Advanced search

Why am I using so much more energy than last year?

(28 Posts)
Anniecarrieson Mon 31-Mar-14 21:00:27


I have tried (half heartedly) to use less energy in view of rising prices but just reviewing a statement for Jan 2012 - Jan 2013 - our gas usage has gone from 9.82 kWh/day in 2012 to 17.68 kWh/day in 2013 (nearly double!!) and electricity from 8.01 kWh/day in 2012 to 11.22 kWh/day in 2013.

Incidentally - we were with power and have just used a price comparison tool and discovered if we switch to Ovo Energy (anyone heard of them?) we save £700 per year! shock How can the difference be so much?!? Crazy.

We have a toddler and someone home most days so our heating and other appliance use is probably slightly higher than average, but I don't have the heating 'hot' IYKWIM. Probably around 18 degrees (the dial on the heating doesn't have temperature). We have 2 adults and 2DC, and a combi boiler.

Until September we had an old fridge freezer which had become very inefficient (couldn't afford to replace it) - it was freezing food in the fridge. Replaced in Sept with top rated energy efficient ff.

We have used the tumble drier much less (no more cloth nappies) BUT have been drying clothes on a rack using a dehumidifier. I thought this was cheaper than running a tumble drier but am I wrong?

We got a dishwasher installed end of 2012 - it's slimline and A or A+ rated. We run it once or twice a day.

Washing machine everyday. Tumble drier maybe 1 hour/week on low.

2 showers/day (adults) and 1 bath shared by DC most days.

Any ideas why our energy use is much higher confused

Anniecarrieson Mon 31-Mar-14 21:01:59

*that should say we were with npower

MisForMumNotMaid Mon 31-Mar-14 21:13:30

The dishwasher on a hot cycle with drying could account for the extra electricity.

You can get things you plug in between the plug of an appliance and the plug socket that tell you actual consumption.

The other thing that can be useful to monitor usage is an
OWL meter that tells you exactly what you're using something like this

The gas is odd. Is the dishwasher using plumbed hot water? Are the DC using lots more hot water? Have you changed your heating on/ off cycles? Has the boiler been serviced.

Anniecarrieson Mon 31-Mar-14 21:34:59

Thanks Mis

Will look into those meters.

Dishwasher has cold feed only, and we use it on either eco setting or rapid (mostly).

DC aren't using any more hot water at all - they're still quite small and share a bath as always.

Boiler was last serviced (and flushed of masses of black gunk) in Feb 2012 - so any changes caused by that would not account for increased use in 2013.

The heating cycles are the same as ever - but we do override them when at home when it's really cold. I was quite proud in 2013 that I didn't have the heating on at all through summer until November!

Anniecarrieson Mon 31-Mar-14 21:46:38

Looking at the bill breakdown it must be the heating - in summer we were using half a 'unit' per day of gas (ish) and in winter Feb-April 2013 (when it was freeeezing ) we were using 2.5 units/day (ish).

But we don't even have it toasty sad

mercibucket Mon 31-Mar-14 21:48:56

New tv?

Anniecarrieson Mon 31-Mar-14 21:50:34

No, and it's a pretty small tv (22 inch?)

Anniecarrieson Mon 31-Mar-14 21:53:51

Does this picture work?

Jinty64 Mon 31-Mar-14 21:55:14

We worked out what the dishwasher was using and it wasn't a huge amount. We only use it once a day after our evening meal. I wash the breakfast dishes.

Anniecarrieson Mon 31-Mar-14 22:01:00

Oh look. I can post pics on my phone!

Anniecarrieson Mon 31-Mar-14 22:07:00


iamnotanugget Mon 31-Mar-14 22:16:41

You can usually borrow an energy monitor from your local library for free that'll give you a rough idea which appliances are using most energy. For less than £10 you can buy a plug in monitor that will give you the exact cost. You may find you get a bit obessed, I did! However I now know that to tumble dry 1 load costs me approx 30p, to run the dehumidifier until the 3l tank is full costs 85p.

Also I have been Ovo a couple of times. They are very good. They have excellent customer service and you can submit monthly meter readings. The only downside to them is they like you to stay in credit so now is a good time to switch so you'll have plenty of credit come winter. This didn't bother me though as THEY PAY YOU 3% interest on this balance, which was more than the bank paid me! I only left them because my new supplier offered me £145 to switch, when this fixed period comes to an end I'd happily go back to Ovo.

QuiteQuietly Mon 31-Mar-14 22:23:53

Do you have a switch somewhere for an immersion heater that you have inadvertantly knocked on? We had a switch in the airing cupboard that "didn't do anything" until we realised it had been on for several months, rocketing our bill.

Anthor thought - are your hot water settings on the boiler the same? Not just the timings, but the water temp too?

elismom Mon 31-Mar-14 22:29:48

Why are you running the dishwasher twice a day?

Anniecarrieson Mon 31-Mar-14 22:38:15

Thanks iamnotanugget good to know you had a good experience with ovo. I will see if the library has meters tomorrow.

quitequietly Thank you. Don't think there's any switch anywhere, it's a relatively new build and we have the original boiler (14 years old) - maybe that's it, maybe it's new boiler time ? sad

elismom It's a slimline dishwasher. Most days we load up breakfast and lunch things (along with a few cups and plates from the evening) and it's full - so we run a rapid wash, then fill it again after dinner and run an eco setting when we go to bed. We have 1 dc at school and 1 dc does nursery 2 days pw, one adult was not working last year and the other worked part time - so we use a lot of plates and cups at home!

Anniecarrieson Mon 31-Mar-14 22:45:39

£3.74 to run dehumidifier as much as we do (4hrs/day, 3 days/week)
£7.15 to run average tumble dryer for 20 hrs/week

according to here

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 01-Apr-14 07:20:50

When you have the heating on do you shut the door to that room? It makes a massive difference. I don't heat rooms I'm not using eg the bedroom isn't heated during the day because I'm downstairs.

If you check the dw manual it will tell you how much electric each cycle uses, same for the washing machine.

BrownSauceSandwich Tue 01-Apr-14 07:25:02

To be honest, my question would be, what were you doing to get your gas so low last year? This document suggests you're way below average consumption, but I guess that might be explained by moderate-sized house, good insulation etc.

The electricity is now above average. The obvious questions are about immersion heaters, tumble driers, and washing machines, but I reckon you have to take even more care about the moderately greedy appliances you tend to leave on for longer: halogen bulbs and plasma TVs at the top of my hitlist. But you should definitely invest in a home energy monitor, and one that shows you cumulative totals rather than just instantaneous consumption, because that's the way you'll find out whether it's worse to run the washing machine on hot, or to leave the bathroom lights on all evening.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 01-Apr-14 07:30:28

I second checking the water thermostat, if we need a plumber out he always leaves it at 70 & I put it down to 60 when he's gone.

You won't cope with a slimline dw with 2 dc forever, swapping to a big water effiecent one will save the water bill being a shock.

mercibucket Tue 01-Apr-14 10:17:27

maybe the dehumidifier uses more elec than you think?

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 01-Apr-14 13:23:03

I've been thinking, 18c isn't that warm its just that we associate it woth summer but 18c with spring sun on you is different to 18c in a house. 16c in my house feels very cool.

I think if you got a thermometer you'd find the room temp is much higher.

I have a spin dryer for drying my laundry, it's old technology but I can get a pint of water out of a single wash & it dries in an un-heated house over the airer overnight. It's only a 400w appliance too.

I got all of my energy saving advice off the energy saving trust plus the property section on mumsnet.

Moneysaving expert is good too, they try and de-bunk common myths like its cheaper to run the heating 24/7 than it is to switch it off when you are out or overnight. Loft insulation is my bugbear, dh is DESPERATE to store things on my luffly 270mm loft insulation & I won't let him because it will reduce the efficacy.

MisForMumNotMaid Tue 01-Apr-14 13:29:07

I'd question those dehumidifier running cost calculations. An alternate source with costs here more like 4p/ hour.

Part of the dishwasher cycle (a significant part) is drying. If you can run an economy cycle without the drying and leave to drip dry you'll save quite a bit on 2 uses a day.

Your gas useage doesn't seam very high for a year. Are you sure about the previous years figures being reading comparisons and not an estimate because 3000kWhrs for heating for a year is very very low. Its 8 kWhrs/ day. In my last house I had a woodburner that put near to that into the (very big) lounge per hour when well filled.

Anniecarrieson Tue 01-Apr-14 20:35:06

Thank you everyone for your replies.

fluffy yes we do close doors when heating is on. The hall/stairs/landing are on the gable end and the external construction is solid stone so it gets very cold out there and we can't have cavity wall insulation! So we do keep doors etc closed. (Our loft is well insulated though!)
Can't tell on our boiler what temp the water is set at - there is one dial (combi boiler) and it just has a circular arrow - the more you turn it, the hotter it is, and that's as much as we know. I have a thermometer in the dc room only - which reads 16-18 degrees usually. I suppose the living room is warmer in the evening, but it does get heated from the adjacent kitchen - cooking and tumble drier. Space is a real issue and we could only have a slimline dishwasher without redesigning the kitchen. When we can we want to move, so it will have to do for now.
I took the dehumifdifier energy consumption from the online specs not eh website
but if I got an electricity monitor I could check!
Thank you for the advice website recommendations smile

Brownsauce thank you for that link - it puts the gas use into perspective! I was panicking because it has gone from 9.82kWh/day the year before last to 17.68kWh/day last year. So yes, how the hell did we get it so low!?!

Anniecarrieson Tue 01-Apr-14 20:52:05

Here, look, it's true. The period it refers to is Jan to Jan.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 01-Apr-14 21:11:50

Download a PDF of the boiler instructions, there must be a way of controlling water temp.

If you have mixer taps with combi boilers the boiler begins to fire to heat water if you turn the cold tap on, therefore using gas for nothing.

I wear M&S thermal tops & leggings under normal clothes, very toasty but not obvious thermal granny undies.

At any rate it's worth swapping to a cheaper provider. I swap every year.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: