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For those who can't afford to use central heating this year - How are you going to cope?

(511 Posts)
mama2moo Tue 18-Oct-11 20:06:51

We have 2 dd's - 3yo and 20mo and already owe money to our suppliers. We are going to have to be careful with not using the heating too much but our house is feeling cold already!

We have bought thermal vests, fleece pjs, fleece tops and extra duvets.

What else can we do?

TBH Im dreading it. By the 3rd week of every month we are skint at the moment.

jaycee7 Thu 28-Jan-16 20:21:17


I had storage heaters years ago and I couldn't afford to use them plus they are hopeless. I purchased a portable heater on wheels. The one that a gas bottle goes in. It was amazing at the time in a small flat cost me £10.00 as month to heat. I was nice a toasty and moved it to whatever room I was in. It was cheap and also very warm :-). Just an idea that might help some

RayAlexander Wed 28-Jan-15 15:49:45

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

farrowandbawl Tue 01-Oct-13 12:26:47

It's depressing that we are still looking for advice on a two year old thread for the same problem.

I hardly used my gas last winter and STILL ended up owing them over £100.

Usually, by this time of the year I'm in credit by about £2-300, this year I've only just made it to £100 and the heating has been OFF since April.


TheUnsinkableTitanic Sun 29-Sep-13 19:03:05

bumping again. some great ideas

GotMyGoat Mon 09-Sep-13 14:27:37

I thought I'd bump this old thread as it's full of really good advice and it is so cold today! Has really made me think ahead to winter.

FrankiDon182 Mon 26-Dec-11 18:50:34

Please do not put any sort of portable heaters in your childrens bedroom. Last week i attended the funeral of my friends 3 year old daughter who received 90% burns to her body after her nightdress got caught on a heater that they was using to warm the house through. She survived a further 6 months after her accident but sadly could not fight any longer.
Please be careful, i know heating is expensive! We have invested in thick curtains, carpets and blankets. Not cheap now but in the long run will work out better.

HavePatience Sat 10-Dec-11 22:18:47

Does the window insulating film work when windows are already double glazed? Are rolled towels as effective as proper draught excluders?

mama2moo Tue 08-Nov-11 08:59:12

Ps B and Q had loft insulation for about £3 for 3 rolls the other day. We are putting more in our loft and insulating the loft hatch.

mama2moo Tue 08-Nov-11 08:58:32

Still no heating on here! It was v.cold last night but we just added blankets.

Our gas provider has just sent a letter saying that our payments have up £20 a month. We now are paying £110 for gas and electric. Its only a 2 bedroom house!

glastochick Mon 07-Nov-11 16:05:59

on the question of whether it's cheaper to have the heating on all the time, or twice a day, we did a test last year by taking meter readings over several days with the boiler set to different times.

We thought it was only 1 or 2 units extra to have the heating on for the majority of the day.

Oh how wrong we were! We thought that the units on our meter translated to units on the bill. We didn't look at our bill and use their calculations to forecast our bill, so we were hit with a whopper. We're still paying it off and look to be doing so for a loooong time. We can't move to a cheaper supplier unless the new one would be willing to take on the debt we've wracked up with our existing one sad.

So this winter we're going to see if we can upgrade the timer on our boiler to have different settings, and currently the heating and hot water is set to come on for 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the evening. It goes off at the time DH leaves for work, and again when DS goes to bed. DS is with this GPs all day for 3 days of the week so gets the benefit of their heating while I'm at work. If I wasn't, I think we'd be spending a lot of time at the library grin

Cupawoman Tue 01-Nov-11 07:37:57

Gaelicsheep Gas bottle is 7 kg butane and our heater is a smaller version (2 settings) of the more commonly used 3 setting one. Believe it or not we get the refills from a house removals/storage service firm who do a sideline in gas bottles. DH says the next size up to ours (presumably for 3 heater setting fire) is £23.

oksonowwhat Mon 31-Oct-11 22:06:01

No ceiling, oh i've been there too many years ago!! Not good!

Well i might switch the heaters up abit but maybe not tonight its not too cold down here tonightsmile

Taking my reading before bed thoughsmile

gaelicsheep Mon 31-Oct-11 20:38:15

Hmm. I guess maybe yours are working differently from mine then? Are they old ones? Might be worth turning them up tonight and see if there's any heat. If there's something wrong better to find out before it gets really cold eh?

Turned out hall one off last night and didn't have anything else going either. 11 units - much more acceptable. Hall one will be using more because there is currently no ceiling (don't ask!). Not for long hopefully.

oksonowwhat Mon 31-Oct-11 18:34:32

gaelic 27unitshmm i'm going to start doing what you do and check my meter tonight. Will probably have a fit in the morning though!!

I have the same problem with my walls, its a timber framed house so apparantley can't be insulated you're right about them helping the wrong usual!

Oh and i put my input and output on 1 but theres no heat at all, but actually its been abit warmer the last couple of days so i'm not too bothered.

gaelicsheep Sun 30-Oct-11 20:50:21

Cupawoman - where do you get refilled gas cylinders for £16? Up here they were £30 last winter and I'm sure that will have gone up again.

gaelicsheep Sun 30-Oct-11 20:48:41

Debs75 - in our case it's a 150 year old granite-built farm building so it's a fair bet grin. I'm glad mousyfledermaus could advise on other buildings because I haven't a clue!

mousyfledermaus Sun 30-Oct-11 15:07:48

look out for airing bricks (bricks with holes) or gaps between bricks. if it is a cavity wall these airing bricks or gaps tend to be at or just below floor level.

Debs75 Sun 30-Oct-11 14:20:00

Gaelic How do you know if your walls are solid or cavity?
Ours are brick walls plaster inside and about the thickness of a brick length

Cupawoman Sun 30-Oct-11 09:14:03

I'll second the gas heater with bottle. We've had ours 20 years - it's a small one with 2 heat settings and we replace the gas bottle at the start of each winter. We use it as an added extra in the kitchen/diner for really cold days or has been used in case of a power failure (our lounge gas fire relies on electricity for the fan). It's about £16 to refill the gas bottle and provides almost instant warmth - it's also reassuring to know it's not being added to the gas bill.

gaelicsheep Sun 30-Oct-11 00:05:57

The problem is when your loft is insulated as much as it can be and you leak heat through solid walls. sad Modern houses with cavity walls are already much better off - they're focusing the help on the wrong people in the wrong houses.

LakeFlyPie Sun 30-Oct-11 00:01:59

Sorry haven't read whole thread but thought I should add my recent discovery that my local council appear to be funding installation of loft and cavity wall insulation.

On their website it looked like each would cost £85, which still sounded reasonable, but I completed an online form and it seems that having children under 5 in the house (or being over 70 or in receipt of benefits) makes us eligible for both free smile

I'm hoping this will reduce our winter heating bill which was outrageous last year.

I assume that other councils are running similar schemes, worth a look.

gaelicsheep Sat 29-Oct-11 23:52:04

We have one of those, got it free from a neighbour who was throwing it out. I mentioned it earlier on in the thread as they really are a godsend. It's our fallback for when our power goes down overnight meaning that the storage heaters don't get charged. But then the price of calor gas cylinders is going up astronomically.

LidlVoice Sat 29-Oct-11 23:47:58

Haven't read the whole thread, but I'm so old that I grew up in a house without central heating. You could see your breath in the mornings and there was ice on the inside of the windows. We had extra blankets, wore warm pyjamas and got dressed bloody quickly in the mornings grin. I don't know if you can still get them, but we had a gas heater than used one of those large gas bottles. It was on wheels, so you could move it from room to room. Might be a good alternative?

gaelicsheep Sat 29-Oct-11 23:33:16

I hope it was helpful. Having said everything I've said, I just checked our meter for usage last night and had a panic. 27 units! But then the water takes about 7 units on average each night, we had the tumble dryer on this morning - that's another 3, the heater was on low in our room because I hadn't put DD in a sleepsuit and it turned chilly. So looking at all that, about 14 or 15 units for both storage heaters put together isn't too bad. But boy it brings it home how darned expensive it is running electric heating. sad

oksonowwhat Sat 29-Oct-11 18:54:13

gaelic ive decided the storage heaters are going on lowsmile Thanks for all your help and advicesmile

I also wish my water tank wasn't so well insulate, my airing cupboard has no warmth at all! Would love to be able to hang stuff in there to dry,

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