Utility bill help please :(

Discussion in 'Slimming World Off Topic' started by Tinytootz, 27 September 2011 Social URL.

  1. Tinytootz

    Tinytootz Mini crazy cat lady

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    I've just had my bill "through" from Npower, and I owe them £287.43, and they want to adjust my payments to £215 (I need to clarify what that is, as if its monthly, I'm screwed)

    I pay £66 a month for gas and electric, and I thought this would more than cover it. I can't help but wonder how on earth we use so much electric and gas! Two of us live here, the heating hasn't been on since about April, and we have a combi boiler and gas hob top. In terms of electric, all bulbs are energy saving, the TV is on most of the day, we have an electric oven which is on about 5-6 days a week, 2 marine tanks and 2 tropical tanks. The washing machine is on a cool wash twice a week, roughly 25-30 minute cycle.

    They have our usage as 2696 for electric, 46 (or 1454) for gas from 25th March 2011-21st September 2011 - are they high?!

    I will be calling them this afternoon, but it would be nice to have some 'real' people comparisons if possible. Many thanks
     
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  3. Mrs.S.

    Mrs.S. Gold Member

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    I'm sorry i dont have a clue, but didnt want to read & run.

    The money that they're asking for from you seems seriously high??

    If they claim it's right, I'd be wanting them to do some serious investigating, and would also be asking why they hadn't made contact sooner to advise in the sudden jump of monthly payments?

    All seems very odd. I know energy prices have risen recently. But not by that much, surely!!
     
  4. Tinytootz

    Tinytootz Mini crazy cat lady

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    I did call about a month ago as I was getting antsy as I can't get to grips with this paperless billing, I still like a physical copy to panic over. But anyhoo, she baffled me for about 45 minutes talking about one account being in credit and one in debit, but I wasn't to worry, they would contact me before doing anything. But I can't get my head around how they think we use so much! It's all from meter readings, so its actually being used. Currently looking on Uswitch, but unclear what would happen to my Npower debt, and if they would charge me for switching.
     
  5. kingleds

    kingleds Gold Member

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    I would get them to check your meter & see if its broken.

    We live in a 1 bed flat, 2 of us, no pets, no fish tanks etc. Heating goes on for 3 months & thats it. Our electric (we don't have gas) is £104 a month by direct debit
    So i would say you were underpaying at £66 a month tbh.

    Before the last meter readings how long had it been since your meter had been read? It might be a few years, in which case you could have been underpaying for a while x
     
  6. Noddynoobs

    Noddynoobs Full Member

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    £100 a month on electric seems like a lot to me kingleds. we live in a 2 bed house, and we normally pay about £130 for electric every quarter! and about the same for gas in the winter, and about a tenner for gas in the summer.
     
  7. Tinytootz

    Tinytootz Mini crazy cat lady

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    The £66 was agreed between me and Npower. The previous owner was £160 but she had the heating on all the time, the dryer on daily, and there were 4 of them in the house, so I refused to pay £160. It seems that we were indeed underpaying. Just been on the phone to EDF who can do it for me based on my readings for £80 a month. They had to guess winter gas usage, but I have the heating on for 4 hours a day, and that's the only real difference between summer and winter gas! He said that my gas usage was remarkably low, and that my electric was quite high, but not stupidly high.

    When I was in an electric only flat we paid £10 a week in summer, and £20 in winter (darn storage heaters).

    Man, it sucks being a grown up!
     
  8. KittenKat

    KittenKat Operation Hottie Kidnap

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    We pay just over £100 per month on direct debit for gas and electric. This has just gone up by around £10 even though our heating hasn't been on for months, which I am putting down to yet another increase in prices.

    There are 2 of us, both at work during the day so rarely anyone at home apart from evenings and weekends. No pets, no fish tanks, etc.

    I probably do around 1-2 loads of washing per week, on a 40 degree cycle (the lowest our ancient machine has, but that'll all change come next Friday and a new machine!), we don;t use a tumble dryer and our heating has not been on since March/April time. We have a combi boiler for heating and hot water (hot water comes on twice a day for about an hour each morning and about 2 hours in the evening).

    All of our light bulbs are energy saving (and lights only on in the rooms we are in and our TV is rarely on. In fairness our main TV in the living room is always on standby rather than being totally swtiched off and our Tivo box is always switched on. Computer wise then both tend to be on each evening and most of the day at the weekend - online gamer geeks here! Otherwise all other gadgets are switched off completely unless in use and not left on standby.

    Kitchen wise then our hob is gas and oven electric - hob gets used daily and oven probably 4ish times per week.

    Not sure if that helps at all but from what we use and what you have described I would say that you have been underpaying for a while - those tanks will be supping quite a lot of power while on all of the time.
     
  9. kingleds

    kingleds Gold Member

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    We only have electric, so the rates are different, & our flat is not the least bit energy efficient!
     
  10. jaylou

    jaylou Gold Member

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    Hi,
    They will be taking the arrears and the forecasted spend for the next year into the calculation of your new payment.
    Bearing in mind there has been something like a 20% rise in the cost of gas and electric over the last year the bills have gone up a lot.

    If you can pay the arrears off they will adjust your payment down a bit.

    I would say £66 is incredibly low but then £215 is incredibly high.

    We used 2140 units of electric and 235 (2630) of gas. Your electric does seem quite high and gas low!
    We pay £120 a month.

    Hope this helps. The other thing, ask Npower if they can find you a better tariff. You can switch tariffs and save money but they won't offer you this - have a look at their website or just give them a ring. I found them very helpful.
     
  11. charlies_mummy

    charlies_mummy all for my little man x

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    I pay £44 a month for gas and electricity combined. Up until recently there have been 2 adults and one little one in the house. Our oven, washer, dryer and tv seem to be constantly on, and we have the heating on for about 4 months a year. We run one tropical fishtank and there are usually a couple of laptops and an xbox running in the evening aswell. I would def check to see if there is a fault with your meter! x
     
  12. Vic1980

    Vic1980 Full Member

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    Wow thats cheap! who are you with?
     
  13. kingleds

    kingleds Gold Member

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    I just checked uswitch & i'm with the cheapest already!
     
  14. PatchworkPuss

    PatchworkPuss Gold Member

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    Well I'm in a 1 bed flat, one person out at work during the day. My usage from 22 May to 24 September was 887 units electricity and my monthly direct debit for British Gas is £41. My gas bill is ridiculously low because the only gas appliance I have is a gas cooker and I pay £3 a month for that although that is probably too high. Everything else is electric. The only heating I have is an electric fire in the sitting room, the rest of the house is unheated. Your consumption seems really high for just two people compared to mine.
     
  15. charlies_mummy

    charlies_mummy all for my little man x

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    I am with e-on, we don't use any gas at all during the summer as it's only for the heating. It is quite cheap but definitely right as we have one of them meters in our kitchen, and that shows our usage at about £25 a month, so with extra charges it works out about right. Am hoping to save a bit when my ex moves out as I don't really watch tv, and will not use the washer dryer as much :) xx
     
  16. AnnaFaraday

    AnnaFaraday ..

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    I pay around £80 a quarter in the two warm quarters, and about £160 a quarter in the two cold quarters. I only have electricity, no gas.

    Heating does not go on until November 1st at the very earliest (later if possible) and goes off on April 1st at the latest (earlier if possible).

    I never have the television on unless I am actually watching it, which would be no more than 3-4 hours a day and never, ever, leave it on standby.

    I don't have a tumble drier, I have a small fridge and a microwave, and a few gadgets.

    The computer and printer are on only when I am using them. Other gadgets like phone, camera, Kindle, need charging from time to time.

    My electricity supplier is always on at me to set up a direct debit payment to spread the payments over the year, but everyone I know who does this seems to end up spending more than me and then having to get it back somehow.
     
  17. Anneski

    Anneski Full Member

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    We pay £116 a month for electric only, as there's no gas in our village. We've got a small 2 bed bungalow, but my elderly mum lives with us, so the storage heaters are on a lot. Also we cook twice most days (except weekends) and have the tumble dryer on if we can't dry washing outside, and we do a fair bit of washing - separate loads cos hubby has special powder. :rolleyes: That's economy 7, and the discount for direct debit.
    No real help, just for comparison:)
     
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  19. AnnaFaraday

    AnnaFaraday ..

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    I got a booklet on energy saving from Which this week and it has some interesting information in it.

    They have worked out the annual energy costs of various appliances@

    • Washing machines - £10 to £47
    • Tumble driers - £32 to £110
    • Fridge-freezers - £12 to £87
    • Dishwashers - £26 to £75
    • Televisions - £5 to £77 (LCDs more efficient than plasma screens)
    • DVD players, PVRs, etc. - £8 to £30
     
  20. Maximus

    Maximus Gold Member

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    3,300 kWh (units) is the "average" annual household electricity consumption.

    The biggest problem I find is that not many people pay sufficient to cover their consumption - especially with dual fuel. For example, in summertime, people often quote their recent gas usage of under 30 quid the quarter (tenner a month) whilst conveniently forgetting/ignoring December-March 350 quid+!

    The only accurate way to set this is the annual consumption for both fuels (if applicable) minus any dual fuel discount and direct debit discount then add the 5% VAT and divide the lot by 12. This way it will even out after a year.

    As one who has to deal with unhappy customers on a daily basis, the majority are unhappy because the direct debit payments are set too low then have a huge increase to correct themselves.

    As for the cheapest supplier? depends on the area you live in - each company make their own claims.

    forgetting my own company here is my best impartial advice for everyone.

    Contact your existing supplier and first ensure you are NOT under contract or facing exit penalties.

    Obtain annual consumption figures for gas and/or electricity.

    Obtain consumption and NOT cost.

    Ask for your MPAN & MPRN numbers for electricity and gas respectively (they are also on your bill)

    Go to one of the comparison sites (U Switch, Switch with which, Buy.co.uk - Credit Cards, Broadband, Insurance. A Great Deal, Faster! etc.) and fill in the relevant details, including how you pay for electricity (cash, cheque, monthly d/d or quarterly d/d, prepayment meter etc.) and how you would like to pay for your future bills.

    That will then compare all sites, tariffs, etc. and list them in order of cheapness based on your true usage at their prices. It saves a lot of phone calls - trust me!:cool:

    Steve
     
  21. Tinytootz

    Tinytootz Mini crazy cat lady

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    Thank you for all your replies.

    I spoke to Npower, who will drop it to £134 for 12 months, then £110 from then on. EDF are offering me £80 per month for both (obviously I would have to pay the debt with Npower), based on electric readings for 6 months x2 plus a bit extra, and gas for 6 months with an estimated winter costs as I only moved in Jan/Feb time, so can't really give figures. He was amazed my gas was so low, but did say that the electric seemed rather high. My concern is that there is something wrong with the meter, as we both lived apart before (obviously!), but had pretty much the same bits and bobs on, and our bills were much less. I suspect the tanks are using a lot, but there isn't really a lot I can do about them. The nice man from EDF never called me back, so I need to call them today really.

    Thank you for all your figures, it seems to vary quite a lot between us all!
     
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