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Help! Need to reduce energy bills

(38 Posts)
cheshcat Thu 22-Oct-15 17:21:48

Any advice is gratefully received smile just put our meter readings in and have gone from being £80 in credit to £79 in debt. I don't want a massive bill with Christmas coming up, a car off the road and another big (expected) bill next month.

dementedpixie Thu 22-Oct-15 17:41:25

Do you pay by monthly direct debit? How long is your heating/hot water on each day ? Do you have thermostat?

cheshcat Thu 22-Oct-15 17:49:03

Hi demented we pay by direct debit, thermostat v low and heating/water on for 1hour morning & evening. Don't know where we going wrong!

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 22-Oct-15 20:26:31

I'd switch the heating off if you go out and only heat rooms you are in while you are in eg we dont heat the bedrooms at night but leave the doors open after we've finished downstairs. Keep the door shut on heated rooms, draught excluders on them if you can.

Keep your curtains shut, I cant believe how many people leave them open.

Try 20 minutes morning and evening for water, put the stat at 55c. An hour is ages. Put an extra jacket on the tank if you can, they shouldn't emit lots of heat. You could have grown bananas in our airing cupboard when we moved in. It's just barely warm in there now.

Switch everything off, micowaves can use more electric per year running them for the clock than they use to cook.

Dont worry about low consumer items like the phone charger, look at high consumers like irons,electric hobs and ovens, vacuuming and hair dryers.

Google the manuals for the dishwasher and washing machine and see which cycle uses the least energy, then use it religiously.

Look into swapping tariffs if you can leave with no exit fees. Moneysaving experts energy club is whole of market, sometimes it's cheaper to use a separate supplier for each than go for a dual fuel deal.

QforCucumber Thu 22-Oct-15 20:32:04

Hoe often do you give a meter reading? It's worth looking at the usage between the laSt 2 if over a month between them and seeing if you can increase the direct debit a little maybe? We tend to get a hundred or so pounds debit on ours over winter but evens itself out again with the credits in Summer.

Iamnotanugget Thu 22-Oct-15 22:33:30

Try and borrow an energy monitor from the library, they're usually free for a couple of weeks. It'll help you work out what's using all your electricity.

Change tariff.

ifonly4 Fri 23-Oct-15 10:21:15

What's the time period between being told you're £80 in credit and then £79 in debt? If it's a year, that could well be possible as there are ups and downs with paying on DD. If it's quarterly, then are both assessments made on proper meter readings (not on assumption).

dementedpixie Fri 23-Oct-15 11:29:09

Also it depends when your direct debit is I.e. If you did the meter readings just before another dd payment then you will be in debit at that point but it will even out when your next payment is made

dementedpixie Fri 23-Oct-15 11:30:33

And all they would do is adjust your payment to take into account any underpayments so you don't pay it all back at once

RabbitSaysWoof Fri 23-Oct-15 20:16:37

Changes to your fridge and freezer can make a big difference as they stay on all the time, so if they are even just working a little bit harder its 24 hours a day. If you can pull them out a bit, get your hoover nozzle behind because they work by pulling in air and cooling it so dust can make it work harder, also defrost the freezer regularly don't let ice build up, and I've read to not leave gaps in there if your running your freezer down it's supposed to be more efficient to fill the gaps with paper or something.

TheHouseworkFairy Sat 24-Oct-15 12:17:50

Do you have any previous bills to hand (can you access them online) so you can see how many units/kwh you use per month? Anything that generates heat uses the most units (fan heaters, ovens, hairdryers, tumble dryer).

Which company are you with? Are you on their best tarrif?

cheshcat Sat 24-Oct-15 18:18:05

Thanks allsmile I've switched off heating (I'm on the cheapest tariff I could find last year and it's fixed until March - I checked). Recently defrosted freezer which is now full. Mine is v old so will look into replacing. House is old and has drafts so will look into draft excluders etc.

allwornout0 Sat 24-Oct-15 19:04:19

If we are going to be at home during the daytime I boil the kettle in the morning and fill up a flask with the water. I use that water for any hot drinks we want during the day instead of switching the kettle on every time.
I have quite basic free energy monitor but used it to see what things were using the most amount of electric, I used to use a main light in my living room with old style energy saving bulbs (5 bulbs in the fitting), I then saw just how much electric it was using and now use a table lamp with a LED bulb which doesn't even register on the monitor, it also gives a nicer light.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 24-Oct-15 19:07:29

I've been putting the heating on for half an hour and then switching off for half an hour which has bought the gas down.

Last Jan we used 2000Kwh in a month and I'm determined not to do that again.

specialsubject Mon 26-Oct-15 18:08:48

what tariff are you on? What do you pay? Have you run a comparison? How many units of each fuel do you use per year? What are your standing charges?

curtains shut as it goes dark. Open in the morning especially if sunny. Draught excluders (cheap as chips from the bargain shops). Shut internal doors.

power showers 5 mins or less. Lids on pans.Only boil the water you need. Don't run lots of bits of hot water; heat the tank once a day.

LeftMyRidingCropInTheMortuary Thu 29-Oct-15 19:24:44

Reading for tips.

I'm in a 2bed but am out all day Mon-Fri. I'm quite a "hot" person so don't have heating on much. - Downstairs neighbours have houses like saunas so I get their heat anyway.

And yet I'm still paying over £50 a month for gas & electric.

Must just be everything ELSE adding up: lights (on timers), chargers, TV, laptop, hot water, clock radio, some tumble drying if needed, fish tank filter?! toaster. Don't use kettle or hairdryer much. I use washing machine and dishwasher a lot though.

Does anyone know if I SHOULD turn the heating on to flush the system out? It's not been on since last winter.

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 29-Oct-15 20:00:46

The washing machine and dw shouldnt use too much as long as you dont use the hot cycles.

The manuals will be on the internet so you can look at which cycle costs less.

You probably should test the heating still works. No point waiting until it's -10c.

The hot water can be turned down to 55-60c and a tank will heat quickly if it's gas powered. 20 minutes does mine.

LeftMyRidingCropInTheMortuary Thu 29-Oct-15 20:18:15

Thanks Fluffy. I use a low cycle for the DW but I do use higher temps on the WM.

As a special treat then I'll go and stick the heating on and check it still works!

Zombiemama Thu 29-Oct-15 20:45:32

Ours has been awful from Dd was born with all the tumble drying, steralising, kettle for bottles etc
We used to pay £40 p/m on prepay meter now we are up to £60 odd although out house now has a florescent light in the shed where the dryer is kept so on & off quite a bit. Does anyone know if that uses a lot of elec?

specialsubject Sat 31-Oct-15 17:47:59

yes it does! Put a proper light fitting in with a low-energy bulb (not a halogen)

the heat-generating things will be using a lot of electricity but as you note, your consumption has gone up. Remember only to boil the water you need.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 31-Oct-15 19:08:56

The led ones are good.

cherrytree63 Sun 01-Nov-15 07:12:41

Chesh thanks for starting this thread as I'm trying to reduce my usage and the tips are brilliant, especially the filling of a flask instead of using the kettle!
The other day I "interrogated" an advisor at EON on how to cut down my usage. His tips were: gas grill instead of electric toaster, electric kettle instead of stove top kettle, don't charge electrical items overnight, do it in the day when you can unplug them when charged. He also said things with fans eat up your electric, so switch off PCs when not in use, be mindful of the microwave, and switch off appliances with clocks where possible.

specialsubject Sun 01-Nov-15 14:51:52

all good stuff - if something isn't being used, turn it off. Pity many things don't have off switches!

main thing with a kettle is 'only as much water as needed'. Half the water, half the energy.

lids on pans and if you are using an oven, turn it off 30 mins before end of cooking time. Ditto electric hob - use the residual heat.

PurpleCrazyHorse Sat 07-Nov-15 12:47:40

Ceiling spot lights use a huge amount of electric, we're going to swap all our regular bulbs for the new LED bulbs.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 07-Nov-15 13:18:23

You'll notice a big difference in your next bill purple. I wanted mil to buy some but she reckons they don't use lighting and there's not much you can say to that.

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