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Hi folks. We have just been clobbered by our new combined energy bill. We were expecting a hike but, wow, it's trebled.

British Gas, combined g/e gone from £160 pm to £480! Thats almost £6k a year. I cant get my head around this. 

We are in a 11 year old home. Fully insulated, new double glazing all around. 

Is this what others are experiencing?

We'll be spending a bit more time covered in blankets in front of the fire this winter me'thinks.

 montyjohn 05 Aug 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

> British Gas, combined g/e gone from £160 pm to £480!

Sounds like you were already paying a lot. Is it a pretty big house. Gas heating?

I actually don't know what I was paying before, I suspect around the £100pm mark, but it's gone up to £260pm after a recent meter reading that resulted in a £600 deficit.

I'm in a 3 bed semi, not the best insulated house, but does have double glazing, modern gas combi heating. All lights LED. Don't really make much effort to save energy, but not wasteful either.

Are you charging an electric car by any chance?

2
 kevin stephens 05 Aug 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

How does your electricity use compare to your gas use? Is your heating programmed to turn down fully when you are out? Biggest domestic users can be washing machines fridges and dish washers. Do you always set your washing machine to 30 deg C? Are the seals on your freezer in good condition? Duration of showers?

In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Similiar experience here. I think one problem is that the media keep talking about the price cap in terms of pounds, rather than percentages and unit prices. So, they'll say "the average household bill will rise to £x under the new price cap". Which can give the impression that this will be the max anybody pays, and that the price cap works in a way that sets a max price that your overall bill can be. Of course the price cap doesn't work like that and some of us will inevitably already be above 'average'.

 montyjohn 05 Aug 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Also what does your tariff look like, just had a look at mine (octopus):

  • Electric: 29.48p/kWh and 41.39p/day
  • Gas: 7.32p/kWh and 27.22p/day

With electric being four times more expensive than gas, the roll out of air pump heating is going to be a much harder sell.

2
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Check your dd amount is realistic. Our provider keeps setting the dd amount to about 3x what we actually use. Put in regular meter readings.

 Ian W 05 Aug 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

> Hi folks. We have just been clobbered by our new combined energy bill. We were expecting a hike but, wow, it's trebled.

> British Gas, combined g/e gone from £160 pm to £480! Thats almost £6k a year. I cant get my head around this. 

> We are in a 11 year old home. Fully insulated, new double glazing all around. 

> Is this what others are experiencing?

> We'll be spending a bit more time covered in blankets in front of the fire this winter me'thinks.

If your £160 pm was from a fixed rate set before last autumn, then it sounds about right. Until I moved house earlier this year, i was on a fixed rate deal, and when i enquired about moving it, I was told by my supplier (ovo) that i'd be better off going onto the variable deal with whichever supplier was in place at the new property (bulb). I'd suggest looking at what your consumption would be on a variable rate / standard tariff, or whatever they are called, as the supply companies dont seem to like offering fixed deals given nobody seems to have a clue how much prices will rise, but only that they will rise further.

 LastBoyScout 05 Aug 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Ours seems very low, compared to what I've been seeing.

Last bill was ~£110, our cost predictor seems to think it'll go up to just under £200 peak in January - at current rates. We're in a new-build 5-bed house, so fully insulated, double glazing, LED lights* etc. Still might be tempted to put some more insulation in the loft, though**.

I suspect one of our big lecky drains is the fridge in the garage - I may have to bring it inside this winter, as it doesn't cope well in the cold.

2 small children doesn't help with the washing machine going.

Will have to start wearing a thicker jumper and stop my wife buying bake at home bread, too!

* only room that doesn't have LED is my daughter's bedroom - need to get a dimmable LED bulb to fit the light. It's only 60W and not used much, though.

** think I've been tasked with assessing the loft insulation at M-in-L's house, as if I needed another job!

 MeMeMe 05 Aug 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

How much energy do you use a year?

For a 2 bed terraced house I'm on 7,543 kWh for gas  and 943 kWh for electricity per year but that's just for me (and my daughter's here 1/3 of the week too).

The tariff is 

 - Gas : 25.920p/day and 6.993p/kWh

 - Electricity : 40.230p/day and 26.686p/kWh

So per year something like 

Gas :  £622.09 

Electricity :  £398.49

Working out what your energy usage is is the first step in working out what you can do to lower it.

In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

We're in a very badly insulated, 150 year old stone house.  The rooms have high ceilings, getting on for 3m.  Last year we averaged about £70/month electric (including water heating), £75/month on oil (central heating) and £75/month (winter only) on wood.  That kept a couple of rooms in the house at about 16C most of the day and the rest of the house 'not freezing' at key times of day e.g. bedrooms when getting out of and into bed.

Our electricity has doubled, but at least tariff is fixed for a year (from July).  Oil is 'who knows', we've got half/tank, I'll fill it up if oil price looks favourable, otherwise will just see how far through the winter we can get.  I'm hoping wood stays the same price as it was, and can see us lighting fires more this winter as it's likely to be the cheapest form of heat. 

Side note: Last winter the kids started complaining because it was going below 8C in the bedrooms overnight.  Surprisingly, the complaint wasn't that they were cold, it was that the thermostat was kicking the heating in and they were waking up sweating (room temp was probably about 10C with the heating on).  They're tough, I'm not.

Edit to add - 3 bed house

Post edited at 10:36
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Christ! My bill for gas and electric for July was £45. I'm still on a good Octopus Go tariff until September though.

 MarkAstley 05 Aug 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

3 bed detached, 25 years old , double glazing all replaced 2 years ago.

Was on Octopus fixed till March at £100,

They wanted me to go to £187 but I've resisted and gone 160 but will probably have to up it to keep up with the bill.

Replaced rad valves in bedrooms and living with smart ones and and thermostat ones everywhere else.

Still quite worried about winter.....

  Mark

In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Its quite a large 4 bed home. Standard boiler with heating set to go off totally. I think I need to call them.

 Offwidth 05 Aug 2022
In reply to Paul Phillips - UKC and UKH:

Mmmm... want to explain what else you have done to keep costs down Paul?

One factor that is going underreported is that standing charges have soared because OFGEN's past regulation of new supplier's ability to be able to cope with energy price fluctuations was so incredibly shit. The supplier of last resort scheme has over £2billion extra costs due to those suppliers going bust....that gets shared onto everyone's bills.  The very poorest often paying most.

https://www.cornwall-insight.com/price-cap-set-for-46-rise-for-summer-2022-winter-2022-23-cap-may-exceed-2000/

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2022/mar/06/why-is-my-standing-charge-up-by-80-energy-firms-pile-on-the-agony

Post edited at 11:50
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Ours went from £80 to £150. Not a DD we give them readings each month and the last 3 bills have averaged £151. Not looking forward to winter with the Mrs working from home. 

In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

>  I think I need to call them.

One thing, if BG is like my supplier, they probably haven’t included in their system calculations yet to take into account the government funded credits that should be applied Oct - Mar (£400 to every household over 6 months). My supplier’s system last month indicated that I should increase my D/D and that didn’t take into account the expected account credits. 

If you pay by D/D I think this should be taken into account if your speaking to them! It should correct itself in my case though once the credits start to be made (sometime in Oct I believe).

 Trangia 05 Aug 2022
In reply to JLS:

> Invest in geese.

You are right. We, of all people, as mountaineers/outdoor-see people should be better equipped to cope with winter, as we already own winter mountaineering clothing, so it's there for use indoors during the winter months. Watching TV, sitting reading, eating supper, and similar static activities,  wearing a duvet jacket and similar clothing is something we started doing last winter, so as to keep heating use to a minimum, and it's really no big deal. 

 LastBoyScout 05 Aug 2022
In reply to Trangia:

> You are right. We, of all people, as mountaineers/outdoor-see people should be better equipped to cope with winter, as we already own winter mountaineering clothing, so it's there for use indoors during the winter months. Watching TV, sitting reading, eating supper, and similar static activities,  wearing a duvet jacket and similar clothing is something we started doing last winter, so as to keep heating use to a minimum, and it's really no big deal. 

I might be able to handle it (go surfing in January, etc), but my wife hates the cold and has Raynaulds in her hands and feet - they go white and numb if it's too cold. She is going to have to learn to live without the electric blanket, though - her parents bought it for her as a present.

In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

My wife has just called them. Apparently we are £1200 in credit but the new figure is based on estimates despite having smart readers, which apparently arent working. I also gave true readings this week so no idea why they basing on estimates. 

It took an hour to get through, to a noisy Indian call centre, during which she was cut off whilst trying to book an engineer to sort the readers.

Dealing with companies like this is not a pleasant experience as as we're away for a week now can't do anything about it. 

This is progress, is it?

 JLS 05 Aug 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

>"This is progress, is it?"

This is globalisation. It's working for someone but I'm not wholly convinced it's you or me.

1
 MeMeMe 05 Aug 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Who are you with? They sound shit.

I'm with Scottish Power, they seem alright, I've not got a smart meter but I can submit meter readings online and within a few minutes it'll calculate a bill. They also adjusted my direct debit upwards a couple of months ago but you can change it online so since I was already in credit I adjusted it back down. 

 gethin_allen 05 Aug 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Not particularly surprised that you are so much in credit considering the original amount you were paying.

We've just moved from a poorly insulated place into a newly renovated place with new windows and doors throughout and newly laid floors with insulating underlay. I'm really hoping to see a positive difference in our energy consumption.

In reply to LastBoyScout:

> She is going to have to learn to live without the electric blanket, though

My other half's electric blanket is 60W and she only has it on for 20 minutes so it only uses 20Wh to get the bed warm.

0.02kWh * £0.40 = £0.008. So less than 1p per use even at 40p/kWh.
Heat the person, not the room, is pretty efficient albeit not always practical.

Post edited at 13:56
In reply to thread:

The price cap is different in different regions of the country - I didn't know this until I had a good dig on the internet to check our (just under price-cap) current rates. The cheapest of the 13(?) regions is London - apparently it always is (effect of more compact distribution network).

I work in energy billing of sub-metered sites - mostly this is district heating (heating and hot water from central gas powered boilers to many flats/buildings) but some electricity & water too. The prices rises that are coming along are going to be horrendous (*).

(*) - you may wonder why I didn't know about the price cap regionality from my work - reason is because supplies to sites (typically 100's of dwellings) are commercial contracts not subject to the price cap. This also means that residents of any sites with sub-metered electricity won't be getting the government's hand-out.

 Offwidth 05 Aug 2022
In reply to Michael Hood:

Same applies to things like LPG and Oil central heating, residential 'trailer' parks, quite a bit of rental property, plus its easy to miss the discount vouchers if you are on a pre-paid meter. It's a bloody disaster area that our government didn't do better on this and it's not from a lack of warning.

2
 stevieb 05 Aug 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

If the estimated bills are overestimated, it might be worth letting it slide for a while. Then give them the correct readings when prices shoot up. 

 subtle 05 Aug 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

> My wife has just called them. Apparently we are £1200 in credit but the new figure is based on estimates despite having smart readers, which apparently arent working. I also gave true readings this week so no idea why they basing on estimates. 

> This is progress, is it?

Def query it and provide them with actual readings.

Ours shot up, from what we were paying to an eye watering £335.70 per month, after queries we are now down to £262.69 per month - still high but still a saving, and apparently we are still in credit so could lower it but have taken the view that consumption and cost are going to go up in winter so may as well try and bank some further credit to offset

Good luck.

 LastBoyScout 05 Aug 2022
In reply to Paul Phillips - UKC and UKH:

> My other half's electric blanket is 60W and she only has it on for 20 minutes so it only uses 20Wh to get the bed warm.

> 0.02kWh * £0.40 = £0.008. So less than 1p per use even at 40p/kWh.

> Heat the person, not the room, is pretty efficient albeit not always practical.

Yes, I realise it's not all that bad, but I do like to tease her about it.

 girlymonkey 05 Aug 2022
In reply to Trangia:

> You are right. We, of all people, as mountaineers/outdoor-see people should be better equipped to cope with winter, as we already own winter mountaineering clothing, so it's there for use indoors during the winter months. Watching TV, sitting reading, eating supper, and similar static activities,  wearing a duvet jacket and similar clothing is something we started doing last winter, so as to keep heating use to a minimum, and it's really no big deal. 

I have always done this. My husband has stopped asking why I haven't put the heating on when he comes in to find me cooking dinner in a down jacket, hat and scarf. Mostly I don't actually need all of that, but I often just come home and don't remove any layers from outside. Works fine for me 🙂

 neilh 05 Aug 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Smart meters are a useful tool.  After all the fuss that they were a waste of time and money , it now looks as though they could be very handy. 

2
In reply to Trangia:

I find outdoor clothing feels weird indoors for some reason. But I dug out two old thick wooly jumpers and wore both last winter after turning off the heating at the end of February. Now have the hot water on for 15 minutes per day early evening; enough for a  shower (trying cold ones anyway) and a tepid face splash in the morning. 

In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

It's simpler and an awful lot quicker nowadays just to change provider (for all things, insurance, utilities, phone, banking whatever) than to contact the one you're with. And usually results in being refunded anything you're owed automatically. 

Last few times I've tried to contact companies with call centres I've started browsing a comparison site while listening to their hold music and then ended up not needing to wait for them to answer.

 wintertree 05 Aug 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> Last few times I've tried to contact companies with call centres I've started browsing a comparison site while listening to their hold music and then ended up not needing to wait for them to answer.

I have a nuclear grade rant brewing about my attempts to get a broken electricity meter replaced.  I honestly don’t know how a company can be as incompetent as my supplier.  4 months and counting…. I’d try and change supplier but I can’t give them a meter reading…

In reply to wintertree:

> I’d try and change supplier but I can’t give them a meter reading…

Sure you can. It must say something on it.....

 wintertree 05 Aug 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> Sure you can. It must say something on it.....

Believe me, I've tried entering "A-60C" multiple times...

In reply to montyjohn:

> Also what does your tariff look like, just had a look at mine (octopus):

> Electric: 29.48p/kWh and 41.39p/day

> Gas: 7.32p/kWh and 27.22p/day

> With electric being four times more expensive than gas, the roll out of air pump heating is going to be a much harder sell.

Just looked up against mine. Wow.

I fixed in August 21 for 2 years just before it started going up...

Electric 17.94/kWh and 22.9/day

Gas 3.27/kWh and 25.344/day

Look at that rise in standing charge for electric.....  I'm told that is where the costs of all the failed electric companies that have folded is hidden away for us all to pay for

It also means it's almost £25 per month just to be connected without using any power or gas. That is truly shameful

Post edited at 21:11
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

We're quite sheltered from the price rises here in Guernsey at present - our electricity company hedges a fair bit in advance so we're 22.01/9.25p/kWh peak/cheap for super economy tariff and 9.89p for the electric heating tariff. We also get most of our power from France who have relatively little fossil fuel generation.

 Rob Parsons 06 Aug 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

> Hi folks. We have just been clobbered by our new combined energy bill. We were expecting a hike but, wow, it's trebled.

Energy prices have tripled, as has been widely reported.

I'm not sure why you might not expect to be affected yourself?

4
In reply to balmybaldwin:

> It also means it's almost £25 per month just to be connected without using any power or gas. That is truly shameful

That doesn't sound too bad to me if you think of it as paying for the enormous infrastucture of the national grid and gas supply and power stations and its upkeep. It's not literally just to flick a switch to connect you.

3
 David Riley 06 Aug 2022
In reply to wintertree:

Use the last correct reading and claim it's current ?

1
 David Riley 06 Aug 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

> That doesn't sound too bad to me if you think of it as paying for the enormous infrastucture

You could say that about Tesco, Amazon, or whoever, and home delivery.

In reply to David Riley:

> You could say that about Tesco, Amazon, or whoever, and home delivery.

Well Amazon Prime does work that way. I suppose the standing charge model usually applies when we are directly connected to the infrastucture in some way.

 neilh 06 Aug 2022
In reply to kevin stephens:

Hi Kevin. Based on your background. What’s your view of thermostats ( best position for them) . Are wireless ones useful. What about an app connection? Are they gimmicks or do they help?

 montyjohn 06 Aug 2022
In reply to balmybaldwin:

> Look at that rise in standing charge for electric

I thought it was the cost of fuel that went up not the cost of infrastructure.

Dodgyness going on here.

Post edited at 09:34
 kevin stephens 06 Aug 2022
In reply to neilh: We have a wireless web connected thermostat that came with our Worcester Bosh boiler. As with best practice ours is in the hall with all radiators (except one) fitted with thermostatic valves set appropriately.

the controller and app is great for setting and changing occupancy times and temperatures, even when you are away from home. It can also reduce the flow temperature when its warmer outside (it gets outdoor temp from the internet rather than a sensor) which improves boiler efficiency.

 neilh 06 Aug 2022
In reply to kevin stephens:

Thanks!

 David Riley 06 Aug 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

The standing charge model usually applies when they can get away with it.

 wintertree 06 Aug 2022
In reply to Paul Phillips - UKC and UKH:

> Covid Boredom + YouTube = DIY Solar & Battery

That must give you some comfort going in to winter!  I need to find a better way of cleaning the snow of my panels than climbing the building roof with a broom, which was what I had to do after Storm Arwen to get them back online.

Have you connected the vehicle electrics to charge the battery?  I’ve been trying to find the best way to do this with a 48 V battery bank; a small grid tie inverter with a rating less than the vehicle alternator clipped to the battery works but is a bit puny.   The air conditioning doesn’t work, so I keep thinking about replacing the belt driven compressor with a 4 kW, 48 volt maritime alternator.  Never really seemed justified until recent months.

In reply to kevin stephens:

I'm amazed people seem to get things like this to work reliably. All electronics seem to fail regularly for me ( wireless, Bluetooth, nasbox, printers etc ) so I try to simplify as much as possible. Boiler switched manually, thermostatic values so each room can be heated as required.

Post edited at 21:53
1
In reply to wintertree:

Yeah, I've got a DC-DC charger in the van (https://www.victronenergy.com/dc-dc-converters/orion-tr-smart-non-isolated) it's only around 400W though. I haven't seen any that are 48V tbh. My Lithium battery in the van is 24V 280Ah.

I think my stock Peugeot alternator can do 210A, that 4kW one is a beast!

Post edited at 22:07
 wintertree 06 Aug 2022
In reply to Paul Phillips - UKC and UKH:

Thanks; I had it in mind that you were 48 V.  Wrong again...

24 V opens a lot of possibilities using quality gear.  I never found a 12 V : 48 V converter suitable for battery charging; before the grid tie inverter I had a cheap/generic 12 V : 24 V converter feeding an Orion 24 V : 48 V unit.  

> it's only around 400W though

You can probably double or triple up...

Edit to your edit:

> I think my stock Peugeot alternator can do 210A, that 4kW one is a beast!

Nice; definitely triple up for the winter.... Although you also need a safe and compliant way of islanding the house if it comes to it.

This is what I was thinking of replacing the AC compressor with:

https://rjsmarine.co.uk/product/96-series-48v-alternators/

Post edited at 22:10
In reply to wintertree:

24V made it a lot easier for everything else in the van. Lights, pumps, diesel heater, USB-C PD chargers are all running straight off 24V.

I'll probably have a fixed setup in the house at some point and that will definitely be 48V.

In reply to wintertree:

> I have a nuclear grade rant brewing about my attempts to get a broken electricity meter replaced.  I honestly don’t know how a company can be as incompetent as my supplier.  4 months and counting…. I’d try and change supplier but I can’t give them a meter reading…

I'd suggest two possible courses of action:

  1. Not sure if you can do this but I'd go online and enter meter readings every month that are going down. This might wake them up to the possibility of something being wrong. "I tried to tell you it was broken".
  2. Or enter the same reading as before. Surely if the meter's not working, they can't tell how much you've used - IIRC you have solar panels; "the solar panels are providing all my needs".
In reply to Sam W:

I feel your pain. Oil isn't dropping in price at anything like the rate petrol/diesel is, but that's probably due to the lower VAT on heating oil. Where we are kiln dried softwood is up about £9 a dumpy bag on last year.

 wintertree 09:50 Sun
In reply to Michael Hood:

Oh, they accepted it was broken about 5 months ago, the song-and-dance since then has been trying to get a replacement to actually happen.  I gather it's normally hard to convince them a meter is faulty, but as mine jumped back by a substantial amount they took little convincing.  

We're up to about 30 WhatsApp messages, several hours on the phone on hold, several hours on the phone to various people and half a dozen email messages, a missed appointment for which the best I'd been given was a 4-day block "8 am till 4 pm", an amazing range of responses no two of which are in agreement with each other and a set of non-apologies.  I'd been told I could have a dumb meter if I was prepared to accept a booking no less than 6 weeks in the future; that's renegade on and they're now going to fit a smart meter in "dumb smart mode".  I just hope their meter is physically no taller than the current one, as there is not a lot of space in the cupboard...  

Could have just pocketed the difference but you try and do the right thing.  Frustrating when it absorbs an incredible amount of time and nobody gives a crap.

> Surely if the meter's not working, they can't tell how much you've used

Indeed.  They're going to estimate it based on last year.  I'm not happy with that but I'm going to let it go.


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