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I think Npower seriously overestimated our energy usage or a broken tumble dryer has a bigger impact than I ever thought!

(16 Posts)
bigmouthstrikesagain Thu 11-Dec-14 13:04:39

took a meter reading last week and posted it online in my Npower account. I get a bill today covering last 5 months that comes to under £200! but we have been paying £172/ month for past year. So the account is left £600 IN CREDIT.

fortunately the company are refunding £500 this week at my request and our monthly payments are being halved. but I wonder if it is because our tumble dryer broke down in the summer? I haven't fixed it yet so all clothes etc are drying on clothes horse which is a bit labour intensive but if it has such a dramatic effect on bills maybe it is worth it. certainly underlines the point of taking regular meter readings as the latest bill is based on my readings. also if I hadnt checked my bill I would not have realised how much we were in credit. as it is all online and the money is taken by dd.confused

britbat Thu 11-Dec-14 13:39:39

Only takes a few pounds a go to run a tumble drier. It'll be their overestimates. Always give a reading.

NoSundayWorkingPlease Thu 11-Dec-14 13:44:47

£172 a month? How big is your house? Unless it's very large, no wonder you've overpaid!

We have token meters which are generally a higher rate anyway. But even in the middle of winter when the heating and lights are on most days we only pay about £100 a month for gas and electric.

outofcontrol2014 Thu 11-Dec-14 13:46:20

It could also be the dryer having an impact - they are really, really energy inefficient.

googoodolly Thu 11-Dec-14 13:48:39

£172 a month?! You're overpaying. You NEED to give meter readings. We get a quarterly bill but on average it's £75 a month for gas and electric. Obviously higher in the winter and lower in summer, but that's the average over the year.

DazzleU Thu 11-Dec-14 14:02:05

We take regular metre readings - but still find every so often they up the payments then few months down the line we have huge credit and then DH goes on-line and decreases the payment amount.

We still have credit to get through the winter months - but not such massive over payments to them.

Dries are inefficient - but I'd keep an eye on the the company as well.

lollilou Thu 11-Dec-14 14:26:35

I've been paying £172 too. (small 1980s 3 bed) I think I should ring them.

Hatespiders Thu 11-Dec-14 14:26:40

We're with EDF and always send in our meter reading every month, we don't allow them to estimate.. We don't have a tumble drier, they are expensive to run. We dry things on our washing line if poss, or on radiators or utility room racks. I pack the electric oven with as many meals as poss at a time and freeze them. Freezer is v small. Dishwasher only if full. (We have to use oil for heating.)

All this costs £33 per month. It used to be £36, but they gave us a £30 refund last month and reduced our payments to £33. Not bad really! (Very tiny bungalow and only two of us.)

ilovepowerhoop Thu 11-Dec-14 14:31:11

we are now down to £120 per month with EDF for a 4 bed detached in Scotland. NPower had (maybe still have) big billing/system problems so I wouldn't even guarantee what they have told you is correct. I moved from NPower at the end of last year and it took nearly 10 months to get my credit balance back from them despite many phone calls and promises that it would be sorted out

Bulbasaur Thu 11-Dec-14 14:56:54

Do you not have a pay as you use type billing?

Here in the US we just pay for whatever we used that month. Winter months are cheaper than summer months since gas is cheaper than electricity to cool the house.

outofcontrol2014 Thu 11-Dec-14 15:11:59

Bulbasaur - that's so interesting! It doesn't really work like that here. The energy company tries to figure out how much the bill will be for the whole year, so that you pay by direct debit with the same amount coming out each month. Since we don't generally use that much energy for cooling (bloody British climate!) I think the idea is that it spreads the cost and prevents there being a big peak in the winter with bills greater than what people can afford. Fuel poverty here is a real issue, and people will go without heating that they actually need for the sake of buying Christmas presents or (sadly) eating. It leads to a lot of avoidable illness and even death each year through people having houses that are too cold.

BreconBeBuggered Thu 11-Dec-14 15:15:12

£172??? Bloody hell. I pay about £140 less than that, and I use the tumble dryer at least 3 times a week. I supply monthly meter readings. I can tell you what I think brought my bills down, and that was DS1 going to university and not charging up his laptop, phone etc. every day. Does that include heating? My combined fuel bills are less than £100 a month, and I'm not on a supercheap tariff by any means..

wobblyweebles Fri 12-Dec-14 01:23:56

Yeah I'm in the US and we just pay each month for whatever we used. They have wireless meters too, so they just drive vaguely near the house and read the meter wirelessly from the road.

Recently I stopped using my tumble dryer for two weeks. I then downloaded my elec usage by the hour for the last year and compared that two weeks to an average two weeks. My tumble dryer costs me about $50 a month to run, it turns out.

Preciousbane Fri 12-Dec-14 07:42:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheFantasticMrsFox Fri 12-Dec-14 08:41:27

Ooh, a Christmas bonus fsmile
FWIW we don't have a tumble dryer any more and rely on clothes airers the backs of chairs, the banisters and our electricity use is really low. We do have super duper efficient white goods and I make use of the timers so that the washing machine/ dishwasher goes on during the night when we are on cheap rate. I also tip DS into the shower before 7am so it's half the price grin
Once I started I became a little obsessed though and now thoroughly begrudge a load of washing going on in the daytime grin

cabbageandgravy Fri 12-Dec-14 09:05:01

As an aside - airing clothes indoors can lead to damp & mould problems unless your house is very well ventilated (watch out especially if asthma in the household). And of course very well ventilated = cold draughts = higher bill again. Really worth starting drying off outside if at all possible, otherwise make sure you've got vents open etc.

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