Gransnet forums


to think this fuel bill is too high

(17 Posts)
Helski Tue 30-Apr-19 06:38:55

I wonder if anyone can advise. My sister in law lives in a one bedroom retirement flat. Her electricity bill is coming in at £110 per month. She has no washer/dryer, stopped using the immersion heater after her last bill was so high. She has night storage heaters which she has now turned off. So basically, she uses lights, fridge freezer, shower and tv, computer. Her bill is only £30 less than my duel fuel bill for a 5 bedroom house. I can't believe that hers can be accurate. Is there anyone in Gn land that can compare? TIA.

PamelaJ1 Tue 30-Apr-19 06:55:07

Has she asked her neighbours what they pay.
could she get one of those bits of kit that show what electricity she is using and is she on a good deal or does she need to switch providers.

TwiceAsNice Tue 30-Apr-19 07:06:59

I live in a 1 bedroom flat and my bill is £105 a month. I do have a washer/dryer and dishwasher but don’t use either every day and I don’t have a computer. Mine was higher until I switched providers

MamaCaz Tue 30-Apr-19 07:13:21

Has she been in the property long enough to be able to compare last months usage with this year's (preferably actual usage rather than a comparison of end cost)?

Is she on a fixed unit price contract or a variable one? If she was on a fixed rare contract, could it have ended without her realizing, meaning she has been shifted onto a more expensive standard tariff without her realising?

There has been a big increase in electricity prices over the last year, but £110 p/m does sound awfully high for a small flat!

Can I ask what company she is with?

MamaCaz Tue 30-Apr-19 07:14:24

I meant compare last year's usage ...

annsixty Tue 30-Apr-19 07:19:59

My friend lives in as retirement flat.
I can't remember her bill exactly but I do know it is very low.
Her flat is very well insulated and the heating is rarely on.
She used the communal laundry room so no washer or dryer.
I would do as another poster has said, ask the other people in the block.
It seems very high to me.

notnecessarilywiser Tue 30-Apr-19 07:33:43

Has she accrued a massive credit on her account whilst paying £110pm? Sometimes the energy company seems to pluck a (large) sum out of the air when deciding what monthly payment will be. If she is in credit she can ask for a refund and for the monthly payments to be scaled down.

If there's no big credit on the account then she needs to do as PPs have suggested and do a price comparison check. Switching is very simple.

Anja Tue 30-Apr-19 07:37:57

That does seem high.

I’m guessing from what you say that it’s all electric. It’s the appliances that heat which use the most energy; from kettles, to showers and fires, washing machines and hobs and ovens.

Helski Tue 30-Apr-19 07:55:02

She is going to ask a couple of the other residents. She had a very high bill last year and the company SSE put that down to the fact that she had the immersion heater on all of the time as she had been advised that it didn't use a lot of power. This latest bill is not estimated it is from a meter reading. The other thing that is strange is that she has two MPAN (I think that's what they're called) numbers so has two lots of standing charges if she moves suppliers. SSE don't charge twice. She is also on a reduced charge as she is on benefits. I just can't understand why it would be so high. And in answer to the credit situation, no she hasn't. I had assumed that as the dd was based on her previous high bill it would come down, but in fact, they want to put it up. I need to do some more detective work I think. She is struggling to afford this and I don't want her to worry about it. She's already turned the heating off and is watching the tv in her coat!

M0nica Tue 30-Apr-19 08:31:33

She needs to read her meter every day and note the figure down so that she can see what her daily consumption is.

If a hot water tank is properly insulated then it should not be necessary to have an immersion heater on all day. A couple of hours in the morning and an hour in the evening should be ample. She should also check that her storage radiators are properly fitted and operating. That they are being heated overnight on the Economy 7 tarriff and that they are not on during the day using peak price electricity.

She needs to speak to her electricity supplier and ask for someone from the company to visit her and check that her meter is working properly and why she has two lots of standing charges. Her whole electricity system needs to be checked from the operation of the meter to how she operates the indivdual appliances to check she knows exactly how the controls work on each one and how she can moderate and control them. I suspect that she doesn't know how to do that and controls them with the on/off switch only.

If the electricity company are not obliging she should contact her local Age UK. They will be able to help and advisor. If she still gets no satisfaction then she should speak to her local MP.

lillang Tue 30-Apr-19 08:35:39

I am also in this situation. Storage rads, all electric, one bed flat and electric is very expensive, even though I try to be very careful with what I use. I have searched for cheaper, and believe me I've done the homework, EDF gave roughly the same as the other companies with their new deal for coming year. I also thought getting a smart meter fitted would be a good idea, just to see what was using the most electricity. However, after booking engineer and staying in all morning, he advised the new generation 2 smart meter does not work with Economy 7 heating. The old ones you can't switch electric companies so that was out of the question. To be fair, I was compensated for the inconvenience from EDF. My direct debit is £93 per month so thank goodness for the £200 winter fuel allowance, which I put towards it at the end of year.

wildswan16 Tue 30-Apr-19 08:37:13

That does sound high. I am in a two bed flat, electric only - with night storage heaters and pay £55 a month. I don't use my immersion heater and have no tumble dryer.

Cherrytree59 Tue 30-Apr-19 09:17:26

Hi Helski
Will she pay lesss in spring and summer?
My late mil was with Npower and got a warm homes discount (some other Energy providers do same)
Could you check this out for her?

BradfordLass72 Tue 30-Apr-19 09:48:49

We often complain here about how expensive things are, food particularly but reading this, I converted my own bill to pounds and discovered that my monthly bill for a 2 bedroom home is rarely more than £45.

Now I feel lucky. grin

JanaNana Tue 30-Apr-19 10:10:12

I wonder what type of meter she has. You have mentioned she has storage heaters, these usually used to be connected to Economy 7 meters, were the rate of electricity is charged at a cheaper rate for seven hours overnight while the heaters charge up. Also hot water often connected to this as well. I know because we have had them before when living in an all electric property. I would expect everyone where she lives has the same type of meter fitted so it's worth her asking neighbours if they are willing to compare usage and to check the type of meter that is installed.
I also wonder if she is supplementing this heating with possibly a free standing electric heater or electric fire when it's become unexpectedly cold again. Storage heaters are fine, but you constantly have to watch the weather, so you can adjust the settings higher if necessary at night before they start charging up again. Unlike gas you are stuck with the setting you have adjusted it to until the following day when you can re-adjust again if necessary.

Helski Tue 30-Apr-19 16:51:30

Thank you all for the responses. I'll take your advice and hope the bill can be reduced going forward.

wot Tue 30-Apr-19 17:09:16

Mine is 45 per month