To cry when British Gas tell me my bill for one week of £82 is normal.

(106 Posts)
insprognito Fri 18-Jan-13 19:31:03

I have just rung BG and been told that this is normal. I have a pay as you go meter inherited with house , there is no debt. I have called them because we have put this in in one week and it is almost gone.I never go into emergency credit.
My house is fairly large but we have a new CH system new doubleglazing and are fully insulated. I set the thermostat at 18c so if it drops below it kicks in . We have to have it on all the time as there are young children in the house during the day so I daren't turn it down any lower.
We went away last year so I can't trust the estimate that predicts us using £255 a year on our bill either.We were away for 6 months from December until July. We are on standard tarrif. This will mean if we continue to use our ch like this the months bill will be almost £250!!! We have no other gas appliances other than the CH. Is this really normal use as the advisor tells me? I feel like crying as I simply cant afford it and don't want the baby to be cold.
If IABU then would someone please tell me how I can reduce this cost. Is it better to turn it down/off at times (i was told better to leave it on constantly). We have an electric fire but thought is was too expensive to put on as the main source of heat, now i'm not so sure.

insprognito Sat 19-Jan-13 23:53:18

Thanks ohduck am away for evening but will be doing that as soon as I've calculated our normal consumption cost.

It does sound like you are keeping your house very warm at night - agree with those saying turn it down at nighttime.

insprognito Sun 20-Jan-13 01:12:24

Ok just got in a little tipsy. Meter has used 12.3cubic meters. Found a bill we are paying 8.5p per unit. So 12x11x8.5 = £11.22 in 26 hrs! At 18c! It seems to be correct no standing charge but would pay 4.5p after the first 2680kkw. Will need to do some comparisons tomorrow with a clear head.

PigletJohn Sun 20-Jan-13 01:30:55

have a look at your tariff (you may have to go online) and work out how many initial kWh you will be charged per day. The tariff may quote initial units per month or per year, so just divide them by the number of days.

Also see if you would be better off paying 25p per day standing charge plus 4.5p for all kWh.

2680kWh (if that's what you meant) doesn't seem to make sense.

When you say "units" it is extremely important to make sure you mean kWh.

Also find out what you have to do to get off a prepayment meter.

Remember not to compare your daily usage for one cold day with what other people say they pay per month. They are talking an average cost over the year including summer when no heating is used which is entirely different.

cumfy Sun 20-Jan-13 01:43:16

£82 would be around 1500-1600kWh of gas.

That would be equivalent to using 9kW 24/7 for a week.

To keep a small room @ 20C in 0C temperatures can easily be 1kW, a larger room 2kW. So 3 large rooms and 3 small could account for 9kW.

So it is entirely plausible to use this much, if you have on constantly.
I don't think there is (necessarily) a problem with the meter.

The advice you have been given about keeping on all the time is, as your wallet has just discovered, complete bollocks an urban myth.

Only heat the rooms you need.
eg at night turn all the radiators off apart from childrens bedrooms and put thermostat in their room.

cumfy Sun 20-Jan-13 01:59:54

Ok. it seems they are "front-loading" your bill:

You're paying 8.5p until you hit 2680kWh.
Then you'll pay 4.5p.

Basically this is a weird way of paying ~£107 in standing charge/year over the first 2680kWh usage:
.04*2680/365=29p/day (25p+VAT)

They should have explained this to you when they said it was "normal".

Be very careful to ensure you stay on the tariff or get refunded as essentially you will have paid the entire years' standing charge in about one winter's month.

And check your rate is coming down when you hit 2680.

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