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can I just be ever-so-slightly smug abou my gas and leccy bill please

(19 Posts)
sixfoldwaitingtime Sun 11-Oct-09 15:01:26

aaages ago, under a different name, I posted about my giant electricity bill and what on earth we were going to do.

Since then, we've got an energy monitor, turned more things off, used the oven sensibly, insulated madly and (quite important this bit) switched to a cheaper tariff.

Today, finally, we got the proof of what we've done in our bill.

We have gone from a debit of several hundred pounds to being £300 in credit. Our monthly payments have been revised down from £160 to £67. Even I am gobsmacked at that one. Over the summer we used £13 worth of gas.

I need a jaw-dropped emoticon, because I really didn't think we could make that much difference.

DuelingFANGo Sun 11-Oct-09 15:03:58

I just had mine put down from £139 a month to £75.

I am £350 in credit too, but we did pay off £200 of electricity.

I really hate the fact that they upped my DD but didn't tell me, and then when I was in Credit they didn't automatically put it down they just kept on taking the money. Arses. I am getting it back though!

fishflange Sun 11-Oct-09 15:04:10

omg well done!

did you change providers or just tarrif with existing one
how expensive was your monitor
and what other insulating did you do?

questions questions, sorry!

sixfoldwaitingtime Sun 11-Oct-09 15:14:55

We didn't change providers - but only because the lowest tariff around at the time was with npower, who we were with anyway. We should probably shop around again now - although because we've been with them a year, we also get £100 off our dual fuel bill.

As for insulating, none of it was v high tech as we already had loft insulation redone, we just fitted tons of draughtproofing to exterior doors (our whole downstairs is open plan, so this makes a huge difference for us) and then did tons of little things like shutting all the bedroom curtains when it got dark, using draught excluders and so on. Am upping this again this year with reflective panels behind the radiators and Even More Draughtproofing and a door curtain.

But the really life changing thing was an energy monitor. It makes all of us do things differently - put computers to sleep, turn off chargers when they were done with, only use the oven when I am cooking more than one thing and almost never use the tumble drier. We also turn off anything with a transformer (so chargers, DAB radios etc) at the plug every single day, which adds up over time.

We got a Wattson energy monitor like this a) because I am a design nob and it looks nice but also b) because you can't avoid seeing what you are up to.

We didn't do that much though, which is why I am shocked at the effect!

CarGirl Sun 11-Oct-09 15:18:18

those halogen lights people have in the kitchen are shockingly energy consuming.

My friend has one of the those monitors and it whizzes around like mad with half the kitchen lights on.......

cat64 Sun 11-Oct-09 15:25:30

Message withdrawn

CarGirl Sun 11-Oct-09 15:30:02

Do you turn everything off at the socket when you're not using it and use those energy efficient bulbs - that will make a big difference plus efficient use of your oven.

No idea about monitors we pay £54 per month, we've got a small terraced house though and the tumble dryer is for emergencies only.

cat64 Sun 11-Oct-09 15:42:41

Message withdrawn

sixfoldwaitingtime Sun 11-Oct-09 15:48:18

Cat64 - that's just what happened to me, and I am so surprised at the difference it has made. £100 a month, nearly.

We borrowed ours first, and then discovered we couldn't live without it. The owl energy monitors here are much cheaper though, and £22 back doesn't seem an unreasonable hope.

cat64 Sun 11-Oct-09 16:48:33

Message withdrawn

CarGirl Sun 11-Oct-09 17:26:57

We've got a double oven and I try to use the small top non-fan oven whenever possible.

Also when making roast potates etc I make double the quantity etc so can just reaheat the next day.

Keep freezer frost free helps too?

Washing clothes at lower temperatures and having a full load.

admylin Sun 11-Oct-09 18:19:05

well done, so it really does make a difference. I've just switched 2 stand-by lights off while reading this thread!

madlentileater Sun 11-Oct-09 18:41:13

how easy is it to tell what any individual item is using?
how different are the different models?
Our public library has them, I'm waiting to get it and v hopeful as our bill is just awful.

madlentileater Sun 11-Oct-09 18:42:12

oh, and what about laptops?blush

wohmum Sun 11-Oct-09 18:51:10

We've got an owl monitor and I love it, it really makes you more conscious of your usage.
Halogen lights are pretty bad , but I can't stand the light that you get from the low energy lights.
Has anyone found any good ones?

sixfoldwaitingtime Sun 11-Oct-09 19:26:42

Fortunately, laptops are gooood - much better than ordinary computers!

And I can tell you this partly because it is fairly easy to tell what an appliance is doing; you put the oven or kettle on and the monitor revs up pretty much straight away (ours also goes red to shame you), but this works even with smaller things like laptops.

Oh, and I think Cargirl has a good point there, defrosting the freezer made a big difference to us (and I must do it again soon).

CarGirl Sun 11-Oct-09 19:41:31

I'm so fortunate Dh defrosted ous by turning it off as we went away on holiday for a week.......if it wasn't bad enough having to throw out £50 worth of meat the smell was there for weeks!

Takver Mon 12-Oct-09 15:38:10

You can also get (and more to the point might be able to borrow) plug in energy meters to measure individual items. The meter plugs into the socket then the appliance into the meter & it shows consumption at any given time plus will add up over time (so you can see what your fridge uses per day etc).
Not as good overall as the OWL type I think, but helpful to take to the shop if buying something for example (like we found one cd player used half as much as a practically identical alternative) and also to prove to DH that listening to the radio via the laptop with the router on didn't use that much more than playing a cd!!!!
Our other real saver we have found is those plug strips with switches by every socket - so we can just put on the one thing we want without having to crawl under the desk. DH being neat & obsessive has labelled them all with little stickers (printer/gamescube etc) so its really easy.

overthemill Mon 19-Oct-09 16:28:41

i have been monitoring my elec and gas for a week now as our village has entered a low carbon competition. I'm astonished how high our consumption is compared to our friends across the street in a seemingly identical house!

I have reduced consumption literally overnight by going round and turning off all our lights, sockets etc but not sure what else i can do especially as my dh and dc's are really complaining.

i have also looked via moneysupermarket at switching and they say our usage is above normal - they give me a figure i will save by switching tariff on our current supplier but when i go onto that site the costs are identical. Can anyone explain - i only want the hassle of switching and losing tesco clubcard points if i really will actually save real money (tho i hope to save even more by reducing consumption). does this make sense - all help gratefully received

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