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Reducing Energy Bills - How goes it?


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I've just been running through my energy use Feb-Mar and Apr-May. Tariffs jumped by about 3x on 1st April. These are the numbers. This is Octopus ex-Avro-Energy tariff.

 

This is not what I expected, and is in 2 chunks of 2 months.

___________________________

24 Jan -> 30 March 2022

 

Elec  £ 114.06  489 kWh

Gas  £ 181.44  4170.4 kWh

 

Total £ 295.50

____________________________

31 Mar - 30 May 2022

 

Elec  £ 46.27  77 kWh

Gas  £ 64.10  668.3 kWh

 

Total £ 110.37

____________________________

 

The notes are:

 

1 - GFCH was turned off about one week into April. So it looks like approx. 15% of gas is water heating / cooking. I have not done much optimising except for being careful. I still need to del-lichen my solar panels. 

2 - I have no idea by electricity usage fell like that. I would have expected it to fall by 50-60% or a little more. Perhaps unusual solar patterns.

3 - We did have a notably cold spring and warm April-May iirc.

4 - This is for a 200 sqm house with one occupant working from home, with a big 10 kWp solar array but not optimised with a divert device.

5 - I'm keeping my payment at £91 per month for now, which looks about right. That payment was £74 before Avro Energy went bust.

6 - There might be a surprise next winter, so I may need to look at heating costs. Heating is GFCH.

7 - Plan A I may consider a weather compensating controller as one option. 

8 - Plan B I may look at how I can better exploit my solar PV.

 

Ferdinand

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Slight fred drift, but something we ALL should consider:

 

The nice Chancellor will be giving every electricity account a £400 grant paid in instalments starting in October 2022 spread over 6 months.

 

So I have just agreed with Octopus that starting this month I am reducing my monthly payment by £40.  The lower payment will still cover the lower summer use so it won't go into debt.  And come October that grant paid by instalments will pay the winter additional costs.  I will then review the payment again in 10 months time, which incidentally is when my fixed tariff expires so I would be reviewing it again anyway. 

 

I log my electricity usage weekly, split into total, heating usage, hot water usage and weekly PV generation.  I could really bore you if you wanted me to.

 

I jumped onto a fixed tariff in March, which as it happens is only very slightly under the present capped rate, but at least it will protect me for the coming rise expected in October.

 

My last years usage is down month on month from the previous year.  I don't think it was a particularly mild winter so I don't know why and so can't expect it to continue being lower.  Last winter I did not put the heating on until November and it was off before the end of March.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, ProDave said:

Slight fred drift, but something we ALL should consider:

 

The nice Chancellor will be giving every electricity account a £400 grant paid in instalments starting in October 2022 spread over 6 months.

 

So I have just agreed with Octopus that starting this month I am reducing my monthly payment by £40.  The lower payment will still cover the lower summer use so it won't go into debt.  And come October that grant paid by instalments will pay the winter additional costs.  I will then review the payment again in 10 months time, which incidentally is when my fixed tariff expires so I would be reviewing it again anyway. 

 

I log my electricity usage weekly, split into total, heating usage, hot water usage and weekly PV generation.  I could really bore you if you wanted me to.

 

I jumped onto a fixed tariff in March, which as it happens is only very slightly under the present capped rate, but at least it will protect me for the coming rise expected in October.

What data logging equipment are you using?

 

PV array should be going live in the next week or so and I would like to monitor the rest, I have got some ideas but always keen to get real world, tried and tested reviews.

 

 

Edited by Carrerahill
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Just now, Carrerahill said:
5 minutes ago, ProDave said:

What data logging equipment are you using?

A pencil and paper, reading 5 electricity meters and typing the numbers into a spreadsheet.  Very low tech.

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Just now, Carrerahill said:

What data logging are you using?

 

PV array should be going live in the next week or so and I would like to monitor the rest, I have got some ideas but always keen to get real world, tried and tested reviews.

 

 

 

In this case 3 energy bills, each with readings by me. 🙂 My main active decisions have been 1 - to try and be careful and 2 - to take regular readings to stop estimates going wild.

 

I have something which is supposed to read my PV online which came with the system in 2016, but I don't really use it.

 

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Just now, ProDave said:

A pencil and paper, reading 5 electricity meters and typing the numbers into a spreadsheet.  Very low tech.

So you just added submeters onto various circuits? Low tech indeed, I have no objection to that but I would forget, I struggle to submit my meter readings to the utility on time! 

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Just had a look at my bills as a comparison.  

Last year for March, April and May 2021, 1047 kWh

This year, 2022, 723 kWh.

So a saving of 324 kWh, 25%.

I am currently only heating the top of my water cylinder on the E7, but too early to know what difference that is making.

Now every month I have been away for 4 full days, but as I leave early on the Sunday and come back on the Monday evening, there will not be more than 10 kWh/month difference.

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1 hour ago, ProDave said:

Slight fred drift, but something we ALL should consider:

 

The nice Chancellor will be giving every electricity account a £400 grant paid in instalments starting in October 2022 spread over 6 months.

 

So I have just agreed with Octopus that starting this month I am reducing my monthly payment by £40.  The lower payment will still cover the lower summer use so it won't go into debt.  And come October that grant paid by instalments will pay the winter additional costs.  I will then review the payment again in 10 months time, which incidentally is when my fixed tariff expires so I would be reviewing it again anyway. 

 

I log my electricity usage weekly, split into total, heating usage, hot water usage and weekly PV generation.  I could really bore you if you wanted me to.

 

I jumped onto a fixed tariff in March, which as it happens is only very slightly under the present capped rate, but at least it will protect me for the coming rise expected in October.

 

My last years usage is down month on month from the previous year.  I don't think it was a particularly mild winter so I don't know why and so can't expect it to continue being lower.  Last winter I did not put the heating on until November and it was off before the end of March.

Funny you should bring this up, I currently pay £90 a month for electricity this was agreed after the rise in price earlier this year. I’m slightly in credit and check my usage with the app on a daily basis. Yesterday I had an email from OctopusEnergy saying they were putting my dd up to £125 a month so a £35 per month increase. I don’t use the £90 a month I already pay! I tried to go on their site to keep it at £90 but it wouldn’t allow me to. I emailed them and said I disagree with the extra £35 per month and wouldn’t be paying it and that instead of that I would like to be put onto monthly billing (which they had offered). A few hours later I received a reply from them saying it was fine to keep my monthly payment at £90. Methinks they are trying to accumulate some money by getting people to overpay 

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, recoveringbuilder said:

Methinks they are trying to accumulate some money by getting people to overpay

I think I heard that they are openly doing this to reduce the 'shock' of the next rise. 

This may be a reasonable thing to do for the great unwashed, but for those of us that keep tabs on it all, it seems a bit cheeky. 

It is the standing charge increase that pisses me off, part of the increase is to cover bad debt. Others debt in other words. Can't see why I should pay for my junky neighbour to have power for nothing.

 

What happens if your bill, for a year, is less than 400 quid?

Edited by SteamyTea
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16 minutes ago, recoveringbuilder said:

Funny you should bring this up, I currently pay £90 a month for electricity this was agreed after the rise in price earlier this year. I’m slightly in credit and check my usage with the app on a daily basis. Yesterday I had an email from OctopusEnergy saying they were putting my dd up to £125 a month so a £35 per month increase. I don’t use the £90 a month I already pay! I tried to go on their site to keep it at £90 but it wouldn’t allow me to. I emailed them and said I disagree with the extra £35 per month and wouldn’t be paying it and that instead of that I would like to be put onto monthly billing (which they had offered). A few hours later I received a reply from them saying it was fine to keep my monthly payment at £90. Methinks they are trying to accumulate some money by getting people to overpay 

There is a lot of under handed goings on in the energy industry.  I had thought Octopus were a bit better than the rest but not necessarily.  The amount I was paying was already £10 more per month than my usage compared to what I actually used in the last 12 months.  When I went to the self service adjust your payment, I saw it was suggesting I increase it by about another £20.  So I didn't use the self service function rather I emailed them with my calculations and reasoning and they accepted it, but said i could have just done it on the self service form on the website.  The higher amount they suggest can be over written and you can enter a lower amount.

 

Wasn't there something in the news about OFCOM is going to start fining companies that set the monthly rate too high.

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19 minutes ago, SteamyTea said:

 

What happens if your bill, for a year, is less than 400 quid?

First do as I am and reduce your payment now in anticipation.  Then have a payment holday?

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Hah.

 

Octopus proposed yesterday that I increase my payment to £147 per month on the numbers posted above, but TBF I have only been withy them since last autumn and they previously overestimated my Elec usage by 100%. And that is still in the system.

 

F

 

----------------------

We regularly review your Octopus account to help you manage your payments, keep your account balance at a good level and spread the costs of your energy use across the year.

As you probably know, energy prices have risen rapidly over the last 12 months. We're spending around £150 million to keep prices as low as possible for customers, but unfortunately your current monthly payment amount probably won't cover your future energy costs.

First of all, let me say: If you're having difficulty paying, please let us know. Our team are here to help.

We've found most people prefer a steady monthly payment for their energy costs, with an adjustment here or there to account for increases or decreases in the amount or price of energy they're using.

We recommend a monthly payment of £147.23, to smooth your future energy costs.

 

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Im currently using about £3 a month electric, (because im still renovating just use the kettle and powertools!) and Ovo tried to put my direct debit up to £70 despite me being £300 in credit... they claimed it was because I used so much electric last spring, the house was not owned by me and was empty then... 

They were useless and very hard to deal with, after months of arguing I managed to get my DD down to £15 but they wont go lower despite my huge credit! 

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I've just been asked to increase from 200 quid a month on octopus (standard tariff)  to £295. This is our current 1975 brick and block with only ceiling insulation in loft and not much. 

 

But I will decline as we are selling and eill move in a few months but I use a shed load of kWh's

 

 

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We spent some of what we would have spent on PV Fixing insulated plasterboard to all exterior walls

Resulting in a very warm house that takes very little heating 

Four years on we still haven’t used the up stairs heating 

Though my wife thinks we overdid the insulation 

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We have been in our current house only a year and had a couple of hundred pounds credit in our SSE account and they wanted to increase our monthly direct debit. They wouldn't back down so they have now given us back our credit and we are paying the quarterly bills by direct debit so they aren't able to hold any of our cash.

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8 minutes ago, Gone West said:

paying the quarterly bills by direct debit so they aren't able to hold any of our cash.

They can, as happened to me, try and take £2500 out of your account, then a day later, £1999, and then 2 days later £999.

All because the meter was read incorrectly.

Cost me £90 in bank charges.

I know if you keep an eye on it you can correct it at the time, but I was away.

So now I just submit my quarterly reading and pay the adjusted bill.

Just payed it, but had to take 80 kWh off the estimated Day rate and 61 kWh off the Night rate.

That 'saved' about 40 quid, or £12.50 a month.

 

Edit:

Just remembered that I added a bit on when the price change happened, so probably quite accurate on the Night rate, but way over on the day rate.

Edited by SteamyTea
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32 minutes ago, SteamyTea said:

So now I just submit my quarterly reading and pay the adjusted bill.

Which is what I do but I pay by direct debit because I get a price reduction if paying by direct debit as opposed to just paying the bill by cash.

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I only pay fir my usage, Octopus send me an Email asking fir a reading, I supply and the bill me fir the usage, my neighbour (on benefits because he is disabled) is way in credit at the end of the winter when it should be at its lowest are still demanding a large increase in DD, I told him to cancel his DD till he has no more credit!

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4 minutes ago, Gone West said:

Which is what I do but I pay by direct debit because I get a price reduction if paying by direct debit as opposed to just paying the bill by cash.

But I do pay Octopus by DD so get the discount but only pay for what I use every month. I know winter will be harder (but I have lots of logs for my wood stove!)

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