My feed
Premium

Please
or
to access all these features

AIBU?

To switch to "pay for only what you use"?

109 replies

lancsgirl85 · 05/09/2022 08:28

Apologies for posting in AIBU. Happy for it to be moved to a more appropriate section.

I contacted my energy company on FB after days of not being able to get through on the phone to speak directly with someone. I wanted to get a rough estimate of my bill for October.

They replied that they can't give exact figures right now and they would update in the next few weeks, but they advised to expect an 80% increase. We pay £269 pm already so we are looking at £480 ish pm. We can't afford this.

I replied to this effect and asked what options they could offer us?

They listed a few, the first of which was: "you can change your direct debit to pay for only what you use rather than spreading the cost over 12 months".

This confused me. Why am I not already just paying for what I use? Why would I pay for what I haven't used?

Looking at my last statement we used £155 worth of gas and electricity combined and paid £269. So we should be in credit, right? Therefore can afford to pay less in theory?

Sorry if this is a really stupid question but the whole thing has just really confused me!!

OP posts:
Report
lancsgirl85 · 05/09/2022 09:55

BarbaraofSeville · 05/09/2022 09:55

For usage that high, if your house is hard to heat rather than just a result of being indulgent/wasteful up to now, it might be worth investing in energy saving measures even if it means borrowing money to do so.

Extra insulation, new windows, more efficient boiler, even solar panels, whatever it takes. Even if it costs £10-20k, at current prices, such improvements could pay for themselves in a few years, add to the value of your home and benefit the environment and mean you are doing your bit towards reducing usage, which is why prices are currently so high, because gas is expected to be in such short supply over winter, it could need to be rationed.

It's not our house, we privately rent.

OP posts:
Report
mogtheexcellent · 05/09/2022 09:55

I only ever pay for what we use. I pay quartlery on receipt of bill. I save monthly though and increased my DD to allow for the increase. In the summer months I have money sitting in a savings account earning me interest rather than in the elec companys account.

I do it this way becuase we have shite night storage heating which we never use and the company estimates for our annual usage are greatly exaggerated.

I used to pay quarterly by DD but since covid you can't actually speak to anyone and they kept trying to take £1k from my account for estimated bills when the actuall bill was £300 odd.

Report
lancsgirl85 · 05/09/2022 09:56

Baby also no longer has bottles so kettle usage is much reduced!

OP posts:
Report
BarbaraofSeville · 05/09/2022 09:59

lancsgirl85 · 05/09/2022 09:55

It's not our house, we privately rent.

Oh, sorry. Then unless the rent is very cheap, I would seriously consider moving unless you think that you can reduce what you use.

Report
lancsgirl85 · 05/09/2022 10:00

Something else the teen does, is go into the bathroom and set the shower running about 20 mins before she gets in it. Multiple, multiple times I've gone upstairs to a majorly steamed up bathroom with the shower running and no one in it, and teen faffing about in her room before getting in the shower 🙄 she says she's "letting it warm up". I've told her several times it heats pretty much instantly so this isn't necessary. I'll be coming down a lot harder on her for this in future!

OP posts:
Report
CeeJay81 · 05/09/2022 10:00

I have to agree with others, you should be in more credit than that at this time of year. On the other hand though you are a high user so you could easy cut your usage down a lot, which will help with your bills not being as extortionate.

Report
Hugasauras · 05/09/2022 10:01

Winter months will always be multiples higher than summer. You'll need to reduce your heating - that's where all that usage is going. It should go down a bit if you're not home as much but if your house is so inefficient to heat as the figures suggest (we are in a 4-bed detached and use 16,000 gas units a year and someone is always home) you might want to look at ways to heat the person, rather than the house, so heated throws, big thick jumpers, etc.

Report
balabears · 05/09/2022 10:04

Idontgiveagriffindamn · 05/09/2022 09:48

I’m sorry I feel really bad saying this but you’ve not built up much credit during the warmer months if you started this month in debit. It could mean that the amount you have to pay is higher.
I’d recommend looking at your usage and how you can cut back.

Actually, it depends on what month OP’s billing cycle starts.

I moved home in October so my billing cycle is October-September. I pay they same amount every month. I am never in credit - because I go heavily in debt Oct-March and then pay it off April-Sept.

Clearly if your billing cycle starts in spring then it’d be the other way - build up lots of credit until winter at which point the credit starts reducing.

Report
lancsgirl85 · 05/09/2022 10:05

@Hugasauras

Yeah we will definitely have to find ways to have the heating on as little as possible over winter.

DP often puts it on to dry clothes late on an evening after I've gone to bed and "forgets" it's on, then goes to bed and I wake up in a pool of sweat at 2am prodding him and saying why's the heating on?! Every time the answer is "sorry put it on to dry the clothes and forgot". 🤷‍♀️

So there'll be no more of that either! I've actually turned the radiators off in both our bedroom and the baby's room because he's done this so often that we all end up overheating!

OP posts:
Report
FuzzyPuffling · 05/09/2022 10:08

We have done this, but our usage is fairly similar over the year, as we don't use the central heating or have a tumble dryer.
I like it much better.

Report
luxxlisbon · 05/09/2022 10:09

When she said expect and 80% increase, I thought that meant whatever we are paying by DD now (ie £269) will be increased by 80%, taking it to £480. Which made me want to cry.

This is true though, if you see on the variable rate then the cost per unit will increase by about 80% next month.

You are already paying for what you use, it’s just averaged out over the year. You usually aren’t in credit at the end of a 12 month period but it makes sense for most people to have a consistent monthly payment. It’s too much of a shock to your monthly finances to pay a tiny amount in the summer then suddenly have a huge bill in winter.

Report
BMW6 · 05/09/2022 10:12

lancsgirl85 · 05/09/2022 10:00

Something else the teen does, is go into the bathroom and set the shower running about 20 mins before she gets in it. Multiple, multiple times I've gone upstairs to a majorly steamed up bathroom with the shower running and no one in it, and teen faffing about in her room before getting in the shower 🙄 she says she's "letting it warm up". I've told her several times it heats pretty much instantly so this isn't necessary. I'll be coming down a lot harder on her for this in future!

Well that's just horrifying!!!!! Do you give pocket money?
If you do I'd be withholding it every time he or she does it. Otherwise it's going to cost hundreds of pounds 😮

Report
BarbaraofSeville · 05/09/2022 10:12

From what I know of many 'young people' they seem very vocal about how environmentally conscious they are and spend a lot of time criticising their 'wasteful' 40 and 50 something parents for killing the planet that they and their DC will inherit after we are all long gone.

Doesn't really stack up with all these half hour showers, 'hauls' of Shein tat arriving from across the globe and camping equipment left as litter when they've been to festivals, does it?

Those of us who grew up in the 1970/80s with parents who lived in fear of forgetting to turn off the immersion heater and leaving a light on in an unlit room would be greeted with calls of 'it's like Blackpool Illuminations in here' on discovery by our parents don't seem anywhere near as wasteful as some of our offspring. Letting a shower run unused for 20 minutes? Shock hmm]

Report
lancsgirl85 · 05/09/2022 10:12

We don't have a tumble dryer, but we do use a dishwasher and a washing machine regularly. Dishwasher goes on probably twice daily, and washing machine I'd guess about 3-6 loads weekly depending on the baby! So almost daily for the washing machine, too.

OP posts:
Report
BMW6 · 05/09/2022 10:12

Sorry I see you have a daughter

Report
lancsgirl85 · 05/09/2022 10:14

@BMW6

I do give her pocket money yes. I've threatened to withhold it a number of times when she does this. It's infuriating. She does it less now to be fair, but this was a regular occurrence over the past year. Which probably hasn't helped the bill.

OP posts:
Report
BMW6 · 05/09/2022 10:14

Dishwasher once a day, less if possible.
Cut down on washing, and wash at 30c with bio

Report
pumpkinpie01 · 05/09/2022 10:15

@lancsgirl85 omg I think your daughter is my son ! He used to do that in the shower ! He fell asleep in there once with it running and he was lying on the bath mat ! He has left home now , we have stopped using the dishwasher and the tumble drier and obviously the stupid showers have stopped and our usage has gone from 15kw a day to 6-7kw !

Report
BMW6 · 05/09/2022 10:16

Well don't threaten and not follow through!

Report
bellac11 · 05/09/2022 10:21

BarbaraofSeville · 05/09/2022 10:12

From what I know of many 'young people' they seem very vocal about how environmentally conscious they are and spend a lot of time criticising their 'wasteful' 40 and 50 something parents for killing the planet that they and their DC will inherit after we are all long gone.

Doesn't really stack up with all these half hour showers, 'hauls' of Shein tat arriving from across the globe and camping equipment left as litter when they've been to festivals, does it?

Those of us who grew up in the 1970/80s with parents who lived in fear of forgetting to turn off the immersion heater and leaving a light on in an unlit room would be greeted with calls of 'it's like Blackpool Illuminations in here' on discovery by our parents don't seem anywhere near as wasteful as some of our offspring. Letting a shower run unused for 20 minutes? Shock hmm]

Totally agree with this, which is why that whiney advert with children berating 'adults' for the state of the planet wound me up so much

Of course children are not in charge but certainly for teens and pre teens, they are not keen to give up their gadgets and disposable fashion any time soon.

Report
BarbaraofSeville · 05/09/2022 10:21

@lancsgirl85 Can you have a proper chat to her about how expensive it's got and how it will affect the family budget as in less money available for (insert whatever nice things are important to her) if the whole household doesn't cut what they use? Plus how it's much better for the planet to use less?

Report
Calmdown14 · 05/09/2022 10:22

Erm yes!

You use more electric than me and I don't have any gas so that's my heating as well (topped up with woodburner).

The good news is you have plenty of potential to cut back.

Remember your electric bill will also be credited with £66/67 a month for the winter months as a result of the £400 payment.

So with that and being more careful it might be manageable.

Can they switch you to monthly billing but with a fixed direct debit? That's what we do now so I know where I am. Use about £80 a month but pay £130 so will be £600 in credit by the start of October. It's a lot easier to see where you are and less confusing than quarterly which sometimes misses the final payment as you are seeing

Report

Newsletters you might like

Discover Exclusive Savings!

Sign up to our Money Saver newsletter now and receive exclusive deals and hot tips on where to find the biggest online bargains, tailored just for Mumsnetters.

Log in to update your newsletter preferences.

You've subscribed!

Parent-Approved Gems Await!

Subscribe to our weekly Swears By newsletter and receive handpicked recommendations for parents, by parents, every Sunday.

Log in to update your newsletter preferences.

You've subscribed!

GreenFingersWouldBeHandy · 05/09/2022 10:26

A 30-40 minute shower is just ridiculous and unnecessary. It would be cheaper for her to join a gym and shower there! I've got mine down to about 3 mins if I don't need to shave my legs.

Buy a baby bath rather than running a big one.

If you use log burner, stick a clothes horse in front of it when you go to bed at night.

I get a monthly bill from my elec supplier (no gas) so I always know where I am in terms of being behind or in front of payments.

Report
lancsgirl85 · 05/09/2022 10:28

@pumpkinpie01

Oh wow! That's quite a difference in your usage! I can't believe your son fell asleep in the shower 😂

OP posts:
Report
lancsgirl85 · 05/09/2022 10:30

@GreenFingersWouldBeHandy

We used to use a small baby bath but she's a very active toddler now and prefers the space to play in the bath, and she also tries to climb out now 🙈 But I suppose we could try to use it again and just keep her contained!

OP posts:
Report
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.