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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.

pettyprudence Fri 18-Jan-13 19:57:31

It does sound a bit much but then how big is the house? One of my bosses with a 4 story, 7 bed house (quite modern) spends about £800-£1000 per winter (3 months) on gas (and his heating isn't on constant - I have to keep my coat on!).

At the other end of the scale, I have a 2 bed terraced house (quite modern) and my bills are £60pcm for gas AND elec so £180-ish for the winter months.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Fri 18-Jan-13 19:58:15

Lmfao!!! Oh bluerain that made me chuckle! :D

InNeedOfBrandy Fri 18-Jan-13 20:00:16

I have storage heaters andni don't use that much!

I have pre payment meter with bg with both electric and gas on one and I spend £30 pw in this weather and extra fiver with having bedroom heaters on and towel rail on a lot. Not normal unless you have your hot water settings set funny? Have you got a combi or emersion (sp) hot water tank?

CaptChaos Fri 18-Jan-13 20:04:06

It might be an idea to get them out to check the meter. The gas is a fair bit more expensive through a pre-pay, but shouldn't be this much more. They are shockingly reluctant to change them for normal ones though, but, if you can pay by DD, then I would get them to change it.

Dawndonna Fri 18-Jan-13 20:07:26

Sounds extremely unreasonalbe. I have a four bedroomed, four reception room house. I pay that per month, for both gas and electric.

ShoeJunkie Fri 18-Jan-13 20:15:13

We inherited an electric pre-payment meter with our house and I made sure we got rid of it pretty quickly as it seemed to eat money!
Also DD is waaay more convenient as there are very few shops which would top up our key. Def try and switch to DD OP.

YourHandInMyHand Fri 18-Jan-13 20:26:09

Those saying get rid of the prepay meter, I have one and the maximum it has ever eaten in a week is £30, and that was during a cold snap in a house with no double glazing! This week has been very cold here oop north and with double glazing and insulation I've spent £20.

Is it possible someone has tapped into your supply?? Is there definitely no debt on it, perhaps from a previous occupier?

When it's bitterly cold I have the heating on all the time but if it's not too bad I just have it on as needed.

insprognito Fri 18-Jan-13 20:26:22

It is a 3 bedroom end terrace 4 rooms downstairs. I know our rooms are large (victorian high ceilings) but even so. I was asking everyone I know today and nobody uses this much.

Not sure on boiler type we get instant hot water it has digital display+controls but uses just gas for fuel as far as I know. Am getting it serviced next week so will ask.

Thanks for all the advice, will try and implement and see if it makes a difference. I am going to ask for dd payments instead. Can I do this without being charged a fee? Also can I switch to another company? Am just really frightened because if I get quarterly bills I wouldn't be able to find that sort of money in one go just for gas (not electric as well) it would be £750 at this rate!

Locketjuice Fri 18-Jan-13 20:28:36

I'm all electric, have SHITTY storage heaters which are ridiculously expensive downstairs and electric radiators upstairs I go through around £50 a week minimum... That's a two bed maisonette Aswell so we have the heat from next doors and down stairs... Still freezing and expensive!

MrsCampbellBlack Fri 18-Jan-13 20:30:20

Our gas bill is more than that but that's because we have a gas aga which will be going soon as its just soooo expensive to run.

But your bill sounds very high indeed for just heating.

ShoeJunkie Fri 18-Jan-13 20:31:10

We are with EDF and they changed our meter for free.

Peka Fri 18-Jan-13 20:31:19

insprognito they usually don't let you switch for 3 months after you swap meters... I think I did have to pay but not £500! Maybe £50? It was a while ago though. Basically you need to cover the labour to switch meters, which takes about 20 mins.

MikeLitoris Fri 18-Jan-13 20:34:38

Ring them and ask to change meters.

It may involve a credit check and a fee.

I dont understand why people think suppliers dont want to change meters. It is much better for suppliers for customers to have dd. Thats why they offer discounts etc. PP meters are expensive to maintain and cost the supplier more than billing meters.

I work for one of the big 6 and have worked in the prepayment dept. I can assure you ppm customers are not looked down on by any member of staff I have ever worked with.

I really suggest you check the meter settings, I can talk you through if needed.

insprognito Fri 18-Jan-13 20:35:13

He said there is no debt and meter doesn't show any. How could I check if someone has tapped supply? Some new houses were built next to us a few years back so it's possible maybe. I feel sick and don't know what to do when the man on the phone keeps telling me iabu as everyone uses this much when its this cold hmm

EuroShagmore Fri 18-Jan-13 20:35:24

It's loads. We have a modern 3 bed semi. It's one story so a huge roof area for heat to escape from, and has high ceilings. We have our thermostat set to 21 and pay 64 pcm. We've just had our meter read and it was spot on (although they are putting it up to 77 pcm, presumably because tariffs are going up?). It was only £2 out compared to the DD payments.

LadyBeagleEyes Fri 18-Jan-13 20:36:24

I've a meter, I'm all electric and it's averaging £40 a week at the moment.
It's just a 2 bed with double glazing and excellent insulation, but it's so bloody cold at the moment that the CH is on and I have an electric fire as well.

Bunbaker Fri 18-Jan-13 20:40:22

That's more than we pay in a month for a largish 4 bedroom house. We pay by direct debit and our gas bill is calculated by estimating a year's worth of bills and splitting it into 12. Prepay meters are a ridiculously expensive way to pay for gas and electricity.

slhilly Fri 18-Jan-13 20:40:33

CecilyP Fri 18-Jan-13 20:44:09

It seems awfully high. I pay £60 per month on a smallish 3 bed house, 25 year old boiler and insulation, and no double glazing. Again just for heating and hot water. Obviously the cost will be more for the coldest part of the year, but your costs just sound wrong.

MikeLitoris Fri 18-Jan-13 20:45:31

Did he tell you there was no debt or did he ask you to check your actual meter yourself?

Somebodysomewhere Fri 18-Jan-13 20:46:02

That is awful. My rented flat is about £30 a MONTH. Admittedly its a one bed but still ! How do people do it ?

PukeCatcher Fri 18-Jan-13 20:47:51

In my first house there was a British Gas prepay meter left from the previous owner. I remember sobbing after a week because the bloody thing had eaten £70 and we hadn't even properly moved in.

We changed providers, got the meter taken out and due to the amount of bailiff letters and red bills we got for the previous owner, I'm 99% sure we were paying off his arrears.

Definitely get a new meter, I'll bet you're paying for somebody else's gas.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Fri 18-Jan-13 20:51:05

Hmm my last month was 150 quid, detached but small house, no insulation but double glazing. And obv it is off at night. If it was on 24 hours at 20 degrees I reckon it could be that much yes. Turn it off when you go to bed and set it to come back on at 6 or whenever.

We have a small oil filled rad in dds room when it gets too cold at night on very low.

Meglet Fri 18-Jan-13 20:51:15

That's a lot. I have a small 3 bed terrace and often have the heating on 24/7 in the winter, usually about 23 degrees as I can't stand any chills. I pay about £75 a month for mine.

zumbaholic Fri 18-Jan-13 20:56:39

Also OP, you can ask for a card, most suppliers will send you a card which you can then use to pay say £10 a week and by the time your bill is sent out you will of most likely already paid it or only have a tiny amount to pay. So no different to charging a key excempt you have to be deciplined to make regular payments on the card, otherwise you still end up with a big bill! hth

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