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Any one else's gas bill gone up, and any tips to get it down?

(24 Posts)
missorinoco Mon 29-Jul-13 20:55:21

I pay my gas and electricity by direct debit, and the gas bill has just gone up to £86 per month.

That seems nuts. I have a new build. We have underfloor heating with a thermostat that is accurate. During the day the temperature was usually at 18 degrees, occasionally I "splashed out" to 19-20 for a few hours. Overnight I ran it at 16 degrees, but brought it up to 18 for a month or two when the children kept waking up. I know it's been a long cold winter, but really? Am I being unrealistic?

I am aware that people run their thermostats lower, and will do if that's the only option, but speaking to peers at the time my house was cooler than many others.

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 29-Jul-13 21:59:34

You don't really need heating on overnight in a newbuild, put it on a timer so it goes off at bedtime and comes on an hour or half hour before you get up. If you lived in a pre-war house with fires in each room and draughty windows you'd be cold but in a toasty house with duvets it's ok.

There's a fallacy that its cheaper to run heating 24/7 during the winter but the energy saving trust tells people to use a timer.

I switch rads off in rooms I'm not using, so during the day we don't use our bedroom so the rad goes off until before dh gets home.

You could also turn the thermostat on the hot water tank if you have one to 60. If you have a hot water tank insulate all the pipes that get hot, the builders are only obliged to lag the first meter. Also modern tanks only need 20 mins to heat up and SHOULD stay warm all day.

specialsubject Tue 30-Jul-13 10:36:51

please do not run heating overnight. There really is no need. TBH I'm surprised your bill is that low.

warm pyjamas, thicker duvets, bedsocks - but unless you live in the depths of the Scottish mountains I really can't see it being that cold in a newbuild house.

I'm afraid the kids need to be a little less hot-housed, in the nicest possible way. This doesn't mean chilblains and ice on the windows!

DublinDoll Wed 31-Jul-13 19:26:54

I never put my heating on at night and I live in a 80 year old poorly insulated house. Once your in bed under the covers you should be fine.

Seabright Thu 01-Aug-13 09:38:06

Switch it down by half a degree a week, I bet you won't notice.

Agree, it doesn't need to be on all night.

Do you have thermostates on radiators? They can help, as not all rooms need to be the same temperature.

SoleSource Thu 22-Aug-13 12:41:56

Last year my central heating was off as I just could not afford to have it on. Eventually we got used to it. Wore clothes in bed, two huge duvets each.

This year I am debt free and going to have the heating on as much as I want to!

cozietoesie Thu 22-Aug-13 16:23:26

Yes, we've become used to it over the years - and I definitely wouldn't run any heating overnight unless there was some extreme circumstance like minus whatever and there might have been some pipe problems. (Or having a party on or something.)

All radiators have thermostats which are geared to use and there are heavy curtains. In addition, we have gas fires in two main rooms and will use those for the odd hour to take the chill off in the autumn rather than put the complete heating on.

If your gas covers hot water, you could also consider the timing of your hot water provision. Many people have hot water on when they're in the house just for the luxury of being able to have it if they were to turn on the tap - and often, reduced hours would work fine.

BrownSauceSandwich Sat 24-Aug-13 12:40:10

Totally agree that there's no need for heating overnight. We're out most days, so even in midwinter just have heating on for 1.5 hours in the morning (before we get up to half hour before we leave), then it comes back on for a couple of hours in the evening. When husband works from home, he sometimes sticks the heat on for another hour or so in the middle of the day. We switch off radiators as we leave rooms, and we almost never heat the bedrooms... They get reasonably warm from downstairs heat, and all those hot bodies! We live in a 1930s house in exposed coastal location. Loft well insulated, good double glazing, but no cavity wall insulation and draughty bare floorboards. Oh, and we have a really good combi boiler, so it's as efficient as it can be, and we only heat the water we need. And I've cut the number of baths I have... More like a weekly instead of nightly treat... Showers are much cheaper!

How controllable is your heating? Can you switch it on/off room by room? Could you top up your loft insulation?

cozietoesie Sat 24-Aug-13 15:48:38

The thing is, SoleSource, you likely won't want to have it on as much as you did before. You really do adjust to lower temperatures - and wearing things like sweaters makes the process a lot easier.

The only downside is that higher temperatures become very unpleasant. I sometimes reel when I enter our local library (equatorial) and the recent hot weather was pretty punishing, even living in an old heavy-walled Victorian as I do.

SoleSource Sat 24-Aug-13 17:07:04

Very true cozie. Just nice feeling knowing this year I can budget for £15 per week for gas grin

awaywiththepixies Sat 24-Aug-13 22:10:33

I live in a 3 bed 1930s semi. I pay £82 per a month to EDF which covers BOTH my gas and elec. I have my thermostat on at 16 degrees, both night and day. If I don't have it on at night then when the temperature drops at about 3.30 my daughter starts coughing. Occasionally I boost it but rarely. My kids and I dress appropriately (slippers and a cardie) and we never gets the bugs associated with central heating.

ginmakesitallok Sat 24-Aug-13 22:13:38

Our direct debit has just been reduced by a tenner a month to £37. Not sure what we're doing right. No tumble drier helps

Thesimplethings Sat 24-Aug-13 22:17:58

We pay just under 200 a month for gas and electric. In a three bed semi!

I blame the SIDS guidelines which say a baby's room should be 18 degrees ideal temp. Is that not true?

valiumredhead Sat 24-Aug-13 22:25:35

Definitely turn it off at night, how on earth do you sleep with it on?

valiumredhead Sat 24-Aug-13 22:26:43

I didn't even have a room thermometer when ds was small but I can tell you his room wasn't 18 degrees!

TheSecondComing Sat 24-Aug-13 22:28:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cozietoesie Sun 25-Aug-13 00:06:51


£37 a month? Unless you live in a single end, or that bill is only for a gas cooker and one fire, I'd check things out real carefully. You don't want a nasty shock coming your way. It sounds very low.

ginmakesitallok Sun 25-Aug-13 12:48:26

Nope it's right, based in actual readings, were about £160 in credit.. Think we're about £45 a month for electric. 4 bed detached house.

BrownSauceSandwich Sun 25-Aug-13 16:59:20

Holy shit TSC, £230 a month would cripple me :-( Do you know how much you spend on each of gas and electric? If the electricity component is significant, I really recommend you get an electricity monitor... Work out a) whether your meter really is faulty and b) where you're using it. Ifhe problem is the gas, consider a new boiler, extra loft insulation, cavity wall insulation. Even a new boiler would probably pay for itself in 2 or 3 years, the amount you're forking out.

TheSecondComing Sun 25-Aug-13 22:04:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

stiffstink Mon 26-Aug-13 09:14:21

We have solar panels so our summer gas & elec bill combined is £21 per month. We haven't sussed the winter average yet but I pay £76 by direct debit year round to cover extra consumption in winter. I don't think it will be anything like £76.

Its a three bed 1950s semi. We re-insulated the loft (mice refused to go with previous owner) and had free cavity wall insulation.

We have a log burner and get wood throughout the year for free. It only goes on when DS is in bed and then only in winter.

The heating only goes on from Nov till March, we used to live in a freezing flat so we find it too hot with the heating on. We crank the heating up when we have visitors but then DH and I sweat our arses off. We are just used to cooler temps now.

Like someone else said, we find hot weather really uncomfortable!

When we brought DS home, one of the midwives did a home visit. We'd put the heating on to get the house to the recommended baby temp. The midwife told us not to be daft because we were boiling hot. She said that the baby needed to live in the same temps as us so turn the heating off and carry on as normal.

InMySpareTime Tue 27-Aug-13 08:15:32

We also have solar panels, spread over the year we spend £50 a month on Gas & Electricity. Check the maths your energy provider uses, mine put my bill up to £65 a month after last winter (fair enough, it was cold for so long), then for no particular reason put it up to £85 a month. I did the maths and worked out it was more like £55 even with the cold winter.
I phoned them with this information and the lady apologised and reduced the DD to £50 a month, but if I hadn't phoned I'd be paying £35 a month on top of our average usage!

valiumredhead Tue 27-Aug-13 08:45:19

You can pay whatever you like in direct debits, they can only advise you how much. Best thing is to do meter readings every single time do you know how much you are using.

InMySpareTime Tue 27-Aug-13 09:15:28

They do have a habit of sending emails saying "we've adjusted your direct debit" (but not what they've adjusted it to), then you have to call them up to argue the case for the amount you want to pay.

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