pay £45 a month. Is that a lot or am I getting a good deal?

    Basically unsure whether finding the meter and submitting readings will leave me better or worse off!

    IP I live in a 2 bed flat 1st floor (of 2) double glazed, loft inslation a meter thick etc etc. Gas and electric dual bill £48pcm..
    "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."

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  • I pay £127 per month for both.
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  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 15,308
    I pay £45 a month. Is that a lot or am I getting a good deal?

    That is nothing. I am paying many times that a month.

    Git.

    IP's 2005 flat is roughly 10 times better insulated than G66's Victorian terraced house. The airtightness will be vastly improved as well, so fewer losses through draughts. Plus, I'm guessing that 66 Towers is a shade bigger than IP's flat.
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  • jedsterjedster Posts: 2,004
    What I'm going to say is going to be unpopular. Problem is it will be true too...

    I invest in utility companies (i.e., I put my clients' money into them). I have to analyse all this stuff and decide which companies are worth investing in. Currently I'm avoiding companies that supply power and gas in the UK.

    Why?
    They are ripping is off, they know it, we know it, the government knows it, but nobody can do anything about it.

    This is a very popular POV. It also happens to be wrong. Unfortunately, politician's realise that voters don't want to be told that they are getting a decent deal and bills are only likely to go up (for several reasons - more details below) - so much more likely to get votes by blaming it all on the "big 6", rather than admit that politicians and consumers are a big part of the problem.

    So the big 6 are making egregious profits right? They are screwing you and making off like bandits, aren't they?

    I'm going to talk about SSE because it is the purest UK energy supplier company. Centrica has an upstream business and US businesses. The others are pan European. So if you want a sense of how much money is being made by the UK indsutry you are best looking at SSE's accounts.

    SSE earned a return on invested capital (ROIC) of 10% on average over the last 4 years. In the last financial year it was 8%. That is a measure of how successful their investments in pipelines, power cables, generating plant has been at current energy prices - it is border-line OK, not really bad but not very good either. If it was much lower, no one would want to give them any more money to build all those new powerstations we are going to need. Where is all that excess profit that they are supposed to be making? There isnt any.

    Another point - we have some of the lowest power and gas prices in Europe. see here:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25200808

    So why are bills going up?

    You need to think of our electricity system as a 20 year old car. It costs a fair amount to run but the loan to buy it was long paid off and there's not much depreciation left. The thing is, it's pretty knackered and needs replacing. Unfortunately we can't buy a solid 3 year old model and need to replace it with a new model - when we buy that we may spend less in maintenance but the cost of the loan and the depreciation is going to make things much more expensive than running the old one. But we dont have any choice.

    This is obviously a gross simplification - our power system is a big collection of assets - but a huge slice of them was built between 1965 and 1975 and are seriously tired. We've been milking them out for years and "enjoying" lower bills as a result. We have now started a 10-15 year period in which we are going to have to pay up to replace most of the aging assets.

    It gets worse. We have made the choice to reduce CO2 emmissions. If we didn't give a toss about CO2 we'd build some new coal plants. They are pretty cheap to run at current coal prices (would still cost more than existing plant though). But we do, so we are replacing old coal and nuke with wind turbines, new (much more expensive) nukes and even converting our best and cheapest coal plant to run on (much more expensive) wood chips. Speaking personally, I do worry about global warming etc and tend to accept that we are going to have to pay up to cut emmissions but this is a political decision that is nothing to do with the utility companies. And incidentally, who as
    energy minister signed us up to the CO2 targets? A Mr Ed Milliband. Funny how he wants to point the finger at utility companies isn't it?

    And why are consumers partly to blame?
    That BBC link shows the cost per unit of energy. Which is pretty low in the UK. Problem is that we use more energy per capita. That is largely because our housing stock is really inefficient. Greg gave you the picture in this thread. Most people are much happier moaning about their "rip-off" bills than investing a bit (and going through the hassle) of blocking off draughts, improving insulation, replacing old boilers, etc, etc. Also, it is really difficult to pursuade people to comparison shop their utility bills. Various organisations have tried to offer help to people to see if they can get a better deal. Most people say no thanks. 70% of people buy their energy from the descendent company of the old state regional electricty board that supplied their house in the 70s. I'm not suggesting that comparison shopping will make a massive difference but it could help a bit and most people can't be arsed to give it a try.

    I know it is comforting to blame those corporate bastards rather than deal with the unplatable truths but it isn't going to get you anywhere in the end.

    :D
  • jedsterjedster Posts: 2,004
    Realise I didn't make clear why I'm avoiding these companies.
    Basically it comes down to this, I have learned that politicians will always do what is short-term expedient rather than long-term sensible if there is a conflict. Given most voters believe they are being ripped off and politicians have no interest in giving them painful news before an election, I think the utilities will get a kicking for the next couple of years. I'm not putting my clients' retirement savings in the way of that. Most of my peers in the industry feel the same way so we are not going to see much investment for a couple of years at least. In the end this means it is going to cost even more to replace the old plant in a hurry and your bills will be higher than they needed to be if politicians had been more honest.
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 15,308
    Love the smiley on the end of that, and agree with most of it, particularly the two main points on underinvestment in infrastructure (only had my 80 year-old gas main replaced last year!) and almost laughable state of the UK building stock.
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    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
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