Energy price hikes - how much for YOU

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OurCreature
 
 
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Energy price hikes - how much for YOU

Post by OurCreature »

I have found that I feel the cold more as I have got older, even when the outside temperature is mild for the time of year which it has been for most of November; in response I've been switching on the heating in half hour bursts. The other day I tried doing something else, and I found it works.

I have a few blankets from Iceland, so I decided to sit on the sofa with one of them on top of me. It's folded over so fits snugly from my lower chest down to my ankles; I also wear a thick sweater which I recently have been able to wear again owing to my weight loss.

This works! Within a few minutes I'm warm enough, and a bonus is that twice yesterday Midge decided to curl up on my blanket-covered lap; that is nearly as often as in all the time he's lived with me, he has never been a lap-cat. Mina was sprawled on the sofa next to me, so it was nice for all 3 of us to be warm and snug together.

When it gets really cold I shall switch on the heating anyway, but I won't need to be in a hurry to switch it back on when the timer switches it off as the blanket will keep me warm for quite some time until I need to switch the heating back on.

I wonder how much money that will save me. My gas consumption for the last month to 24/11 before converting it to kwh equivalent was 72 units; it will be interesting to see if the current month's consumption is less than that.
Like the late Chaircat Midge, I am not always right.
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Patience
 
 
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Post by Patience »

@OurCreature. I’ve been doing this for the last couple of months. I don’t turn the heating on as much as I used to. Lopsie is a lap cat and she is very happy with the arrangement!
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OurCreature
 
 
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Post by OurCreature »

Looks like sheer bliss for Lopsie!
Like the late Chaircat Midge, I am not always right.
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Post by Patience »

She is a quite content and laid back cat.
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Post by Furby »

I tried the blanket idea with a duvet but I just fall asleep and get even less done that usual.

Grant shapps has had a cunning idea to write to energy suppliers asking them not to put up consumers bills when consumers are trying hard to cut back. But this will just mean more people in debt and even higher bills to pay for it later. Energy costs even while subsidised have gone up double but very few people will be able to cut back to half usage so it is correct for bills to go up. There is a problem with monthly algorithms and they never work for me so that does need looking at or at least force people to settle up at year end rather than carry forwards messing up next year's bills too.

And there is going to be a publicity campaign telling people how to cut back after all. This idea was thought up and the truss government said no way and it was canceled but is now back again. Most of doesn't apply to me. No boiler to turn down to 60 degrees, don't have heaters in empty rooms anyway I have to carry heater in there on occasional use. I do already switch things off at walls except in living room for TV and computer where it's all on extension leads and I would need to crawl behind cupboards to switch off at plug.

Another idea is money for loft insulation and cavity walls. This will be even for people not on benefits as has been previously it will be on council tax bands. But loft and cavity insulation has been going for decades now won't most suitable and willing houses already have it. I can't have either because it's solid walls and roof rooms here (houses built that way not conversions) so again nothing applies to me.
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Post by OurCreature »

Another thing about cavity walls is that the cavities are there to stop damp from coming into your house, and if the insulation isn't done properly it can lead to lots of problems which hundreds of thousands of people in the UK have discovered. One consultant employed by HMG has said that up to 25% of the 8 million homes retrofitted with cavity wall insulation could have problems as a result of it either not being done properly or done to unsuitable homes.

Apparently it is quite common for the homeowners to be blamed when the problems emerge - poor property maintenance, lifestyle etc so that the cowboys who installed the insulation get away with it. Incidentally it looks as if the landlord industry is gearing up to blame these factors for mould etc anyway if the reaction in some places to that poor child dying of a mould-induced fever is anything to go by.

https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/new ... mould.html
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Post by Furby »

I don't have smart meters so I have to submit my own readings each month. I do this on Saturdays so I don't have to pay for phone calls. When I tried British gas today the automated line says it's not open. I can understand real people not working weekends but an automated line? Maybe it needs someone to work it and they all stopped working weekends now. So I will have to try on Monday.

Before the pandemic even if you sent own readings they still sent a meter man every 2 years . But no one has been since lockdown and nearly 3 years now. That's both gas and electric.
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Post by merry »

I had to go into an online chat with British Gas yesterday as I tried to submit a meter reading but it was LOWER than the previous one so it wouldnt accept it.

There were "99+" people ahead of me in the online chat queue. I had to pretend to be Mr merry which is easier in online chat than face-to-face.

I went off and did stuff and came back when there were only 6.

Had a chat with "ShaikhMohammad" who was sweet and helpful (if sloooooooow) who finally came back with, the last reading was their estimate and we have already paid them for 200 units of gas we haven't used, so we won't get a bill this month, and mustn't submit another reading until the meter reads higher than their ridiculous estimate.

You have to watch them!
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Post by Furby »

I haven't been able to submit my reading because they seem to have changed the automated line to one where you have to speak to a person and it's always 45 minutes estimated wait and god knows how much that will cost me. Phone calls are a ridiculous price now anytime of day but I hardly ever call anyone so i lost track of how much . Despite no reading submitted by me they have sent a bill saying they read the meter which they didn't. It doesnt say estimated. It's only one out from my own reading so I can just leave it but it's in the terms and conditions customers not on smart meters have to submit readings and I don't remember what the punishment for not doing so was and would rather not find out.

They have updated the computers and sent me a new account number so I guess that it's chaos there at the moment and thats why it's all a mess.
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Post by Furby »

The most recent government has decided they will do the energy saving advice after all. The last government said absolutely not and the previous before that government had started plans for it.

The advice is all stuff that has been available for free for many years or anyone with common sense knows anyway so at least someone somewhere is getting a few millions to tell us it again.

A lot of it doesn't apply to me e..g turning down boilers and swiching off radiators and not using tumble dryers. Other things I always have done and am a little surprised anyone doesnt e.g. closing curtains when it's dark and energy light bulbs have been all that's available for decades. At my work they even got someone in to hand out free bulbs and that was at least 6 years ago doesn't time fly. They always give the 40 or 60 watt ones and you need at least 100 watt and even then need a torch as well to have a hope of seeing what doing.

Anither idea that annoyed me was the old chestnut of get a smart meter. This won't save any energy unless people are already very wasteful and never look at the real meter. As I advised in the old days if it gets hot or moves it uses a lot of power don't really need an app using even more power to work that out.

https://helpforhouseholds.campaign.gov. ... ng-advice/

Not sure what's happening at British gas. Do understsnd they will be very busy fixing boilers in cold weather and updating pre payment vouchers on the phone but surely thats more need to have the automated lines for meter reads working. Having everyone who submits a reading call up the real person in a foreign country lines will be making the lines even busier. At least I could if I had to reducing hours to 9 to 5 isn't helpful for people who work. Even workplaces that allow you to make calls won't be happy at you being on the phone for hours will they.
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Post by OurCreature »

I thought I'd check my gas meter and turn my consumption into money; so far in my current billing month I have used £140 worth of gas with a week to go before I send in the reading. However, it has been a cold December compared with 2021 and I refuse to be cold indoors. I shall see how my overall credit with E.ON is affected and then decide if I can get away with using less gas. At present while I am up and in the house I have the heating on for 1/2 of the time while I am out of bed. I might drop down to 1/3 of the time I am up and in the house this coming week when it is less cold outside and for next time we have a cold spell as well.

Mr Tesco says every little helps and if I can stay warm while using the heating less I shall do so - why spend money when I don't need to.
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Post by Furby »

If you can afford it just keep the heating on don't be pandering to them. They should have made plans for how to get more energy or imported fewer new people to use more energy and not keep relying on the existing people keeping reducing usage to manage the national grid.

A lot of the tips are good tips but if people already did them they can't keep doing them year on year otherwise thermostats will be below zero in a few years. Maybe when everyone has closed their curtains the advice will be be like furby and have two curtains. But more than that and the rail will fall down.

There is a new law being considered making all houses be grade c by 2025 and illegal to rent out if not. There are two houses similar to mine in mums old Street and they are only grade e but quite nice houses and have the insulation outside the house which mine doesn't so dread to think what mine is must be at least f probably g. Older houses struggle to tick enough boxes because of trivialities like solid floors and walls and attic rooms so fail the insulation boxes devised by someone living in modern properties. I wondered if is part of why they are selling because were rented out and won't be able to soon unless they spend fortunes. I suppose the law gets watered down usually that's what happens it doesn't seem easy to force existing homeowners to re build their houses when they can't even stop real crimes. Stopping landlords renting out is easier but has its own problems as there is already high demand for rented housing so stopping majority of rented homes doesn't seem sensible.
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Post by Panikos »

Furby wrote: Mon Dec 19, 2022 12:24 pm If you can afford it just keep the heating on don't be pandering to them. They should have made plans for how to get more energy or imported fewer new people to use more energy and not keep relying on the existing people keeping reducing usage to manage the national grid.
I refuse to shiver indoors because of bad decisions made by wealthy people who won't need to cut back at all.

I am lucky in one sense that being poor and old I've had some subsidies with bills, but I'd have used the electricity anyway.

I don't have a whole lot of changes I can make here. I have electric night time storage radiators/water heating on Economy 7 and no way to replace either with any other system.

I note that the price of night time electricity is going up 21% in January. A loophole in the rules it seems.

It's still cheaper than the day time rate, but inconvenient and often wasteful. If they keep increasing it there will be a point at which it will make more sense to have heating you can turn on/off during the day as needed. Just what we need. More people using energy during the day.

Storage radiators must be put in in the evening if you expect to be cold tomorrow daytime or evening and plan to be at home then.
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Post by Panikos »

Furby, I do have a smart meter now and I agree that it's only marginally useful for people who were not wasting energy before. It does give you more information to work with though.

I've recently moved from SSE to OVO electricity and along with the smart meter info I've gained more control over my account. Changing direct debit amounts in the app with a click or two. Choosing to have a refund and picking how much when I was too much in credit and so on. That is dependent on having a smart meter too and is an improvement.

The billing is monthly, but you can see how much you owe at any point instantly so it's not an unpleasant surprise.

I know it's for their benefit really, but it's made things easier.
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Post by OurCreature »

I hope your smart meters don't unsmart themselves, Pani - my supposedly new replacement smart gas meter (the old one stopped recording my gas consumption completely) had a hissy fit within one month of installation and won't talk to the smart electricity meter or tell my little display screen how much gas I am using. However, it records my gas consumption (keeping it to itself but letting me read it), so I take the reading monthly and use my online account with E.ON to give them the figures.

In themselves smart meters have made no difference at all to my energy use.
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I let E.ON have my gas reading yesterday after they had obtained my electricity reading and sent me a statement for that. They haven't yet sent me another statement but I checked my online account with them and their idea of my balance agrees with my estimate. It turns out that my energy consumption was approximately £90 more than my DD plus the £67 subsidy, so on that basis I have sufficient credit in my account to take me up to the end of March if I don't change my energy consumption habits compared with December. Of course, if it isn't as cold as it was in December that will take care of itself to some extent. I refuse to be cold, and the blanket is turning out to be a good move, especially as They like it on top of me as it is much more comfortable than before for Them to curl up on my lap - one at a time!
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Post by eccles »

I had a gas bill for this month but none for electricity. Checking online showed that the smart gas meter had sent in a reading but the electricity meter was complaining about being left out. So I read the meter for that, entered the reading and got a separate bill. I don't know why the company bothers. I think the government should abandon the scheme as it's a useless waste of money.
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I still haven't been able to phone my meter reading this month the automated line is still on divert to a person who never answers. I looked on twitter because usually there are lots of other people complaining if a general problem and lots were also saying like oc any smart meters have stopped working in last month. No one can get though on phones for anything it seems which is really bad for people needing help because there is no heat of hot water. The replies are always please send a private message with name address date of birth etc so I havent done that doesn't seem a good idea over twitter. But because all talk is private messages we can't see a general problem which might help other customers with the same problems. I think there must be a problem somewhere because if inundated on phones doesn't make sense to keep automated lines for things people don't need a person for switched off a month. I am going to write to the address the only one is complaints but that will have to do. They might have switched the automated line off on purpose but if it's just broken they won't know if not told.

Another thing people complain about even if smart meters work is that they are under estimating costs. Gas is always hard to work out because it's not just 34p per kWh like electric it's a complicated times and divide sum of numbers one of which they make up and change every bill. So I don't see how smart meters can ever work it out properly must always have been a guess maybe that's never explained to people and now costs are higher it's more noticeable.
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That's really annoying, Furby. Judging by the gripes about the energy companies that the lady at the Grauniad sorts out, this type of inconvenience is par for the course with most of them. E.ON have noticed that they can't get my gas consumption figures from my smart meter even though the meter is recording my usage, but as I can send them the figures via my online account I'm not going to arrange another visit from the engineer - E.ON can do that if they really want me to have a gas smart meter that works properly.

E.ON hasn't made an adjustment to my statements to take account of the gas I used after the first smart meter stopped recording my usage; maybe they think £100 isn't worth the hassle. Whenever they resurrect it I've got my figures ready and if they insist on trying to be way out I shall hand any dispute over to the appropriate authority for adjudication.
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Post by Wildrover »

I got an e-mail yesterday telling me that the 34p per kwh that I was paying for daytime electricity will go up to 45p tomorrow. They put up my Direcct Debit accordingly but I've been online and changed it back as I'm about £1,000 in credit as I'm using much less energy compared with 2021. My bill for the year in 2021 was just under £2,000 and in 2022 it only rose to £2,200 as my reduced usage offset the price increase. I'm guessing it will be about £3,000 in 2023 but E.On wanted to up my DD from £250 to £350 so I've changed it back to £250.

BF - I just multiply my cubic metre use by 11 for kWh. It's approximate and usually high by a couple of % but close enough for most purposes. I'm coming to the conclusion, reading everyone's comments that Smart meters are actually not smart at all..
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