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Heating costs in an old house - how much?

(34 Posts)
karmi2010 Mon 13-Feb-17 12:06:00

Can someone living in an old (circa 1900) big house (approx. 2000sq.ft) which wasn't insulated but has double glazing and insulated loft room please share what the monthly gas/electricity bills are?

I have seen a house this weekend which I absolutely loved but, having never lived in anything older than 1970s houses, I am a bit worried that I will get myself into something requiring lots of money spent on bill and general upkeep all the time...

Thank you!

user1484830599 Mon 13-Feb-17 12:34:36

Does the EPC give you any idea of the expected costs?

karmi2010 Mon 13-Feb-17 12:44:13

I don't think so - it says EPC rating E, but does not give the actual numbers...

BumWad Mon 13-Feb-17 12:47:53

We have a semi detached house built in 1905. It's quite large, massive hallway and large rooms kitchen diner etc. We have loft insulation and double glazing.

At the moment for myself, DH and 20 month old DS we pay £94 a month gas and electricity on a very good plan (EDF). I work part time so home 4 days out of 5. I think we will have to increase the direct debit by around £20 for the next couple of months as we have had the heating on a lot recently.

We used to live in an apartment and actually the energy costs aren't as horrific as we thought they might be.

BumWad Mon 13-Feb-17 12:49:28

Should say home 4 days out of 7.

Tenpastlate Mon 13-Feb-17 12:51:30

A huge amount!
Last year we spent £675 on gas and £933 on electricity.
That's due to the high ceilings and large windows.
But I LOVE the house, so it's worth it.
Another thing to bear in mind is that due to large windows, curtains are expensive. I had to have them all made as I couldn't buy them off the peg.

Tenpastlate Mon 13-Feb-17 12:52:28

Sorry, forgot to say, large 1899 semi.

HmmOkay Mon 13-Feb-17 12:58:24

Ours is an 1850 detached stone farmhouse. About 2000 square feet also.

We spend £600 on coal (solid fuel boiler for central heating and hot water) and about £600 on electricity per year. No gas. Insulation is okay but we only have single-glazed windows at the moment. We were going to change them immediately but they are in good condition, fit well, and find that they don't make the house that cold so we'll leave for a couple of years. We are also an EPC E but that would change with a new boiler (biomass or heat pump) and double glazing. Might get up to a C, I think.

We also have a log burner but we have free wood from our own land. So about £1200 all in per year.

I seem to remember that the full buildings survey gave options about how to improve efficiency in terms of heating and insulation.

HouseOfGoldandBones Mon 13-Feb-17 12:58:34

I'm in an old house (pre 1900), and the rooms have very high ceilings, exposed floor boards & real fires (so essentially a big hole to the roof!), and we pay £160 per month for gas & electricity.

Central heating & double glazing, but no great insulation.

I work from home, so heating isn't really off at all.

BumWad Mon 13-Feb-17 12:59:38

Yes to large curtains. I have floor to ceiling ones in my bay and bedrooms with a thick insulating liner on. They really help.

karmi2010 Mon 13-Feb-17 13:02:42

Thank you so much everyone!! Extremely helpful!

hoddtastic Mon 13-Feb-17 13:04:46

About 150 a month over the year, 1890ish mid terrace but big with double glazing / loft insulation etc. There's no cavity ol in the walls to fill so it gets cold very quickly. And we don't tend to go over 18deg on thermostat often. It's cold..."0

user1484830599 Mon 13-Feb-17 13:31:58

You can search for the full EPC (which gives you costs over 3 years) online - the website is here -

specialsubject Mon 13-Feb-17 13:42:27

Those epc costs are a bit babbly. More sensible checks :

How much sun does it get?
Is it exposed to wind?
What do the current owners pay? How old is the boiler?

You can insulate lofts and dry line walls. Be aware if buying from pensioners who got free insulation - it won't be much good.

We spend £350 a year on electric and use about 1500 litres of oil, currently costing about £500 but prices have dropped. Also have a wood burner but that is home fuelled.

Work from home but don't like a hot house, and it gets lots of sun.

JoJoSM2 Mon 13-Feb-17 18:03:26

Ask the current owners to show you the bills. A lot depends on whether it is attached, how old/efficient the central heating system is and how much time you spend at home. Our current home is a 1920's one, a lot bigger than the house in question and out gas and electricity cost under £100 per month on an expensive tariff (100% renewable). When we lived in a large Edwardian semi, c 1800sq ft it was more along the lines of £150/month but it was single glazed throughout and had massive windows.

karmi2010 Mon 13-Feb-17 18:20:31

Thank you very much everyone! This doesn't sound as bas as I thought...))

LizzieMacQueen Mon 13-Feb-17 19:02:47

Our house is maybe a little bigger, we're detached with 20-year-old double glazed windows so possibly inefficient - not sure about the insulation though pretty sure the loft is insulated.

My gas and electrcity bill is around £3,000 a year - I budget around £300 a month.

But... I'm in Scotland and we're relatively exposed.

silverfingersandtoes Mon 13-Feb-17 19:50:55

Very early 1900s detached, by the sea, north west Wales, 2700 sq ft, high ceilings, large rooms, fully double glazed but little by way of wall/roof insulation, gas central heating, new boiler with pump ,in all day so heating never off in winter. Gas £120 a month, electricity £40. Averages out over the year, take a bit of a refund in Spring.

Nodowntime Tue 14-Feb-17 00:30:17

I'm reading this thread really bewildered. We live (but just sold!) in a 60s detached house, just over half the size of what's in the OP, cavity walls with insulation, thickly insulated loft and double glazing, combi boiler 5 years old. But in a windy spot with a fireplace and exposed floorboards. We pay at least £100 a month on both electricity and gas, some years it came to £120 a month. I thought it was similar to what everyone pays! blush Heating is mostly on nonstop (except at night) in the winter, but the thermostat is only on 18.

We were interested in buying a 1920s house, but DH's biggest concern was that with cavity walls the house could be really cold and our bills would be astronomical.

But according to some of the posts we are now paying more than people in period houses twice the size of ours! confused I'm gobsmacked.

silverfingersandtoes Tue 14-Feb-17 08:42:42

Have you checked your tariffs, Nodown? I've had to focus on this in the last three or four years, had left it to DH before, and it's amazing the difference it can make. I did try switching suppliers (which was a disaster) but I am now a tariff tart within BG, and although my consumption has gone up a bit this year I am still paying less. I do try to keep the thermostat at 18 too, in the teeth of the Irish sea, and use lots of fleece and throws when the temperature plummets late afternoon, and good old hot water bottles at night.
On thing about big solid Victorian houses - despite the lack of insulation they do seem to warm up quickly and to stay warm. At least mine does. They are not built the same way as modern houses, and the draughts/movements of air are what keep damp at bay. I don't fully understand it, maybe someone more knowledgeable can explain better, but you don't use heat in the same way. By comparing consumption over times of year I have found that during the winter keeping the thermostat steady, just maybe giving it an hour or so boost at 4ish, keeps the house comfortable and costs less than turning it up and down.

mydietstartsmonday Tue 14-Feb-17 08:47:11

We had a 1930 house with a cap boiler. About £200 pm approx. 1500 Sq ft.

greenfolder Tue 14-Feb-17 08:50:50

I would be wary of buying a house that feels cold no matter how many 20 quid notes you burn

ringlingsisters Tue 14-Feb-17 08:55:45

1900 detached house in Scotland - not sure of sq footage but we have 6 bedrooms, 4 receptions rooms, so it's big. We pay £160 per month and are always averagely in credit, but I run a B&B so would use far more hot water than even a big family, and have the heating on far more than we would if it was just us in the house (you can't tell guests who are wearing T-shirts and shorts when it's -8 outside to put a jumper on, sadly!). We have triple glazing but no loft insulation due to dormer bedrooms, and the house faces N/S.

Sewingbeatshousework Tue 14-Feb-17 09:02:25

What a difference in energy costs! Are you able to ask current occupants average bills? We live in a large high ceiling 5 bed house c1950, double glazed & central heating. In the height of winter we can go through £280 gas a month, electricity averages about £180 a month through the year. Plus coal and logs. We are currently awaiting a smart meter though to see where our energy consumption is going...

Trumpton Tue 14-Feb-17 09:08:55

1901 house . Double glazed . Good insulation in loft . Oil fired ch and oil is currently 46.49p a litre . Just filled tank with 1285 litres at a cost of £627.
Last years oil bill was £2200.
Electric also pricey at 16p a unit last years bills came to £1050 .

No choice of suppliers as we live off shore and have no choice ( well a couple of oil suppliers but they all charge the same )
I have all these figures to hand as we have just done our annual review.
DH is working from home more so keeps whacking the heating on ! So expect the bills will increase.
I use fleece blankets a lot and we have a calor gas portable heater if we don't light the open fire .

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