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how do people afford fuel bills

(24 Posts)
tab1 Sat 16-Aug-08 17:00:47

Our gas and electricity bills have tripled in a year and we are really struggling now, i suppose we use more cos i am at home with dd now but how can it be so expensive.

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Sat 16-Aug-08 17:06:47

i have no idea, im having problems with n power atm re my gas as a result of thier mistakes i have ended up with a key meter that is taking £7 out of every tenner i put on for a debt that n power cant even decide the amount of. it varies from over 2k to £450.

i am having cold baths and boiling the kettle to wash up with so that i can save gas for the dc's bath times while n power decide what is going on. there is no way i can afford to keep living this way. the gas meter is using up about £40 per week.

expatinscotland Sat 16-Aug-08 17:08:41

it's going to be a very cold winter here.

this is a rented house, thankfully, because it is the last time we'll ever live in an old period house again. unless they've had insulation upgraded, been double-glazed, have underfloor heating, wood stuff and the like, they're even more freezing than the Scottish weather itself.

even if we won a pile of money, we'd buy a new build for the warmth alone.

our bills are a HUGE chunk of our income.

nothing will be done about it, as long as some people are getting rich.

tab1 Sat 16-Aug-08 17:08:56

keep making cut backs to cover costs and then they keep raising prices so it still doesn't get covered. tried to compare prices but they all keep putting prices up every week so whats the point?

expatinscotland Sat 16-Aug-08 17:12:15

we have an LPG tank, and you can't switch suppliers because the tank is owned and rented out from the supplier. well, i'm sure you could, but it would really, really cost and as the house isn't ours, it's not worth our while to switch.

i'm going to try to get a wee job in a pub after this baby is born for some extra money.

sarah293 Sat 16-Aug-08 17:13:12

Message withdrawn

IllegallyBrunette Sat 16-Aug-08 17:16:02

Another one facing a very cold winter.

My house is freezing in the winter and there is no way I can afford to put anymore on the meter than I already am, so will be keeping wrapped up instead.

expatinscotland Sat 16-Aug-08 17:18:00

Do you have a shower, SheSells?

DH and I take showers and time them to keep the costs down. Baths are only for hte girls.

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Sat 16-Aug-08 17:44:17

no we dont hopefully its getting sorted soon i keep asking n power to come up with the final amount so that i can transfer the debt to scottish power who have assured me they will collect in much smaller amounts and they have no standing charge. if they havent done it by the end of this week im getting the gas regualtors involved.

chocolatemummy Sat 16-Aug-08 17:47:28

we took the gas fire out of the lounge and reinstated the real one and we have just recarpeted the lounge with really thick carpet and good quality underlay and plan on living in this room warm as toast for free all winter. except for newspaper and wood!

expatinscotland Sat 16-Aug-08 17:49:36

i wish this house still had its original wood fire, chocolate sad.

especially because the beaches here are abundant in driftwood in winter and there's plenty of space in the garage for drying it out to burn.

Pendulum Sat 16-Aug-08 17:51:51

We capped our prices about four months ago. Unit prices for both gas and elec were a bit more than we were paying at the time but think it was best idea for peace of mind.

Don't know if the same rates will be available now but might be worth a try? I used one of the price compare websites.

chocolatemummy Sat 16-Aug-08 17:58:31

Expat...can you not reinstate it?

yeah capping the rprice is whats recommended but I think most companies are onto that now.
Its tough times I guess, were feeling the pinch all over not just fuel/heating bills, We never have any money left, I dont think we watee much money at all

expatinscotland Sat 16-Aug-08 17:59:33

The house is rented, chocolate. But I'll bet our landlord will consider it after they spend their first winter here upon their return from Africa!

piratecat Sat 16-Aug-08 18:02:32

i don't think there are any capped rates left now.

I just turned my hot water of.(on gas) I set it 2 yrs ago to come on twice a day for 2 hours. Just realised that neither me or dd are having a bath/shower tonight, so it's a waste. Think i will only switch it on when i need it. If i need to do dishes i have a fast boil kettle.

Def think this could help. As for winter, I htink i should start putting away £20 a week in a jar or summat, and stick to it.

nancy75 Sat 16-Aug-08 18:07:03

we have got one of those cards that you can put money on when you want, and then you get your quarterly bill and pay anything left, we started using it about 3 months ago and our bills were £40 for gas and electric this quarter, (instead of £240) i know we have still paid the £240 but its not so bad doing it £20 per week rather than all at once. we have started putting as much as we can on every week now, while we are not using the heating and we are hoping that it will help us out when we get the bigger bills later in the year. i also phoned the gas/leccy co and told them i want meter readings every quarter so we dont get any silly over estimates or nasty shocks from under estimates.

Saggarmakersbottomknocker Sat 16-Aug-08 18:07:48

Yes - I'll be investing in a couple of proper wool blankets and new hot water bottles. Both dd and I are really nesh. We're also having cavity wall insulation put in soon.

muggglewump Sat 16-Aug-08 18:10:00

I join you all in having a cold winter!
I'm on meters as I have debt. They only take £5 a week which is good in a way but means I'll be on the most expensive way to pay for longer.
I've just had a new boiler fitted luckily, the old one cost 30p an hour to have the heating onshock
This one is cheaper but I still don't have it on unless we're freezing and I have so many ways of keeping warm without having to tell DD I just can't afford heating.
I do hate the electric is £5 minimum top up though. Sometimes I have a pound or two but not £5. The gas is better as that's £1 minimum

DanJARMouse Sat 16-Aug-08 18:11:55

i use pay as you go meters, and use £10 a week electric and about £2-3 a week gas.

in winter, it is more like £12.50 elec and £6 a week for gas.

Just top up as much as i can afford as and when i can.

DanJARMouse Sat 16-Aug-08 18:12:20

im on meters through choice, rather than debt.

muggglewump Sat 16-Aug-08 18:12:24

Seashells, my shower is just one of those fix to the tap things and then wall mounted.
Could you get one of those?

palaver Sat 16-Aug-08 18:23:10

If you don't have double glazing and have draughty windows, you might like to try this window film

I used it when I had a 60's flat with huge single glazed windows and it made quite a difference. If you have nets or blinds you will hardly notice it visually. The only drawback is that obviously you can't open the window so use it selectively smile

piratecat Sat 16-Aug-08 18:30:56

nancy75, what company are you with. i googled payment cards, and only got results for the ones you need for the prepayment meters.

nancy75 Sat 16-Aug-08 18:41:55

edf, on the back of the bill they call it an energy card. its not for a pre pay meter (we dont have to use the card to get gas/electricity) i do find it has helped us using this, as if i out £20 a week in a jar i would always find something better to spend it on, but this way its just paid.

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