How much does your prepayment meter cost over winter?

(24 Posts)
Bubblebloodypop Fri 23-Sep-16 16:20:19

We are on prepayment gas and electric (rental) and I think it costs us a fortune over winter but it's probably normal.

Last winter it was £25 a week on each. But we were cold a lot of the time. Had the heating on 2-3 hours a day and put the hot water on 3x a week for baths (with cold washes in between). It doesn't help that this house is like a sieve.) £200 pound a month to be cold just makes me want to cry.

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MistressMolecules Fri 23-Sep-16 16:35:34

We are a two bed semi and it worked out about £3 a day on each (definitely no more than that!). We didn't move on until the beginning of Feb so missed majority of winter. Over the summer months we have only used about £15 a month on gas (electric still £3 a day) so have been putting extra on the gas to build up - is that something you could do? Maybe use one of the price comparison sites and look at other suppliers? I have to say though I'm not paying anymore than when we had 'normal' meters in. Oh and we had heating on most of the time - we are with SSE I think it is.

Bubblebloodypop Fri 23-Sep-16 16:56:32

That's probably about right for us. I kept meaning to save up over the summer but stupidly never did. I've just switched to a cheaper tariff so hopefully that will help. Ours is a 3 bed semi, it's an old build though. We are in a slightly better financial position this year so if I need to put more on I will. I think the problem is that the heating when put on for an hour will just start to get the house warm and then gets cold within 45 minutes of being off.

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specialsubject Fri 23-Sep-16 19:33:43

There are some tariff options on prepay. Meanwhile what can be done about keeping the heat in - thick curtains, draft excluders etc?

Btw what is the epc rating on this place?

Bubblebloodypop Fri 23-Sep-16 20:14:48

I'm currently knitting some draft excluders and we are going to get a curtain put up over the doors. We have a chimney which is a big issue in the living room.

I'm not quite sure what that rating is?

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GaryGilmoresEyes Fri 23-Sep-16 20:24:56

We spend 20-30 pw on electric depending if the electric fence across the cow byre is on.
But on top of that we have two open fires which is roughly 60 pm for coal and 12 pm for wood.
We don't have gas as we are too rural. Our biomass boiler pellets cost us 230 last week and should last 5-6 months.

MrsPear Fri 23-Sep-16 20:33:42

20 to 30 a week! It is madness and due to renting have no choice.
op if the fire is not in use you can get a ballon thing to block it here
I splashed out last winter and bought thermal long curtains for the living room and the difference was amazing. The boys already have them in their rooms so I am going to get some for mine.


greenfolder Fri 23-Sep-16 20:34:57

Proper door curtains make a huge difference I think. We have a big double glazed front door and last year I bought 2 proper thermal door curtains. It made such a difference. Can you get a ? Cowl or something to stop draughts from the chimney, only if you don't have a fire!

Bubblebloodypop Fri 23-Sep-16 20:45:28

We have a fire about twice in December so I'll definitely look into the balloon thing! Sounds brilliant. Our door has big single glazed glass panels and no proper seal so I think a curtain will help a lot. Thank you for all your suggestions. Can DS have a duvet now? He is 18 months?

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greenfolder Fri 23-Sep-16 21:03:48

My Dc had a 4.5 tog single duvet from when they were toddlers. It kept them all tucked in and warm. I also found keeping the heating on but turning it down when we out helped avoid having to heat the house through again. That depends a lot on the type of heating. If you look at the money saving website you might find some good advice on that. I also found buying cheap rugs to go on hard floors made it feel warmer. We have concrete foundations so the floor is always cold

specialsubject Fri 23-Sep-16 21:06:22

Please check the how to rent guide on . there has to be an epc for the property.

The reason i ask is that it will not be legal to rent a property related below e from 2018.

specialsubject Fri 23-Sep-16 21:07:38

Chimney balloon - old pilllow in a bin liner, no need to buy! Just dont forget it is there.

specialsubject Fri 23-Sep-16 21:10:04

Oops. Rated, not related. Auto correct is supposed to be off!

SingaSong12 Fri 23-Sep-16 21:16:38

If the house is just drafty then probably not an issue with the landlord. However if there are repairs that need to be done then they might be responsible. Have a look on the Shelter website about disrepair, but before doing anything you might want to get advice about how secure your position is (whether you could be evicted).

Some councils have officers that can provide help or support for private tenants if that would be helpful.

Bubblebloodypop Fri 23-Sep-16 21:35:47

Our landlords are really fantastic, they charge us £200 below market rent, pay the water rates and fix things very promptly. However they were a married couple and the husband has passed within the last week so I wouldn't feel comfortable bringing up issues currently. The pillow wrapped up a bin bag is genius! I will look up the EPC rating and raise the issue in a few months.

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specialsubject Sat 24-Sep-16 09:08:42

Ah - that is sad and you are kind.

Longer term you need to look into the big picture, especially with only one owner. If you want to stay secure you need a long tenancy.

Charlesroi Sat 24-Sep-16 17:17:02

We pay about £20 a week for both, but live in a reasonably well insulated place. We use (cheap!)fleece lined curtains and make sure we wear slippers and an extra layer of clothing when it's cold. We pin the fleece inside the curtain lining with safety pins.

Just a few extra thoughts
- can you 'double glaze' your front door glass with plastic film? Poundland sell small kits. Ditto buying some cheapo, stick-on draught excluder for the door frame. Maybe there are other windows you could do this to?
- put that foil stuff behind your radiators. Pay to heat the room not the wall - it's in Lidl this week for £4.99 a roll, but I'm sure somewhere like Wickes or b&Q would have it too
- make use of electric blankets and hot water bottles. We don't like a warm bedroom so don't usually have the radiator on, but we do like a toasty bed to drift off in
- unless it's freezing we don't have the radiator on in the living room. We use one bar on a halogen heater and it does the job for about 7p an hour. I know that - per unit- gas is cheaper, but it's only heating the room you are using IYSWIM.
- drawing the curtains when it gets dark also helps.
- make sure your house is not damp, as it costs a bit more to heat up damp air and feels colder and more miserable. Open bedroom windows in the morning and wipe them down if you see condensation.
- if you've got an immersion heater check the insulation on the tank. You might be able to top up the jacket by wrapping an old duvet on top?
- use a fan heater to take the edge off the bathroom before you have a bath (NOT while you're in the bath!) wink. Relatively cheap if it's only on for a few minutes.
- I'd run the CH for a couple of hours a day when it's nippy. Helps keep the damp down-you could time your baths/DS bedtime for then?

It's all about getting the most 'bang for your buck' so lots of small changes may well make a big difference. Don't pay to be heating your garden! grin

Bubblebloodypop Sat 24-Sep-16 21:16:56

Thank you. We have a local lidl so I'll get myself down there for some of the foil, the double glazing for the front door also sounds good.

We did ask for a longer term let but they said it wasn't necessary, the only reason we'd be moving is if we wanted to. It's a shame because I'd enjoy the security written down but it is what it is. We are saving for a deposit too so I'm hopeful we won't be here forever.

I ordered a good sleeping bag with sleeves for DS which he won't kick off. It was pricey but cheaper than heating his room at night.

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Charlesroi Sun 25-Sep-16 00:20:16

Good stuff - let us know how you get on.
It must be bloody depressing spending 200 quid a month and still being cold.
Also - keep your eyes peeled for cheap thermal under layers. Think Lidl/Aldi get the skiing ones in fairly regularly, so they're nice and light.

BrianCoxWithBellsOn Sun 25-Sep-16 00:43:02

I kept my gas central heating on low pretty much all the time last winter, with boosts during awake times.

I got my annual electric statement the other day and I'd paid £550. Based on other years my gas comes in around the same .

I'm a 3 bed semi but loft insulated and newish Windows.

I also thought about saving extra on my gas meter over summer but never got round to it. Although, the one year I did, I saved £200 but got quite heating-happy and used more because it was there iyswim. So possibly a false economy.

BrianCoxWithBellsOn Sun 25-Sep-16 00:47:07

Get cheap, thick, curtains for as many doors as possible. Also, net curtains as well as curtains do make a difference.

I have an outhouse attached to the kitchen door. It is not insulated. It is bleeding freezing and pumping heat in is futile. I got a cheap king-sized throw in the sales (it is orange!!) And I hang it on the outside of my kitchen door, to stave off the chill from the outhouse.

CremeEggThief Sun 25-Sep-16 22:29:20

That's an awful lot. I was on normal pre-pay with Eon last year in a 1930s semi-detached 3 bed, and I spent about £17-18 a week on gas, heating on 6 or 7 hours a day. I'm on a smart meter now with Ovo, so hoping it'll be more like £15 a week. My warm home discount of £140 plus an extra £12 paid for about 16 weeks of electricity. If your income is under £16100 per year and you receive child tax credit, you're entitled to apply for it. Just check your provider's website for their form.

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 30-Sep-16 12:22:16


Keeping heating on low all day is always said to be less economical.

Do it for two days, take meter readings then try only heating when you need it got two days and see if it's cheaper.

If you switch the heating off for 20 minutes every hour you save loads and don't really notice it.

ginghamstarfish Wed 23-Nov-16 12:35:23

We now keep the heating on continually in winter, and it's fine (I work from home or would probably not do this). Read last year, article by a heating engineer, (you'd have to google this as I can't swear I'm remembering correctly), something like 'boiler to minimum temp, radiators to maximum setting, leave on constant - but of course adjust temp according to weather etc'. DH took lots of meter readings and says it works out at only very slightly more than the previous method of heating on twice a day. It's certainly much more comfortable to have the constant low heat. It's on around 17-18 degrees, might put it up to 19 if very cold outside, and down a bit at night.

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