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Why is my electricity usage so high??!!

(33 Posts)
insanelycheerful Wed 25-Jun-14 18:03:18

I really don't understand why my electricity usage is so high. This is compared to "other similar E-on homes" and "other energy efficient homes".

E-on basically give you an energy usage report which shows that our electricity usage is approx 35% higher than similar E-on homes and about 65% higher than energy efficient homes.

I appreciate these statistics are perhaps not entirely accurate, but why do we use so much more?? We have a modest 3 bed semi detached home, have 2 small children so have the associated washing etc (I'd say we run the washing machine 4-5 times per week, use tumble dryer in autumn and winter months but not for all the washing, use tumble dryer for towels and a few other bits only during warmer months, only boil the water we need in kettle, leave one landing light on overnight (energy efficient bulb), mostly hob cooking (gas) although do use microwave too). I just can't work out why we appear to be using way more electricity than the average household!!

It also appears that usage has increased over the past year or so. Would it be worth contacting E-on to ask if they can explain why we are suddenly using so much, and why it has increased. It seems so much more than average it has made me wonder if there is a problem somewhere (no idea what though, I don't imagine you can leak electricity!) grin

Any tips gratefully received as I am baffled, given that I had thought we were a relatively energy sensible home.

insanelycheerful Wed 25-Jun-14 18:07:20

FWIW re gas we appear to track energy efficient homes except for during the winter months when we used more (gas central heating) but were still on a par with other e-on homes. So it's just the electricity we seem to go crazy on!

insanelycheerful Wed 25-Jun-14 18:23:06

Oh, we have 2 tellys but the one in the bedroom is only used for a couple of hours a day at the weekend at most. Telly in living room is used a few hours each day.

MexicanSpringtime Wed 25-Jun-14 18:28:23

Microwave oven?
Old wiring = electricity leakage
Computer regulator? (I had one that consumed a massive amount of electricity.

Rockchick1984 Wed 25-Jun-14 18:33:28

Leaving things on standby eg tv? Lots of things on charge? Tumble dryer use and light on overnight will be bumping up your bill compared to average, particularly since you are still using tumble dryer over the warmer months.

How much is your monthly bill?

insanelycheerful Wed 25-Jun-14 19:28:58

Yes I use iron, once a week usually, max of an hour. Microwave twice a day to warm milk (so literally a minute!) and some days to heat kids' meal if I've frozen a portion for them or whatever.

Telly and sky box off overnight.

Landing light has been left on for longer than usage has been so much higher, so whilst I appreciate it uses power it doesn't account for the significant increase in usage. DS1 needs it on as he gets scared if it's too dark and also sometimes goes for a wee in the night.

I think it is the significant increase that puzzles and concerns me, as I simply can't explain it. Nothing has changed.

Could it be that there is a problem that has arisen since we moved here, that might explain why our usage has shot up seemingly without explanation?

We pay £123 a month direct debit for both gas and electricity. At the moment we are £116 in debit and it seems to be largely due to the electricity usage.

I need to look at our tariff as we were on a fixed term one that recently expired so are just on the standard e-on one for now, but I plan to compare providers and see if we can get a better deal elsewhere before committing to another fixed term with e-on.

insanelycheerful Wed 25-Jun-14 19:32:05

We don't have a computer regulator (not even sure what that is!) and only occasionally use laptops at home eg the odd day DH works from home. Mainly use iPads but don't leave them or phones on charge beyond what they need.

I do think we are relatively efficient about appliance usage etc and not really looking to cut back as such, just doesn't make sense that we compare so unfavourably to other households.....

springlamb Wed 25-Jun-14 19:35:06

I had an extremely low electricity bill a couple of autumns ago and couldn't understand why.
Then I realised the only difference was that the dishwasher had broken down early in the quarter and we couldn't afford to replace it till the next quarter. The difference was almost 900 units!
Needless to say, the dishwasher is now relegated to special occasions only.

Doodlekitty Wed 25-Jun-14 19:40:55

Do eon have an energy advice line? I know npower do. If so give them a ring and they can talk you through it. I assume its an actual bill not an estimated or catch up?

IAmANightOwl Wed 25-Jun-14 19:47:16

Have you thought about getting a little electricity monitor to see what you are using in real time? You can then go around switching things off etc. to see what is being used and how much? I would definitely look into what has caused your bill to increase and also look into tariffs to make sure you're on the best one for you.

Hamuketsu Wed 25-Jun-14 19:52:33

We had a similar realisation a few months ago - our usage and the subsequent bills were heading for twice the average confused .

It turned out to be the showers and baths we were taking! Electric showers and immersion heaters use up HUGE amounts of electricity. By limiting the family to 5 minute showers for adults and 10 for the kids, and only having occasional baths (which were only for relaxing in, never for getting clean), we have cut our monthly direct debit from £130 to £55.

Hamuketsu Wed 25-Jun-14 19:52:58

(PS - we found this out by using a monitor of the sort mentioned above.)

IAmANightOwl Wed 25-Jun-14 19:57:14

I'm with Eon and just checked my account and it also says we use 33% more electricity than 'similar homes in our area'. Well, they cannot guarantee that all information is 'similar' for a start! We are all electric as there is no mains gas in our area and if you remove our heating and hot water costs, we use about £12 a month of electricity so I can't believe we use 33% more than lots of other people in that respect! grin

youbethemummylion Wed 25-Jun-14 19:59:07

Is it acurate usage or estimated? i.e are your bills to your reads or meter readers reads or have they been estimated. If your bills are estimated these usage figures could be wrong. Also your tumble drier will be eating elec. Give them a call they will have a department to do an energy survey and if they can spot the cause they will tell you.

hollyisalovelyname Wed 25-Jun-14 20:01:38

How do the monitors work?

IAmANightOwl Wed 25-Jun-14 20:06:19

hollyisalovelyname you connect it to your meter and it displays how much electricity you are using in kwh and converts it to £ and p, so you can switch things on and off to get an idea of how much in money they cost to run.

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 25-Jun-14 20:06:29

New dishwashers are more energy effiecent than washing up by hand.

How many units do you use per qtr & what's your unit rate op?

specialsubject Wed 25-Jun-14 20:07:53

how many units do you use per month?
what is your standing charge?

the comparisons are meaningless without figures. But if it helps, I use 200-odd units per month for a 3-bed house with the following electric items:

- washing machine 4-5 times a week (no tumble dryer)
- dishwasher every other day (more efficient that washing up by hand)
- one five minute or less power shower per day (himself, I prefer a bath! Water heated by oil)
- fridge, freezer, one TV, lights, computers
- oven cooking every few days (just switched to a gas hob)

all low-energy bulbs, chargers always unplugged.

Optimist1 Wed 25-Jun-14 20:31:31

Am I right in assuming that you weren't all out at work/school over the winter months? I know your heating is gas, but if there were people at home for much of the day there would certainly have been electricity usage. This could explain the difference between your home and the "average".

FlumpsRule Wed 25-Jun-14 20:50:15

As Hamuketsu said, check your immersion heater is not on constantly - heating water unnecessarily is expensive. Is your boiler ok? Ours was on the blink a while back and we didn't realise how often it was trying to start up before running - added to electric bill. Also check your freezer doesn't need defrosting - all appliances running constantly should be checked for efficiency..

Def get a monitor - they're a pain when they bleep at you for daring to make a cup of tea while you're ironing but will give you a good idea of when your energy usage is high

hollyisalovelyname Wed 25-Jun-14 21:10:46

Thank you Iam

insanelycheerful Wed 25-Jun-14 22:10:25

Thanks all v much for tips, suggestions and info. Will def look into a monitor. I will become obsessive about it I'm sure! Will also check immersion. Must find immersion first grin

Our water temp is def set too high, but need to disconnect power and remove special cover to adjust temp so been putting it off. Could this affect usage? (Sorry, I am dim). Setting has not changed though so wouldn't explain increase in use...

insanelycheerful Wed 25-Jun-14 22:13:10

Will dig out usage and cost info and post for comparison.

Posting on app so apologies but whoever also said they are with e-on, I did wonder that about how accurate my comparison to "similar households" is etc. Surely making me think I am using way more energy will only make me try to reduce my usage, so it is hardly in their interests to do that. Maybe I am too cynical though and they are actually trying to help!

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 25-Jun-14 22:46:35

Heating water is very expensive, it comes out of the mains at very low temps & then you heat it by another 60c but add cold to make it bearable to use...

Ours is set at 55c, it's low but in a domestic setting is as low as you can safely go because of legionaellas (sp).

We use 35 units a week. My standing charge makes up most of our bill.

seasidesally Wed 25-Jun-14 22:46:37

im with eon and mine says the same as yours,way above average home etc

my use is pretty much the same as last year,so i have decided eon have no idea what their talking about

we run lots of gadgets,laptop,ipod,ipad,3iphones,3 tv's (no dryer or dishwasher)god lots of gadgets on top of 2 freezers, loads of washing etc

3bed detached with garage,new boiler,cavity wall,fully double glazed,lots of loft insulation

i adult 2 teens and a 7yr old pay £120 month duel fuel and just got a rebate from the last 12months of £200

so eon imo are talking crap

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