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electric challenge?

(58 Posts)
StephenFrySaidSo Mon 09-Sep-13 13:29:39

I've decided to set myself a challenge to get my electric bill down from currently over £15 a week to £10 (less would be great) not a great amount but every little helps and this is more about me changing my habits although the extra £5 will be a help tbh.

currently I am really lax about leaving things switched on when not in use. the tv, modem, playstation and freeview box are all switched on from around 8am til I go to bed anywhere between 11pm and 1am. I can have the radio on in the kitchen and bedroom at the same time if i'm cleaning, putting laundry away etc. I also have a dehumidifier which is on 24/7 even if the clothes are already dry! I leave the washing machine, kettle, laptop and phone charger all switched on at the plug even when not in use. in short- i'm haemorrhaging money through electicity waste.

so I have decided to set myself some rules. there is ds1 (8), ds2 (4) and myself.
1) no electric (apart from fridge) between 9am and 4pm. this will mean all my cleaning and laundry will have to be done before we leave for school in the morning. also, I will boil the kettle at breakfast and fill a flask for my tea during the day and at lunch. dcs are at school until 2pm (from next week- 12 this week for ds2) so it's just me to make lunch for and that can be sandwiches, salads, fruit etc.
2) limiting myself to either being on the laptop OR watching tv- not both at the same time.
3) limiting dcs to 1 hour of tv/playstation time per day
4) setting a timer for charging my phone and heating the water so I only use the electric that I need
5) switching everything off as soon as I finish using it
6) radio only on whilst i'm in the room it's in
7) use the washing line as much as possible when dry and dehumidifier only when raining out. also use the heat from the airing cupboard to 'air' the clothes after the washing line rather than overnight with the dehumid on.
8) keep a daily record of electric used on the calendar.

that's all I can think that I need to do to reduce electric use. feel free to join me with your own challenge or give me any tips you might have although I don't mind if nobody does, i'm really just using this as a record of my challenge to see how i'm doing and keep me on track.

oh i'm going to start tomorrow morning. wish me luck! smile

YoureBeingADick Fri 18-Oct-13 11:50:53

ah brilliant Charles thank you. will head down to lidl today.

also forgot to say last night that I switched my electric provider this week to budget energy and unit price is now 15.68p down from 17.58p so that should make a difference too.

Charlesroi Fri 18-Oct-13 10:52:47

Lidl have occasional offers on LED bulbs too. I bought a 3w screw-in table lamp one for £4.99 a couple of weeks ago.

Just checked and they have another offer on this week - Phillips E27, E14 or GU10 @ 2 for £14 (or £7.99 each).

YoureBeingADick Fri 18-Oct-13 10:37:32

Thank you that is great fluffy.

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 18-Oct-13 09:44:25

There just like normal bulbs. do good deals plus you can get cashback from topcashback of 20% or so. Sometimes it's lower so I gt them to match quidco if they have a better offer.

YoureBeingADick Fri 18-Oct-13 09:24:47

Thanks fluffy. Do LED lights require new light fittings?(im renting) or are they just like normal bulbs?

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 18-Oct-13 07:50:12

If you get the chance to switch to led lights do it, they use very little energy and prices are falling fast. My kitchen lights used 550w when we moved in (the builders put 50w in each fitting shock) now it runs on 44w.

You've done brilliantly though.

YoureBeingADick Thu 17-Oct-13 23:18:13

Havent updated this in over a fortnight so thought i would.

I have succeeded in getting my daily electric usage to between £7 and £8 per week! grin

Non laundry days im using around 80pence and laundry days around £1.50 ish

Laundry i have cut from 7/8 washes a week with dehumidifier on 24/7 to 3 washes a week all on the same day (unless uniforms really need done) so dehumidifier on only for 24 hours in a week. This has made the biggest difference i think.

Other things like switching stuff off i am more vigilant but still room for savings there. Water is on a timer of 45 minutes morning and 45 evening. This is the minimum time it can be set for but it actually works out as just about right for our needs. Although there are evenings the dcs dont get baths so i could cut out the evening timer for possibly 3/4 nights. Will try that this week coming. Actually might just switch timer off and heat water as needed. Will have to get up earlier to switch on but ah well. grin

And i can honestly say we havent noticed any negative impact on our comfort levels at home. We have lights when we need them, hot water when we need it, clean clothes and hot meals. Definitely glad ive tried this.

Thinking i could set a new target of £5 a week?

Charlesroi Mon 07-Oct-13 21:03:33

jellyjem get them to check the supply(and that you're only paying for your own property) - that can't be right. I suppose it might be a temporary repayment of debt but still ...I sort of assumed you were running electric heating or something
I suppose you could try turning everything off and see if the meter still whizzes round?

EachAndEveryHighway Mon 07-Oct-13 20:25:18

I phoned npower to give a meter reading today and on the positive side, I'm now at £200 over 3 months instead of £90 per month.

Also .... I didn't realise this, but if even if you're in arrears, they will switch you over to a better tariff if you ask them. I'm now on their fixed online tariff instead of the standard tariff and it's quite a bit cheaper. The price is fixed until 2014, but you can leave anytime, so OK for anyone renting I guess, not just homeowners.

smile smile

jellyjem Thu 03-Oct-13 21:42:28

Right .. I am getting our bills down, didnt realise how out of the ordinary our bills were until i read this. All our washes are done on the fast ecconomy wash on the machine which is 30 degrees and only takes around 45 minutes. Our heating is gas (which I think we will have to do without this year). I have brought 2 more airers to dry all the washing.

Our oven is electric with gas hobs.

We don't have economy light bulbs in all the fitting but I am very careful to turn them off when we leave a room. I never urn standby's off but it seems that should not contribute all that much to our huge bill.

When we have the meter fitted I am going to keep a very close eye on things. I need to ask Eon to check the meter too don't I, thing is we have been paying a lot for our usage for years and I just thought this was normal.

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 03-Oct-13 07:11:06

LED lightbulbs are the way to go, I get mine off with cashback off topcashback.

When we moved in the kitchen lights alone used 500w, now they use 44w.

Monty27 Wed 02-Oct-13 23:25:12

That was not supposed to be a grin it was supposed to be shock

Monty27 Wed 02-Oct-13 23:24:09



I have a digital radio that I don't turn off, the internet stays on, what about my electric alarm clock??????


I wonder if Piglet John will read this and can give any advice?


BackforGood Wed 02-Oct-13 23:19:02

Jemjelly - even with 3 loads a day, that really is a massive bill. I have a big, 4 storey, drafty old high ceilinged Victorian house, with 3 teens who all apparently need to be plugged in to at least 3 electrical devices each to survice, who all leave lights and things on all the time, and I tumble dry a lot, and our gas and electricity combined isn't anywhere near £270. I'd take some weekly (or daily) meter readings and see what you are actually using, as that's is high

Bunbaker Wed 02-Oct-13 23:16:38

Perhaps you need to switch supplier. Our electricity bill is £23 a month.
I have a dishwasher and tumble dryer. We have various computers/laptops/TVs, but they don't get left on. We switch everything off when not in use and don't use the standby option.

Charlesroi Wed 02-Oct-13 23:08:47

Wow jamjelly that bill is huge. I'd guess it is mostly your washing/tumble drying causing the problem, so I think you have to stop using the drier..
Could you buy another airer or two and stick them in the bath or shower?
Make sure the washes are the most energy efficient e.g. 30 deg (there's no way most stuff can be dirty enough for a hot wash)
Have you got low energy light bulbs?
Is your heating electric? Any chance of savings there?
Can EON/charities offer any help with your bill, given your DH's condition?

jemjelly Wed 02-Oct-13 22:19:54

He is having treatment for his OCD but to be honest I don't hold much hope of our situation changing anytime soon, he has suffered from this for years.

I try and dry the washing outside when I can but often end up drying it in the tumble dryer as we run out of drying space in the house when the weather is bad.

Things need to change hugely as there is no way I can afford to carry on paying this.

YoureBeingADick Wed 02-Oct-13 22:10:58

my goodness! yes 3 washes a day will be having a massive effect on your bill! i'd try and tackle that first and foremost- is he having treatment for his compulsive behaviours?

I haven't been doing so well this last week or so- the horrible rain has meant dehumidifier on everyday but I have been very good about turning it off after 12 hours rather than leaving it on constantly. also- yesterday and new energy company came round with a cheaper rate so I registered an interest and they're going to ring me next week.

also I am getting new curtain poles put up (hopefully this weekend as I don't have any atm) and i'm going to try drying clothes on hangers from the poles instead of the dehumidifier on wet days so that should make a difference.

jemjelly Wed 02-Oct-13 22:00:31

My electricity is currently £270 per month shock there are 3 of us, 2 adults and a child in a small and drafty 3 bed terrace house. I need to drastically reduce my bills as EON are making us have a meter from next week.

Problem is my DH has an OCD, he washes constantly and the washing machine is usually on at least three times a day but can this really be making our bills so high, I cant believe the difference from my bills to yours. Does anyone know what the average usage is? I am wondering if there is something wrong with our supply.

YoureBeingADick Mon 23-Sep-13 23:07:48

I think i'm going to try for £7 fluffy just because there are 7 days in a week and it would irritate me immensely that 8 doesn't divide nicely by 7 grin (I know £10 doesn't either but it was a nice round number so that's ok- yes I do have issues with numbers blush)

I remember when ds1 was a baby and it was just he and I ( 8 years ago) I put £30 in the meter a month and often had some left at the end of the month. and I wasn't at all careful about switching things off. although back then I had no internet, freeview, PS3 etc. and as he was a baby he wasn't switching anything on and then forgetting about it. I was also out of the house at work everyday aswell though.

anyway- i'll give it a fair go and report back to you all. thanks for encouragement.

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 23-Sep-13 21:52:58

You could try for £8 a week. Well done though.

YoureBeingADick Sun 22-Sep-13 23:26:09

Quick update as ive just realised that my electric ran out today after me topping up £10 last sunday!grin That was the target so im happy but ive seen how easy it is to reduce and i definitely have room for more as ive slacked a bit so i'm going to keep this thread going and see how low i can get it without feeling like life isnt pleasant anymore.

Joycey29 Fri 20-Sep-13 18:19:14

Been lurking!
Where can I get a good electricity monitor if I'm not with British Gas?

NannyR Wed 18-Sep-13 22:18:35

I recently got one of the free monitors from British gas. I found that my induction hob was costing 1p an hour on standby. By switching it off at the wall when I'm not using it I'm saving £1.75 a week.

BrownSauceSandwich Wed 18-Sep-13 21:19:46

Goodasitgets, I do that with the microwave clock... Ours would cost about £50/year. Fifty f£&king quid! There's a proper clock in the kitchen, which has been running on the same AA battery since we moved house 6 years ago.

Family gets a bit sick of me freaking out about the lights being left on, but I think they're gradually learning.

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