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British Gas Bill - is this right???

(32 Posts)
mistletoeoak Wed 03-Apr-13 16:08:33

Hi All, just wondering if the latest bill is right, seems a lot? We use the gas for 2 hours a day to heat the water only - hour in the morning, hour in the evening. The latest quarterly bill is £193??? Surely that is a lot, we do not use it to cook or heat with? Just so we have hot water.
Does this sound about right? What on earth would the bills be if we used gas to cook and heat with too???
Many thanks
Lisa x

FoxyM Fri 19-Apr-13 12:57:01

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cozietoesie Thu 11-Apr-13 19:59:52

Do look on ebay. I don't know where you're located generally but there are often large used sets of curtains for sale going seriously cheaply because people don't want to have them altered for smaller windows. You'd have to buy poles of course but I think you might be pleasantly surprised by the cost of the total package.

Flossiechops Thu 11-Apr-13 19:15:31

I know you're right about the curtains. I have looked into them but the cost of the huge window plus a made to measure pole has put me off (will check eBay out). Have spoken with the energy company today and asked them to fix my payments from now. So based on the past 12 months usage it's now £137 a month. I had not really noticed the much lower payments are throughout the summer! So all in all I feel much happier spreading it throughout the year smile

cozietoesie Thu 11-Apr-13 17:56:52

Well that's my instinct, Fluffy. I couldn't square it in my own mind with the physics but was just being careful in case I was being mentally lazy. That camp are very decided in their view. hmm

I think Flossiechops certainly has head room with at least the possible use of heavy curtains (usually available pretty cheaply from ebay if you can collect) and insulation, both of which should be 'quick return' items.

Flossie - you might find that you can improve living conditions and reduce bills by those means alone. Say - a halfway situation?

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 11-Apr-13 16:42:13

The energy saving trust says its a myth about keeping heating on all being cheaper than putting it on only when needed.

You can line curtains with thermal lining or interlining, both are very effective.

cozietoesie Thu 11-Apr-13 10:10:20

Now checked. Obviously there are a lot of variables but they might offset a bit eg

I have a terraced house (which should by rights be warmer than a semi because no heat-leaking end wall at one side) but on the other hand, it's big (17/18 ft ceilings in the hall and 14 foot in the main ground floor rooms) and I would guess might be bigger than yours, being Victorian rather than Edwardian. (7 or 8 rooms plus halls, bathrooms, kitchen etc.)

I kept my heating on through the day (and night) at times this winter because it was so bitter compared to last year - but I keep the setting mostly at 16 degrees.

(I'm not going to get into competitive coldness here. 18 is quite a reasonable temperature for you to go for. There's a school of thought which says that if you keep your heating on a lower setting permanently, it's cheaper. I can't get my head round the science of that (temperature gradients and all) but I was certainly much relieved by the winter bills after putting the heating on 'ON' for weeks on end, albeit on a lowish setting, and with a price rise of - 10% I think it was.)

Anyway, my total winter quarter (gas, electricity and VAT) was somewhere just south of £630 compared to your £955. Admittedly, we've got heavy loft insulation and are seriously economical with energy use that we don't need. (eg lights are turned off and rooms not being used at any point have the doors closed, the radiator thermostats turned right down and heavy curtains pulled.) Nonetheless, the windows are single glazed, original and drafty. (They actually rattle in the slightest wind.) The (conventional) boiler is about 7 years old but pretty efficient according to the engineers - who didn't even try to sell me a new one on the last visit.

I'd be looking at further energy saving if I were you. I'd also be having a serious talk with the family about whether you actually want to move. (It's hell going from a roomy house to one which is not so roomy - but also any prospective purchasers will likely want to know about energy bills if you decide to sell.) If you can get on top of it, that should benefit you either staying or leaving.

Sorry for the tome.

CurlyhairedAssassin Thu 11-Apr-13 09:36:44

Your last point about the lack of thick curtains always makes me wonder I people have thought about energy bills when they have massive floor to ceiling windows or bi fold doors fitted when they renovate. Am assuming they don't have curtains drawn over at night so how on earth do they keep the place warm in our climate?! So much heat is lost through glass....

Flossiechops Thu 11-Apr-13 07:34:41

Cozie - that's a good idea. We have stupidly lived for 4 years without a jot of insulation on the top floor but this was because we needed to afford to renovate it first. Anyway now we are planning to move we are not putting an ensuite as planned so are just in the process of decorating/ insulating. It will be interesting to see how much difference it will make. We also have a huge bay in the front lounge with original draughty windows, I foolishly went for roman blinds instead of thick curtains again I wonder how much difference it would make.

cozietoesie Wed 10-Apr-13 16:47:06

I'm a 3 storey Victorian terrace - with big rooms and old windows but thick insulation up top. I'll check my bills for the last quarter (I get them quarterly) to compare for you.

Flossiechops Wed 10-Apr-13 09:14:50

Yes cozie heating only on from 6am-8am then 4pm-9pm set at 18 degrees. Not sure about the water. It's a 3 story Edwardian semi and very draughty. We could invest more in it but we are mortgaged up to our eye balls and we aren't really that happy here. Strange as this was supposed to be our 'dream' house. Now all I see is money we don't have being wasted!!

cozietoesie Tue 09-Apr-13 21:51:30

Were those figures for the last three months, flossie? How big is the place? And what do you have your heating and water set at?

Flossiechops Tue 09-Apr-13 21:46:35

My last 3 months combined gas/electricity bills = £275 £385 and £295. We are selling next year as we simply can't afford to run this old house anymore sad it's the gas that gets us it's so very expensive

eanymeanyminymo Sun 07-Apr-13 17:31:20

It is probably worth checking your gas meter to see if it is metric or imperial, we had a new metric meter fitted and we carried on being charged at an imperial rate, we got a quarterly bill of more than £900. We thought it was our old boiler causing the large bill and we only found out it was because we were being charged wrong when the plumber came to fit a new boiler and said there was no way it could be that high.

cozietoesie Sat 06-Apr-13 14:25:23

We're a bit less than double yours, Jim, for an old and drafty house a bit more than twice your size. (But we're seriously economical with the heat so it sounds about right.)

JimFoster Sat 06-Apr-13 12:06:47

BTW I'm wondering what people are paying a month for gas and electricity. We pay a fixed direct debit of £78 a month to nPower, (they were the cheapest on uSwitch and Moneysupermarket apart from Spark Energy). That is about £50/month for gas and £28/month for electricity. And that is for a new build (2005) 2 bedroom flat.

cozietoesie Sat 06-Apr-13 09:07:04

Yes - I've found BG to be fine on a proper tariff (ie not 'our most popular tariff'.) Unless the OP is using an inordinate amount of hot water, and/or is on a brutal tariff, and/or has the hot water set to something like 75 or 80 degrees, it seems a heck of a lot. I'd be checking out usage, system and tariff, all three.

ByTheWay1 Fri 05-Apr-13 19:00:21

BG was the cheapest for us - their dual fuel, monthly direct debit, paperless internet tariff is fab - we get a combined gas/electric bill by email every month - £94 and are always a bit in credit. We have a 3 bed detached and like to be toasty... so don't know why you would have a bill that high just for gas for heating water..

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 04-Apr-13 17:19:55 would give you cashback to switch fuel providers, I saved £240 year changing mine. I got £35 cash back, it would cancel out the exit fees.

It took six months to come through but I made sure I went to a supplier with no exit fees, fixed price for 12 months.

Usually if a supplier raises prices you have two to four weeks to cancel with no exit fees.

I've seen family members bills with BG, they do seem pricey.

cozietoesie Wed 03-Apr-13 23:36:43

Sorry - ignore that second part: forgot you hadn't had the other bill yet - but why aren't you on dual fuel? It's cheaper.

cozietoesie Wed 03-Apr-13 23:34:48

Surprisingly not - if you keep the thermostats set to, say, 16, put on jumpers and are either reasonably well insulated or not a standalone house - or both. I'm still learning my system though.

What sort of quarterly charge have you been given for electricity, OP? (I'm assuming you're on a dual fuel and submit readings via the net?)

mistletoeoak Wed 03-Apr-13 23:05:33

TCOB £400 a month! Oh my ...

trinity0097 they are actual readings. As for the hot water and heating link, our primary heating source is solid fuel rayburn that heats water, radiators and cooking, gas back boiler is a secondary part to it. Rayburn is fine if you get up 3 hours before you need it, clean it out, clean flues and light it etc and then get it up to a decent heat to even get hot water - hence gas is used to heat the water for an hour to make sure when we get up, there is something there to be used. In summer when do not light rayburn, we use gas more - so its usually other way round for us and gas use is more in summer than winter, hence rather worried at this bill. Maybe just set my alarm earlier and light the fire lol

Miss Hairspray, yes it is mains. In small print on quarterly bill it says no fee to change tariff but a £30 charge if change supplier, something to do with opting out of contract. Gas bottles are used as some rooms have no radiator, so gas mains and radiator no point!

cozietoesie that makes sense with water being colder so needing more energy input to heat it up, common sense.

Thank you for your replies everyone, just seems odd that we use it less than most households yet its costing more as many people from what I gather asking around, have heating on all the time and set it to a temperature - surely that must cost thousands if one 24hrs a day??? x

cozietoesie Wed 03-Apr-13 22:21:53

If I recall, gas water heating is more at this time of year because the water coming in off the mains is so much colder than in summer- but that still seems very high. Yours seems (sorry) a little low for a quarter bill though Dfg15 - unless you have a smallish house?

MissHairspray Wed 03-Apr-13 21:29:13

Yes to checking if this or a previous bill was estimated, also is it mains gas you have? Never heard of being charged to change suppliers. This does sound high though, maybe your boiler is really old or not working properly? Usually I would say don't use bottles gas as this is much more expensive than mains gas, but in your case it would be hard to pay much more!

trinity0097 Wed 03-Apr-13 21:13:12

Is it an actual bill or estimated? Was the previous bill an actual or estimated, I.e. if the previous was an estimate and underestimated then this bill actual you are paying for more than a quarter of fuel. Are you sure you're only using the gas for hot water, never heard of a system where gas hot water and heating are not linked?

mistletoeoak Wed 03-Apr-13 16:42:01

Must be where we live, looked on a comparison site and all the other providers cost more??? This is bonkers, right, tin bath and a campfire for bath time then hee hee

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