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Electricity meter reading far too high

(195 Posts)
starbrightstarlight8888 Mon 15-Feb-21 11:48:54

I moved house last month and took a meter reading of 3957, I then took one exactly a month later and it was 8192. This can't be right can it? That means a monthly electricity bill of around £700.

We don't have gas, we are electric only. We've had new radiators installed so they are brand new and efficient. We've still got electric underfloor heating in the kitchen and lounge which could be inefficient I suppose but not to the tune of £700per month.

We live in a detached bungalow, not a mansion.

British Gas are useless. They say it could be a meter fault but hey can't send anyone round to check until lockdown is over.

What do I do? We are accruing a bill of £25 per day at the moment.

Heating is on in the mornings and evenings only. We don't use a tumble drier or dishwasher. Washing machine is on a few times a week, nothing excessive. There's nothing I can think of that is costing a lot of electricity and certainly not £700 per month!

We are taking hourly readings and the meter is showing as using between 6 and 20 kWh per hour.

OP’s posts: |
DianaT1969 Mon 15-Feb-21 11:57:32

I don't understand why British Gas can't send someone. Contractors are allowed in homes. Is the meter in your hall with easy access?
Sorry, I don't have any suggestions but sympathising. That's very stressful.

Nacreous Mon 15-Feb-21 11:58:53

Can you switch everything off - heating, lights, fridges etc and see if the meter still ticks upwards?

Hadalifeonce Mon 15-Feb-21 11:59:47

Can you turn off everything electrical in your house and check if the meter is still running. If it is there is a problem and British Gas should come out to investigate.

BarbaraofSeville Mon 15-Feb-21 12:00:59

20 kWh is a high load. Something very demanding is switched on - equivalent to about 7-10 kettles. At 13 pence per unit, that's £2.60 per hour, even 6 kWh is nearly a pound an hour, which ties in with the costs you have quoted.

How do you heat your water? Do you have an immersion heater that's being left on?

DianaT1969 Mon 15-Feb-21 12:03:14

Have you tried turning everything off. Then putting each appliance on one at a time and watching the meter?
There are also companies who independently test meters. If the fee isn't too high, it might move things along and get you much needed proof with your supplier.

Standrewsschool Mon 15-Feb-21 12:07:10

No that can’t be right. We pay around £100 for gas and electricity.

Or do you live in Downton Manor?

Quail15 Mon 15-Feb-21 12:08:02

When we first moved in to our electric only house we had a massive bill for the 1st quarter ( over £2000). We had come from a ground floor flat so had rarely needed the heating on before.

We spoke to british gas who agreed it was far to high and that there must have been an issue with the previous meter reading so they reduced the bill. They never came to check though.

It is expensive heating a house on electricity - we have an eco electric boiler which heats all the radiators and water but we don't have it on higher than 16 degrees. We had a wood burner installed as our main source of heating which has made a big difference and are now looking into getting a heat pump or solar panels to reduce it even further.

Quail15 Mon 15-Feb-21 12:09:17

I live in a small 3 bed semi - so not a big house.

AndTheMillions Mon 15-Feb-21 12:11:00

Omg we had this !!!!
It was too high I repeatedly called British Gas and they wouldn’t come out to check it I begged them.

In the end I changed companies and b gas are still pursuing me for the debt. It’s been disputed and they won’t investigate despite the fact I had told them I asked and asked for it to be checked they were useless

MyAnacondaMight Mon 15-Feb-21 12:13:30

I fear it may be a genuine reading, courtesy of your electric heating plus water heater. Electric really is only a sensible solution in well insulated properties with low hot water demands.

What size is your house, in square metres or feet? And how is your hot water heated?

For context, I have a one bed flat that is electric only. Using 3x 2kW radiators in the morning and evening, and having the immersion heater on for 3 hours a day can result in an electric bill of £150/month. Unfortunately I can see how £700 might be achievable in a bigger property with higher demands.

starbrightstarlight8888 Mon 15-Feb-21 12:14:10

I'm going to switch everything off at lunch and see if it's still going round. I'm trying to work so cant switch off WiFi yet.

There's nothing plugged in that would cost £700 per month, it's just a standard 3 bed bungalow.

We have an immersion heater that's on all the time but the plumber came and switched it on constant and said that's the most efficient way as it'll only heat the water up to required temperature then switch off and only heat up water that we use as it's refilling the tank.

It's a really old meter that isn't even digital let alone Smart. Apparent we can't get smart meters in my area.

OP’s posts: |
starbrightstarlight8888 Mon 15-Feb-21 12:15:10

AndTheMillions

Omg we had this !!!!
It was too high I repeatedly called British Gas and they wouldn’t come out to check it I begged them.

In the end I changed companies and b gas are still pursuing me for the debt. It’s been disputed and they won’t investigate despite the fact I had told them I asked and asked for it to be checked they were useless


I thought about changing companies but if the meter is faulty then it's not going to change anything. British Gas are awful to deal with though.

OP’s posts: |
starbrightstarlight8888 Mon 15-Feb-21 12:16:39

MyAnacondaMight

I fear it may be a genuine reading, courtesy of your electric heating plus water heater. Electric really is only a sensible solution in well insulated properties with low hot water demands.

What size is your house, in square metres or feet? And how is your hot water heated?

For context, I have a one bed flat that is electric only. Using 3x 2kW radiators in the morning and evening, and having the immersion heater on for 3 hours a day can result in an electric bill of £150/month. Unfortunately I can see how £700 might be achievable in a bigger property with higher demands.


It can't be genuine. The previous owners paid £150 per month. I already asked them. Plus it's ticking over 6 units or mor when there's nothing on. The heating wasn't on, no oven, no kettle, no washing machine etc and it's still ticking too high.

OP’s posts: |
IstandwithJackieWeaver Mon 15-Feb-21 12:17:46

What kWh are your new, "efficient" radiators and how many do you have? Are they all on when the heating is on and how long for in the mornings and evenings. Unlike with gas where the efficiency of the boiler can be a factor in gas consumption, I don't think it's the same with electric rads.

Insomniacexpress Mon 15-Feb-21 12:17:46

we are electric only as well. I would switch the immersion off but for a couple hours am and pm. Electric Underfloor heating is extremely expensive to run if it is in anything more than just a small room. If it’s your entire downstairs that is going to be astronomical.

Insomniacexpress Mon 15-Feb-21 12:19:06

Also- when we swapped out night storage heaters to electric panel radiators our bills went up. Wish I’d kept the storage heaters and though of some clever way to disguise their bulkiness

starbrightstarlight8888 Mon 15-Feb-21 12:20:09

Insomniacexpress

we are electric only as well. I would switch the immersion off but for a couple hours am and pm. Electric Underfloor heating is extremely expensive to run if it is in anything more than just a small room. If it’s your entire downstairs that is going to be astronomical.


It's not the entire downstairs. It's morning and evening in 2 rooms.
It's still ticking over 6kwh per hour in the middle of the day when there's no heating on. That's £750 approx per month even with no heating on.

Something isn't right.

OP’s posts: |
IstandwithJackieWeaver Mon 15-Feb-21 12:21:03

Having seen your update, there is something using power when you've got things turned off: is there a timer unit or something else? What happens if you turn absolutely everything off, including the fridge, freezer, etc?

ThePricklySheep Mon 15-Feb-21 12:21:33

Insomniacexpress

we are electric only as well. I would switch the immersion off but for a couple hours am and pm. Electric Underfloor heating is extremely expensive to run if it is in anything more than just a small room. If it’s your entire downstairs that is going to be astronomical.

Underfloor heating is cheaper than normal heating.

BarbaraofSeville Mon 15-Feb-21 12:22:07

Oh dear, your plumber is probably wrong, especially if the insulation on the water tank isn't great.

www.cse.org.uk/advice/energy-saving-tips/energy-mythbuster

forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/5427893/keep-your-immersion-heating-on-all-the-time-or-only-when-needed

forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/2757126/immersion-heater-leave-on-or-turn-off-advice-please

As it says in one of the above MSE threads, you don't keep boiling your kettle in case you need a hot drink at some point do you?

Make sure your water tank is very well insulated and is on a timer, so it's not heating water overnight and possibly some time in the day time - there might be a boost feature that you can use instead of it being on all the time and you should be able to cut that cost down a bit.

starbrightstarlight8888 Mon 15-Feb-21 12:22:28

I'm going to turn the power off at lunch and see what happens. There's nothing else here apart from TVs, WiFi etc but we had those in our old house so it shouldn't be them.

OP’s posts: |
AndTheMillions Mon 15-Feb-21 12:23:03

Yes I just felt desperate to get the bill down - meter still not right now having the same argument with new company to get it checked but it bought us some time with a more reasonable bill

1990s Mon 15-Feb-21 12:24:25

It’s the immersion heater, if as you say above that’s on all the time.

We used to have one and it was for emergencies only as my Dad said it was like burning £20 notes.

Ch3rish Mon 15-Feb-21 12:25:28

Turn off the immersion heater and see what difference that makes, if it's on all the time that's going to be expensive

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