Electricity consumption. What does your meter read first thing in the morning?

(18 Posts)
FrDamo Wed 26-May-21 21:29:48

We finally got a smart meter in November 2020, admittedly a little late to the party but we waited until SMETS2 became available. Since then our electricity usage has intrigued and outwitted me.

For a long number of years our annual consumption has been a fairly stable £1200 for electricity and £600 for gas. On the app for our old supplier it was easy to see the winter peaks and summer troughs for the gas but the electricity graph was a fairly straight line affair with more subtle winter peaks and summer troughs.

With the new meter I was surprised to wake up (7am) to £1.40 already used for electricity when my MIL said she wakes to £0.25. Ever since I have tried to ascertain what's going on. I have shut off all underfloor heating in the bathrooms. I have emptied and shut off a small spare freezer running in the garage. This has got my waking up usage down to approx £0.75 of which I realise 20-25p is standing charge.

Overnight we have:
2x 30w outdoor security lights on
American style fridge freezer in kitchen (approx 10yr old)
Small drinks fridge (2yr old)
Spare fridge freezer in garage (25yr old)

Apart from eg toaster, kettle, tv etc that are plugged in but off, I can't think anything else is running.

My aim is to empty the garage fridge freezer and switch that off to see if that cuts costs further.

To add salt to the wound. We have recently been away from the house for 3 days so no active electricity usage by anyone (kettle, cooking etc) and the meter still read between £1.50 and £1.70. That can't be all fridge/freezers (however inefficient) and a couple of safety lights and the standing charge surely?

So wise women of MN what am I missing? In the spirit of energy efficiency and financial prudence help a penny pincher out!

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nannynick Thu 27-May-21 08:53:27

Unplug the TV see what difference it makes.

Other devices:
Broadband router
Mobile/tablet chargers
Clock radio
Security system

FrDamo Thu 27-May-21 09:37:54

Thank you for those suggestions. I've considered most of them already bar the alarm system.

My OH is not in favour of the "turn EVERYTHING off" approach - especially the broadband! God forbid!

I was under the impression chargers, especially when not in use, would be minimal usage. Plus nothing was used while we were away.

No clock radio.

I don't know how to disable a security system. Plus that would defeat the purpose of the security system in the first place.

Many other people will have switched on broadband/security systems - my MIL included with her 25p morning running costs!

OP’s posts: |
FrDamo Thu 27-May-21 10:12:30

I have endeavoured to make sure electrical items are switched off at the wall where practically and physically possible.

I turned off the coffee machine the other day when we left for our trip. I have been gently berated for that this morning already.

Things that I don't think can be turned off daily whether practical or physically tricky as plugs are often inaccessible include:
Fridge/freezer, oven, telephone/answerphone, TV, alarm and security systems, toaster, microwave, broadband router. I'm aware that leaving things on standby still costs but I've read that's in the order of £35 PER YEAR. Just not understanding why we're using £1.50 in electricity when we aren't even at home.

OP’s posts: |
LindaEllen Thu 27-May-21 10:37:48

I say this kindly, but please don't start getting too bogged down with what it says you're using.

My grandparents (who, by the way, are very well off) got one of these not so long ago, and it's either green, orange or red depending on what they're doing. They would watch how certain things affected it and started changing how they lived to get the cost down.

My grandad would go round unplugging everything and saying they could only have one cup of tea a day because the kettle made it turn red ..

Don't let it take over your life!

FrDamo Thu 27-May-21 11:34:50

Trust me LindaEllen it's not taking over my life!

I am aware that sometimes the meter reads 2p hourly consumption when the house is "at rest".

It's more the curiosity and the comparison. Eg why is our overnight consumption more than my MIL. I was wondering if other people woke to £1.40 on their meter as standard or are we an outlier? I was wondering if other people used £2 electricity daily when on holiday?

I've often read threads on MN where people state the likes of: 5 people in our household, tv and computer on all hours, 3 loads of washing/tumble drier daily, oven on regularly etc but electricity bill only £50 per month.

It may seem like piddling amounts but £1 per day = £365 annually. It's like the ongoing daily cup of takeaway coffee debate...it all mounts up.

OP’s posts: |
notapizzaeater Thu 27-May-21 22:22:51

I will check mine in the morning for you (but I expect it to be the same tbh)

My family laugh as we have underfloor heating in the kitchen / utility. Once we got an Owl and I saw how much it was using I switched it off and bought some rugs 😂


murbblurb Fri 28-May-21 12:21:31

biggest users are things that generate heat.

I wouldn't worry too much about the detail on a smart meter display - which also uses energy. turn it off and keep track of the actual readings over a month.

what are your actual unit rates?

GingerFigs Fri 28-May-21 17:53:27

Not sure if yours is the same as mine isn't a smart meter fitted by a company but a monitor that I bought off Amazon. It took me a while to realise (embarrassed to say this!) that the reason it already has a chunky number in the morning is that it puts the standing charge on straight after midnight. So by 7am or whatever it looks like I've used loads of electricity but then it sort of catches itself up as the day goes on if you know what I mean.

Beancounterzz Fri 28-May-21 17:58:13

Mine is usually around 45-50p when I get up in the morning at around 7.30am That’s a combined figure for gas and electric though. The heating may have come on around 7am and overnight there’s 4 mobile phones / iPads / MacBooks on charge, full size fridge, full size freezer. Can’t think of much else plugged in all night apart from that.

FrDamo Fri 28-May-21 18:11:48

I think the cost is around 18p per KWH.

The standing charge is around 25p electricity and 25p gas. We have no heating on in the morning. So currently day to day at 7am my monitor is now approx reading £1.00 total ie 25p (SC for electricity)+ 25p (SC for gas) + 50p electricity used from midnight to 7am.

Does everyone else's house use this much electricity while they are asleep? And in the similar vein, is it normal to use £1.50 per day when your house is empty?

OP’s posts: |
FrDamo Fri 28-May-21 18:17:34

So similar to Beancounter, we have a gadget or two charging plus fridge/freezers etc yet double the cost on the monitor.

OP’s posts: |
NameChangeforMoneyThings Fri 28-May-21 18:21:53

I live in a 2 bed terrace so not a big how, but do work from home now. My total daily expenditure on electricity is around £1 including the standing charge.

I have an LED lamp that lives on 24/7, and then the fridge freezer and the broadband router, and the amp for the TV and sound system. I leave everything on standby not off at the plug.

A fridge freezer can be about 150-200 Watts I think. So you would expect to have used up to 1kWh per fridge freezer by the time you get up in the morning. At a guess, older fridge freezers will be less efficient than new ones. Running 2x fridge freezers and then another fridge and freezer on top, I would expect to be up to 4kW hours per day each so potentially 12* 18p from those alone would be a couple of pounds, but less if you're away I guess as you wouldn't be opening and closing them.

HmmmmmmInteresting Fri 28-May-21 18:26:24

When I last looked into my electricity consumption I found my old freezer in the garage was 1p an hour, so that's 24p in 24 hours. I think it's all your fridges, OP!

BelleBlueBell Fri 28-May-21 18:31:53

I don't have a smart meter so don't know exactly how they work but that is a lot to use overnigh. Are your security lights staying on all night?

murbblurb Fri 28-May-21 18:55:27

18p a unit is fairly standard now - it will double over the next few years so make the most of it!

LadyDanburysCane Sat 12-Jun-21 15:35:37

I’ve just checked my meter. I’ve used £1.04 of electricity today and 56p gas including standing charges. Currently using 6p per hour on electric (DS is on his PC, I have the radio on as well as all the “always on” stuff like the fridge, router etc.). I know my standing charges are already on my meter when I get up in the morning. I currently pay £95 per month on a dual fuel tariff and I’m in credit at the moment.

FrDamo Sat 12-Jun-21 17:19:16

I finally emptied my garage fridge freezer. My waking electricity reading is now around 55p (only a few days in). That allows me to estimate that that particular item was costing us 50-60p daily to run so a conservative £180 yearly. (Also been running at around £1.50 daily usage for a few days instead of £2+). I guess because it's so old and/or in the garage, it's efficiency is so poor. So it was costing us £££ to store some leftovers/yellow stickered items that were meant to be saving us £££.

Very short sighted on my part!!! Doh!!!

Next item on the agenda: swanky heated mirrors in the bathroom with no apparent off switch. I think I'm on a hiding to nothing with that. Double doh!!!

OP’s posts: |

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