electric challenge?

(58 Posts)
StephenFrySaidSo Mon 09-Sep-13 13:29:39

I've decided to set myself a challenge to get my electric bill down from currently over £15 a week to £10 (less would be great) not a great amount but every little helps and this is more about me changing my habits although the extra £5 will be a help tbh.

currently I am really lax about leaving things switched on when not in use. the tv, modem, playstation and freeview box are all switched on from around 8am til I go to bed anywhere between 11pm and 1am. I can have the radio on in the kitchen and bedroom at the same time if i'm cleaning, putting laundry away etc. I also have a dehumidifier which is on 24/7 even if the clothes are already dry! I leave the washing machine, kettle, laptop and phone charger all switched on at the plug even when not in use. in short- i'm haemorrhaging money through electicity waste.

so I have decided to set myself some rules. there is ds1 (8), ds2 (4) and myself.
1) no electric (apart from fridge) between 9am and 4pm. this will mean all my cleaning and laundry will have to be done before we leave for school in the morning. also, I will boil the kettle at breakfast and fill a flask for my tea during the day and at lunch. dcs are at school until 2pm (from next week- 12 this week for ds2) so it's just me to make lunch for and that can be sandwiches, salads, fruit etc.
2) limiting myself to either being on the laptop OR watching tv- not both at the same time.
3) limiting dcs to 1 hour of tv/playstation time per day
4) setting a timer for charging my phone and heating the water so I only use the electric that I need
5) switching everything off as soon as I finish using it
6) radio only on whilst i'm in the room it's in
7) use the washing line as much as possible when dry and dehumidifier only when raining out. also use the heat from the airing cupboard to 'air' the clothes after the washing line rather than overnight with the dehumid on.
8) keep a daily record of electric used on the calendar.

that's all I can think that I need to do to reduce electric use. feel free to join me with your own challenge or give me any tips you might have although I don't mind if nobody does, i'm really just using this as a record of my challenge to see how i'm doing and keep me on track.

oh i'm going to start tomorrow morning. wish me luck! smile

goodasitgets Wed 11-Sep-13 20:46:09

No DC, I work shifts so can be in all day or out, it depends
Average electric is £45 over 3 months and my gas is usually £60 over 3 months

YoureBeingADick Wed 11-Sep-13 20:52:18

my heating is OFCH so shouldn't really affect my electric. but the oil is working out at around £50 a month, probably definitely will go up over winter.

goodasitgets Wed 11-Sep-13 21:00:11

I do drive people mad. (To my friend) "turn that bloody microwave off. No at the plug! I'm not paying it to tell the time!"
"Why's this light on? Blackpool illuminations running low?"
gringrin

YoureBeingADick Wed 11-Sep-13 21:04:44

sound like my dad! grin

MinimalistMommi Fri 13-Sep-13 13:59:51

Have you got a shower timer? I 'allow' myself 5 mins for a shower. It will save electric as you're heating less water.

YoureBeingADick Fri 13-Sep-13 14:28:32

the shower isn't electric, it just is a connection to the bath taps and is heated from the hot water tank so that water is already heated IWSWIM. but yes I do limit myself and can be in and out of the shower in 1 minute when not washing hair,2-3 if washing.

I've had to use the dehumid yesterday as the rain was just going on too long and I needed to get washing done as it builds up so the usage was £1.84 from yesterday til today. I have been slacking a bit with leaving radio and tv on when not using it so I do think there is room for more saving.

I have an immersion heater for hot water / baths. So does my friend.

My electricity bill is around £90 per month shock, and my friend's is about £40 per month.

We worked out that the main difference between us was that I have my immersion heater on for maybe 15 hours a week, but she has her immersion on for only 4 hrs per week.

So I'm really trying to be more diligent about only having it switched on when I need it, and remembering to turn it straight off afterwards.

YoureBeingADick Tue 17-Sep-13 10:07:08

wow that is a big difference. 15 hours a week is over 2 hours per day- does it need to be on that long everyday for all the hot water you use?

i'm hovering around the £1.50 a day mark at the minute. that's down to the washing machine and dehumidifier as we have had solid rain for the past 3 days and there is no way I can not do washing. still room for tweaking though as dcs are not good at switching lights/tv etc off. so must get more frequent with the nagging grin

BrownSauceSandwich Wed 18-Sep-13 21:19:46

Goodasitgets, I do that with the microwave clock... Ours would cost about £50/year. Fifty f£&king quid! There's a proper clock in the kitchen, which has been running on the same AA battery since we moved house 6 years ago.

Family gets a bit sick of me freaking out about the lights being left on, but I think they're gradually learning.

NannyR Wed 18-Sep-13 22:18:35

I recently got one of the free monitors from British gas. I found that my induction hob was costing 1p an hour on standby. By switching it off at the wall when I'm not using it I'm saving £1.75 a week.

Joycey29 Fri 20-Sep-13 18:19:14

Been lurking!
Where can I get a good electricity monitor if I'm not with British Gas?

YoureBeingADick Sun 22-Sep-13 23:26:09

Quick update as ive just realised that my electric ran out today after me topping up £10 last sunday!grin That was the target so im happy but ive seen how easy it is to reduce and i definitely have room for more as ive slacked a bit so i'm going to keep this thread going and see how low i can get it without feeling like life isnt pleasant anymore.

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 23-Sep-13 21:52:58

You could try for £8 a week. Well done though.

YoureBeingADick Mon 23-Sep-13 23:07:48

I think i'm going to try for £7 fluffy just because there are 7 days in a week and it would irritate me immensely that 8 doesn't divide nicely by 7 grin (I know £10 doesn't either but it was a nice round number so that's ok- yes I do have issues with numbers blush)

I remember when ds1 was a baby and it was just he and I ( 8 years ago) I put £30 in the meter a month and often had some left at the end of the month. and I wasn't at all careful about switching things off. although back then I had no internet, freeview, PS3 etc. and as he was a baby he wasn't switching anything on and then forgetting about it. I was also out of the house at work everyday aswell though.

anyway- i'll give it a fair go and report back to you all. thanks for encouragement.

jemjelly Wed 02-Oct-13 22:00:31

My electricity is currently £270 per month shock there are 3 of us, 2 adults and a child in a small and drafty 3 bed terrace house. I need to drastically reduce my bills as EON are making us have a meter from next week.

Problem is my DH has an OCD, he washes constantly and the washing machine is usually on at least three times a day but can this really be making our bills so high, I cant believe the difference from my bills to yours. Does anyone know what the average usage is? I am wondering if there is something wrong with our supply.

YoureBeingADick Wed 02-Oct-13 22:10:58

my goodness! yes 3 washes a day will be having a massive effect on your bill! i'd try and tackle that first and foremost- is he having treatment for his compulsive behaviours?

I haven't been doing so well this last week or so- the horrible rain has meant dehumidifier on everyday but I have been very good about turning it off after 12 hours rather than leaving it on constantly. also- yesterday and new energy company came round with a cheaper rate so I registered an interest and they're going to ring me next week.

also I am getting new curtain poles put up (hopefully this weekend as I don't have any atm) and i'm going to try drying clothes on hangers from the poles instead of the dehumidifier on wet days so that should make a difference.

jemjelly Wed 02-Oct-13 22:19:54

He is having treatment for his OCD but to be honest I don't hold much hope of our situation changing anytime soon, he has suffered from this for years.

I try and dry the washing outside when I can but often end up drying it in the tumble dryer as we run out of drying space in the house when the weather is bad.

Things need to change hugely as there is no way I can afford to carry on paying this.

Charlesroi Wed 02-Oct-13 23:08:47

Wow jamjelly that bill is huge. I'd guess it is mostly your washing/tumble drying causing the problem, so I think you have to stop using the drier..
Could you buy another airer or two and stick them in the bath or shower?
Make sure the washes are the most energy efficient e.g. 30 deg (there's no way most stuff can be dirty enough for a hot wash)
Have you got low energy light bulbs?
Is your heating electric? Any chance of savings there?
Can EON/charities offer any help with your bill, given your DH's condition?

Bunbaker Wed 02-Oct-13 23:16:38

Perhaps you need to switch supplier. Our electricity bill is £23 a month.
I have a dishwasher and tumble dryer. We have various computers/laptops/TVs, but they don't get left on. We switch everything off when not in use and don't use the standby option.

BackforGood Wed 02-Oct-13 23:19:02

Jemjelly - even with 3 loads a day, that really is a massive bill. I have a big, 4 storey, drafty old high ceilinged Victorian house, with 3 teens who all apparently need to be plugged in to at least 3 electrical devices each to survice, who all leave lights and things on all the time, and I tumble dry a lot, and our gas and electricity combined isn't anywhere near £270. I'd take some weekly (or daily) meter readings and see what you are actually using, as that's is high

Monty27 Wed 02-Oct-13 23:24:09

A MICROWAVE CLOCK COSTS WHAT A YEAR????

IS THAT FOR REAL???

I have a digital radio that I don't turn off, the internet stays on, what about my electric alarm clock??????

OMG.

I wonder if Piglet John will read this and can give any advice?

grin

Monty27 Wed 02-Oct-13 23:25:12

That was not supposed to be a grin it was supposed to be shock

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 03-Oct-13 07:11:06

LED lightbulbs are the way to go, I get mine off ledhut.co.uk with cashback off topcashback.

When we moved in the kitchen lights alone used 500w, now they use 44w.

jellyjem Thu 03-Oct-13 21:42:28

Right .. I am getting our bills down, didnt realise how out of the ordinary our bills were until i read this. All our washes are done on the fast ecconomy wash on the machine which is 30 degrees and only takes around 45 minutes. Our heating is gas (which I think we will have to do without this year). I have brought 2 more airers to dry all the washing.

Our oven is electric with gas hobs.

We don't have economy light bulbs in all the fitting but I am very careful to turn them off when we leave a room. I never urn standby's off but it seems that should not contribute all that much to our huge bill.

When we have the meter fitted I am going to keep a very close eye on things. I need to ask Eon to check the meter too don't I, thing is we have been paying a lot for our usage for years and I just thought this was normal.

I phoned npower to give a meter reading today and on the positive side, I'm now at £200 over 3 months instead of £90 per month.

Also .... I didn't realise this, but if even if you're in arrears, they will switch you over to a better tariff if you ask them. I'm now on their fixed online tariff instead of the standard tariff and it's quite a bit cheaper. The price is fixed until 2014, but you can leave anytime, so OK for anyone renting I guess, not just homeowners.

smile smile

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