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Gas and electricity usage

(15 Posts)
didireallysaythat Wed 01-Jul-15 20:48:17

Maybe it's a how long is piece of string question, but what would you expect to use to heat a 4 bed detached house (insulated but not fantastically) with 2 people, 2 kids out of the house during the day during the week (and the heating off). The heating is now on a thermostat so comes on and off as it likes, and we have the house at 18-20C during the colder months..

We moved into this house two years ago, lived 6 months with an immersion heater then 6 months with the 35 year old oil boiler but changed our boiler around about a year ago. I'm trying to figure out if we use a lot or not.

We have used 15700kWh. Is that a lot ?

PigletJohn Thu 02-Jul-15 00:41:00

fairly reasonable.

Cavity wall insulation and loft top-up is often available free from British Gas, even if you are not their customer.

Have you got a hot-water cylinder? What colour?

In summer you might use about 1 cu.m of gas per day with a modern boiler, maybe half that with showers not baths.

A programmable thermostat would tune the heating use more precisely to your needs.

Scotland will use more than the Sunny South.

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 05-Jul-15 14:58:25

I would focus on shutting down the heating in rooms you don't use lots, like the dining room, downstairs cloakroom et .

Definitely insulate the loft and hot water tank if you have one.

didireallysaythat Sun 05-Jul-15 22:21:39

We have cavity wall insulation, the attic is fully insulated but to be insulated to today's standards we would have to put risers in to accomodate the extra depth between the joists. The boiler and tank were installed last year so it's a white one (if that helps?). The heating is on a nest controller so isn't on if it doesn't need to be. The only room in the house not used, the spare room has a raidator that doesn't work (new boiler but not new rads). We have solar water so this time of year shouldn't be using a lot. But I have nothing to compare to as our last house was 18 century listed affair, on an electric key you recharged at the lost office and an oil boiler that used 1litre/hour. So our current running costs seem OK but still a little high (maybe gas prices haven't dropped like oil?)

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 05-Jul-15 22:27:13

I don't think gas has dropped at all.

I don't understand about risers. You seem very clued up though so it must be me.

Led lightbulbs made a big difference for us. I know it shouldn't because cfl are cheap but useage plummeted.

I used led hut because they usually have a discount code on the internet.

specialsubject Mon 06-Jul-15 19:44:52

confused: is that figure electricity, gas or both?

we are on oil for heating and hot water, LPG for cooking and electric for everything else. With no tumble dryer we use about 2500 kwh of electricity per year.

didireallysaythat Tue 07-Jul-15 08:06:12

We used 3500kWh of electricity. We use electricity for cooking, a tumble drier in the winter and the usual stuff. We're quite careful - at least I thought we were but this seems high to me. We have replaced the strip lights in the kitchen with led (half way through the year) so that probably helps a bit....

PigletJohn Tue 07-Jul-15 09:39:32

3500kWh for electricity is also quite normal. Lighting (especially CFLs or LEDs but also fluorescent lamps) use much less than filament bulbs. Downlighters and spots in kitchens are quite wasteful because they are a bad way to light a room so you need lots of them.

Your tumbledrier will use more in an hour than all the lamps in (my) house if they were all turned on and left on for 12 hours. CFLs are cheaper to buy and their warm-up time does not matter in porches, halls, landings and living rooms where they will be on all evening. Extractor fans are insignificant.

Fridges and freezers, if old, can be quite inefficient, and as they run 24x365 you will notice the difference in your meter readings when you replace an aged one with new.

If you have any fan heaters or electric convection heaters, bear in mind that energy from electricity costs about three times as much as energy from gas.

It can be instructive to note your meter readings (at least) once a month and calculate average usage per day. It will be much higher on a tumble-dry day than on a washing-line day.

PigletJohn Tue 07-Jul-15 09:44:02


A white hot-water cylinder will be an unvented one. They are made to very high standards of insulation. You will save a small amount of gas with a cylinder by setting the timer to run once or twice a day rather than letting it top-up small amounts during the day as used. This is also more efficient than using a combi.

silverfingersandtoes Tue 07-Jul-15 10:26:54

Do you happen to be with British Gas? I've spent the last couple of years renovating / rattling around in a 4-bed Victorian detached, constantly taking gas and electricity readings to try and work out what uses how much energy, and what I can realistically do to stay on top of it. But I've just had their smart meter installed and it's great - after a few teething troubles. It continually feeds back to base readings of both fuel consumptions and I have a little device on which I can, in theory (it's a bit complicated), check by KW or cost exactly how much I'm using as I go along. In practice through I just go to my account online and it shows me on a daily basis exactly how much it's all costing, can break it down by fuel and so on, shows you what days were heavy/light usage (so I can track when DC are home and spend three hours in the shower while I wash and iron their carloads of laundry.......) It's really great, and I don't often have anything good to say about BG!

didireallysaythat Tue 07-Jul-15 18:26:38

No we are currently with edf - we have an electricity monitor (old so doesn't have the bells and whistles they come with now) which is useful. We can't get this house to idle as low as our last one, with all the same white goods. The kitchen lights definitely didn't help but otherwise I fear what we are observing is that as our kids get older they use more electricity !

EmNetta Wed 08-Jul-15 17:36:35

Not quite the same, but I renewed the gas boiler about a year ago, and was disappointed that there was hardly any difference in the bills, until BGas engineer pointed out that nowadays there should always be one radiator on full, and as mine was in the hall near the door, it probably used quite a lot. Sorry I can't remember technical details, but I wondered if perhaps your house had a similar system.

didireallysaythat Wed 08-Jul-15 19:42:04

No....there are no radiators on all the time. In fact two rooms have radiators that don't work at all, while another is turned off because it leaks. All have the temp valves on them if that means anything. The only room we have tackled so far is the bathroom which now has a towel rail - not to heat it (it faces south east and is plenty warm enough, plus we don't spend time in the bathroom really) but to drape towels on it.

PigletJohn Thu 09-Jul-15 15:22:04

The thing about the radiator is not that there should be one on all the time, because the CH will be turned off by the wall thermostat and/or the timer, especially in summer.

the point is that if you have thermostatic radiator valves, the radiator in the room with the wall stat should not have a TRV, and should not be tuned off, otherwise the rest of the house might be overheated, and it would be possible for the CH pump to be churning away with nowhere for the water to go.

In summer, and when your timer is off, you should have no hot or warm radiators (except possibly a towel warmer in the bathroom if it has been designed that way).

Your summer gas usage with a modern boiler should be in the region of half a cubic metre to one cubic metre per day. Perhaps a bit more if you have numerous daily baths.

EmNetta Fri 10-Jul-15 14:09:18

Thanks PigletJohn, I'll get round to checking it.

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