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electricity - our bills seem huge!!

(17 Posts)
mckenzie Fri 11-Sep-09 19:35:48

There are 4 of us and we live in a four bedroomed house.

We do use the tumble dryer, and have electric oven but gas central heating and gas hob. I'm cautious with lights and turn them off when I leave the room (DH and DCs not quite so good at that one!). We do have a light outside by the garage and drive that comes on in the evenings (currently 8.30-11 but it does depend on time of year).

DH backs up his office computer from home so we have one computer on constantly but other than that it's the usual hairdryer, kettle, washing machine, dishwasher sort of things.

Our bill for June to September was £446. Does this sound about right and how can I check our usage?

TIA

saadia Fri 11-Sep-09 19:44:51

Is it an estimated bill - if so I would check the meter reading.

dilemmadilemma Fri 11-Sep-09 19:47:23

I would check the meter reading. It could be correct, but we are 3 in a 3 bed house - do not have a tumble( well do but it is redundant) but all else sounds similar.
I pay about £30 a month DD and am always in credit

pixiblue Fri 11-Sep-09 20:21:54

Yours seems high to me. Our bill was about £90 per month actual use for same period. Use the washing machine and tumble dryer daily, don't have a dishwasher, electric cooker. We don't have gas, hot water and heating is mainly oil, but boosted by immersion a few times in the period and computer often on.
There are 5dcs (1-6) and three adults.

My dh thinks your computer could be eating around £20+ per month (depending on what type/screen size etc) if it's left on constantly.

pixiblue Fri 11-Sep-09 20:27:38

Sorry forgot to add we're in a 4 bed.

If your dh only backed up at certain times of the day (monitor off, timer on pc to sleep then wake up perform tasks and go back to sleep) you could probably save a considerable amount over the year. (reckons my dh based on readings he's just been waffling on to me that he found on the net).

lisasimpson Fri 11-Sep-09 20:51:13

Check both of the meter readings on the bill - present and previous as if the previous one is an estimate and this one is an actual it could be a catch up. Is this your first bill for this house?

SingingBear Fri 11-Sep-09 20:55:12

Message withdrawn

pixiblue Fri 11-Sep-09 21:32:45

Dh made me re-check our sums after saying ours sounded high and ours is actually about £70 per month. blush

Meglet Fri 11-Sep-09 21:39:30

Are your electrical appliances getting on a bit and therefore wasting a lot of electric? My bills have plummeted since I replaced my ancient fridge a year ago (it's almost paid for itself it's saved me so much ££££), also replaced a broken dishwasher and faulty washing machine and the bills keep coming down smile. I just have a small 3 bed terrace and tumble dry a lot (most days unless its a heatwave) but electric is £45 a month.

Ponders Fri 11-Sep-09 21:43:06

4-bed terrace here with washer, dryer, dishwasher, electric oven, LCD TV & dozens of computers (well, at least 3, all on a lot of the time).

Our monthly DD payment is £70 so your £446 does seem a lot but a) yours might be an estimate & b) we haven't had a catch-up meter read for ages so our DD may be too low.

Mind you I don't generally use the dryer as a regular thing, I tend to line dry & just finish off in the dryer - they are usually 2.5-3kw so about 35p-40p an hour...how many hours do you use yours for?

SingingBear Fri 11-Sep-09 21:49:42

Message withdrawn

northender Fri 11-Sep-09 21:57:51

We had a new kitchen done last year, the lighting looks fab, lots of those recessed halogen lights. We then watched the meter when they were switched on and off and it is astounding the amount of power they guzzle. I rarely switch them on now and am looking into low energy alternatives.

Ponders Fri 11-Sep-09 22:28:03

Oh yes, I'd forgotten those, northender - we have 6x50w in the kitchen & 3x50w in the bathroom shock

(DH turns them on & leaves them on in bright sunshine, while always turning off low-energy bulbs in dim places elsewhere in the house...he also tries to put diesel in petrol cars & vice versa hmm)

elvislives Fri 11-Sep-09 22:31:44

Our electricity bill is rarely over £200 for a quarter, and there are 6 of us with several computers on full time. Yours does seem high.

mckenzie Fri 11-Sep-09 22:54:47

thanks for all the replies - much appreciated. i think i will have to do some checking (ie, turn everything off bar one item and see what the meter goes up by).
It is an estimate but the true reading is actually HIGHER than the estimate!!

We have lots of downlights Nothender - is that the same as you have? DH put them in nearly every room that could explain a lot hmm. I can see what I'll be bus doing this weekend.

Thanks again for all your replies.

GrendelsMum Fri 11-Sep-09 23:01:39

You might find it worthwhile to buy an energy monitor (an OWL or a Wattson etc) - we bought one, and it more than paid for itself immediately as we discovered that certain things we were running cost a fortune. When we'd cut our bills substantially, we then sent it round the rest of the family, so it's only just come back to us!

Having an energy monitor is a real incentive to swap to energy saving lightbulbs, go round switching things off, etc as you can see the difference in price straight away.

alwayslookingforanswers Fri 11-Sep-09 23:04:45

We're 5 in a 3 bedroom house. No tumble drier, but 2 computers (on all day 9am-1am) and a dishwasher, electric cooker, Wii and PS2 used a LOT over the summer holidays. June-September bill was £191.

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