Gas/Elec Bills monthly and SKY - so angry

(42 Posts)
Bakingnovice Tue 04-Dec-12 15:18:31

Oh dear, I am so angry right now. I am trying to cut back and have gone through our bills which DH said he was on top of and there was nothing we could cut back there. So I have been trying to make savings with food shopping and meal planning. However, today I decided to look through our statement and was shocked at finding the following:

1. SKY - we were paying nearly £80 a month. DH said it was less than this and that although we had sports and movies (whihc no one watches!) that it was virtually free as it was on offer. The offer expired months and months ago. So I rang them, got rid of movies and sports, complained about the boradband charge which they then reducted to £5 instead of £7.50 and paid my line rental upfront for the year which went from £14.50 a month to £9.90 a month. Overall saved loads and monthly sky bill is now £37. But I am cross with DH being so laissez faire in his views re SKY tv. Also, when I asked sky why i was being charged £7.50 for broadband and my sis was paying £5 a month he said if people rang in they automatically got the discount and told about paying bills upfront. pfft

2. Gas and electric. We live in a smallish 4 bed detached new-ish build with energy efficient boiler. We have no gas fires or electric fires. But we do have gas central heating. My eyes nearly fell out of the socket when I realised we pay £140 a month for gas and £50 for elec. thats nearly £200 a month! my parents who live in a 4 floor massive terrace pay £300 a quarter and have the gas fire on all day. I rang southern electric who assured me they had accurate meter readings and nothing could be done. I asked her to explain the difference in billing between ours and my parents bill (with same company) and she went off to re-look at our bill. Oh, it seems we are over £200 in credit so she 'kindly' decided our gas bill could be reduced to £100 a month and elec £40. So saved a bit there.

I am angry with myself and DH and these greedy companies. I STILL think our gas/elec bill is too high! We pay £50 a quarter for water which seems ok? but again much more than everyone else I know.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 04-Dec-12 15:47:53

I live in Scotland and our water usage is not metred, (wish it were) our water bill is incorporated into the council tax bill. It's around £300 p.a. for my rate band.

Hope you feel better

wink.

CajaDeLaMemoria Tue 04-Dec-12 15:52:28

Sky are like that. They always give things to people that pester them. I called last week and got a half price subscription, we've got movies and sports for free for 9 months at the moment and they did offer us broadband for £2.50 but we are happy with BT.

It's very irritating, but I suppose if people don't phone up than they pay the higher prices and cover those who get discounts, if you know what I mean.

I can't help with electric and water. Ours seem crazy. We've just moved in, though, so nothing to argue with...it just feels too high for a 2 bed house with 2 people living in, one of whom is out 5 days a week.

vintageviolets Tue 04-Dec-12 15:52:46

£50 a quarter for water?
Mine is £62 a month!

Bakingnovice Tue 04-Dec-12 16:09:06

I was so angry at southern electric charging us so much and I was feeling in keyboard warrior mode sat the computer that I have clicked through MSE and changed suppliers to sainsburys energy. Monthly dual fuel bill now £125 and £30 cashback from moneysupermarket. Cant believe an afternoon of phonecalls has saved me hundreds of pounds. Sorted SKY, sorted utilities bills, now off to re heat my batch cooked meal-planned curry for the kids. I am so quiet usually and non confrontational and I am feeling really empowered today!!! cant believe how much money we just frittered away each month for years.

Vintage - £62 a month seems really really high!

cathpip Tue 04-Dec-12 16:15:48

Hey thank your lucky stars that you were not the Npower sales person on the phone when we opened our quarterly electricity bill for £1600 (they had cocked up) but they still debited my husbands account with £400, hubby put the phone on speaker for me, it was worthy of a chair and tin of chocolates!!

MirandaWest Tue 04-Dec-12 16:16:52

£50 a quarter for water is pretty cheap - I pay £10 a month (going up to £13 in January) which is less than most people I know. Yours is £16.67 or so per month.

PearlyWhites Tue 04-Dec-12 16:34:58

£50 a quarter for water is very cheap we pay £37 a month

Bakingnovice Tue 04-Dec-12 16:47:59

Water rates are so variable.

Oh and southern electric rung to say I'm actually £550 in credit!! The money grabbing bastards. I know it's our fault too. But they've been upping our dd payments periodically and we trusted them to adjust our dd payments in accordance with usage. Hopefully they'll pay it back once we move.

Thank your lucky stars that you are not on a prepayment meter for your gas and electric I pay 80 a month for my electric and 90 for gas. This is too much and I am faced with the possibility it will be either heat or food next week.

With sky they are notorious for offering discounts to those who phone up and complain, I did it myself last week and got my sky tv package down from 21 a month to just 5 for the next three months and after that I will just cancel it and swap my broadband to someone else.

I agree they are all greedy though.

I dont think men should be in charge of bills really, not unless you are married to martin lewis (he started moneysavingexpert).

While you're on this roll op go and check the thermostat for the hot water. It's probably been set to 70c by the builders but can be lowered to 60c, mines at 55c with no ill effects. Saved me £20 a month doing that.

Find the manual out for the boiler, or download it off the internet and see what it says about boiler effieciency (cannot spell today for toffee) most need to be turned up full to be effecient.

If you use rapid wash cycles on the diswasher or washing machine use the eco cycle instead, again check the manuals. On mine it's more electric to wash on 30 than 40 shock.

I'm in a similar boat with BT (Bastard Twats), I want to change but I will lose all my line rental I paid upfront thinking I was being carefull with money and they want £120ish to cancel angry. I'm counting down to June 2013 when I can leave and go to Sky for my Broadband.

Well done for getting it sorted, a lot of people dont through sheer apathy or ignorance. FIL wont change his car insurance as he is convinced you lose all the no claims discount if you move companies.

SleighbellsRingInYourLife Tue 04-Dec-12 17:19:42

I'm not married to Martin Lewis, but DH is way better at this stuff than I.

Bakingnovice Tue 04-Dec-12 18:16:01

Ghostgo I really hope you are able to eat and stay warm over the coming week. These bills are crippling.

Fluffy - next stop is the boiler. I've gone through our direct debits now it's into other savings. I'm so angry at Dh as I cannot understand why he would open annual bill saying we are over £500 in credit and calmly hole punch and file away in a folder no one ever checks!! His idea of being on top of everything is obviously to file it all neatly away and never check anything. I only handed control of finances over when pregnant as my brain was mush. I'm going to try and keep on top of it but with meal
Planning, batch cooking, shopping, cleaning, telling everyone 10000 a day to 'close the door', 'switch the light off' I feel like I'm the only one holding everything together. Love Dh but it's hard to feel like you are the only responsible mature adult in the family!

You get used to that feeling ok.

op not ok

Bakingnovice Wed 05-Dec-12 11:24:00

Thanks fluffy. Another shock today. Hubby got it wrong re water bill. It's £51 a month not quarter!!!!! Bloody hell. I've rung water company and they are sending us inserts. They also suggested using a dishwasher if we have one as one cycle costs 4-13 p and washing up
In the sink costs loads more. Am going to try and use dishwasher more. And am praying the inserts help.

£51 a month? When we had a meter it was £13 a month for us two.

See this is why I stopped DH doing bills and food shopping.

Tap inserts saved me £5 a quarter but obviously with a family you will use more so will save more too. If you have a shower that's not electric then you can get shower inserts to, they regulate flow same as the tap inserts.

I'm surprised you dont already have tap inserts, some one in our family bought a new build house and it has water saving everything.

Moneysavingexpert has advice on lowering water bills.

What does he have to say for himself?

MirandaWest Wed 05-Dec-12 15:00:51

I think where you are makes a big difference with water costs - in the southwest it is a lot more for instance.

HorraceTheChristmasOtter Wed 05-Dec-12 15:14:11

Ghosts, was your meter adjusted to claim debt from a previous tenant? That's really quite high! I'm on a prepaid meter and it's £40 a month gas and £20 electric. We're in an end of terrace too, so the house looses quite a bit of heat and gets cold very easily.

There was another m'ner who had a really high water bill and she got the water board out who found the meter wasnt connected properly.

If you switch the water off at the stopcock (usually under the sink) and take a reading and leave it off for an hour then go back and check it hasnt moved on while the waters off.

I really don't know, I've been here for six years and I've changed suppliers several times but it makes no difference

SoftKittyWarmKitty Wed 05-Dec-12 22:02:23

OP, you have every right to your £500 back from the utilities company. You don't have to wait until you move to another company - just ring up and state that you want the credit returning to your bank account with immediate effect. A few months ago I realised I was £112 in credit to EDF so I rang and told them I'd like it returning to my bank account. I think it took about a week. I now read my own meters monthly and input the readings online so my account is always accurate.

I would be absolutely furious with your DH by the way. £80 per month just for Sky, ffs. angry

Bakingnovice Wed 05-Dec-12 23:48:37

Oh I've forgiven Dh. To think I trusted him to deal with our finances! Never again. In up north so you'd think our water bill would be cheaper. The girl I spoke to said our supply wasn't connected to anyone else's and they had an automatic device on it which checked for leaks. Will go out tmrw and check myself. It's soul destroying though. You save as much as you can on spends but the bills are crippling and there's no way you can stop using water/gas/electric. My heart goes out to
People who are struggling. I can see exactly why many people suffer such hardships.

Bakingnovice Wed 05-Dec-12 23:50:02

Soft kitty thank you for this info. The bastards told me they would have to keep it there as winter bills were likely to be high! I'll ring in the morning.

onlyhannah Fri 07-Dec-12 11:14:03

Ahhh this has reminded me I need to check mine... I really struggle to cover all my bills every month and I am single.. you women are warriors - well done!

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