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To think there is NO WAY our gas bill can be this much?

(31 Posts)
12ylnon Fri 09-Nov-12 10:20:50

We just received an email from utility warehouse (who advertise themselves as being the cheapest) telling us that our gas bill is going from £75pm to £131 per month.... Just for gas!
I can't believe this is right! We have the heating on for an hour in the morning and then when we get back at about 3.30, it's on until 10 (just ticking over on about 20 degrees). We live in a 3 bed new build, the 3rd bedroom doesn't even have the heating on.
Please help! Is this just the norm now? I know the price if gas is rising for everyone, but nearly doubling it is just silly.
There is no way we can afford to pay it, so are there any good ways of reducing our bill?

wheresmespecs Sat 10-Nov-12 11:15:48

A word about those monthly payments.

The energy companies tellt customers it is for their benefit. Spread the cost and all that.

It isn't. It is for the energy companies benefit. It makes sure that most of its customers effectively overpay, so their account is in credit all of the time. When you are talking about hundreds of thousands of customers, all of that money (which does NOT BELONG TO THE ENERGY COMPANY until a bill is due) is sitting in the energy company account, earning them a lot of interest.

If you are being asked for a big hike, my advice would be to switch to the direct debit system where you only pay when a bill becomes due. If you are worried about finding a lump sum when needed then open your own savings account and pay a certain amount in each month.

after 3 bills or so you will know whether what they are asking you for is reasonable or not.

Energy companies are using people's fears about rising costs to ask for ridiculous increases to monthly direct debits. The discount they offer you for paying monthly sums may not be big enough to make it worth your while. If you end up overpaying by a hundred or so pounds a year, is a fiver off your bill worth it?

(due to a wrong meter reading a couple of years ago, I realised eon had over £500 in credit on our account. I asked for that money back, as it was not money they were owed, and I wanted it sitting in MY account earning ME interest. They were very very reluctant to give it to me. Kept telling me that knowing my account was in credit gave me peace of mind and made sure I had enough to pay my bills. I ended up asking them for legal evidence they were allowed to keep my money, and then they refunded it. Since then i have paid bills as and when they are due. I pay monthly direct debits into my own savings account to cover all household bills. I up it a bit over a winter to cover increased heating costs. It has worked so far)

Kundry Sat 10-Nov-12 11:03:42

20 degrees isn't just ticking over. Turn your thermostat down to 18, put a jumper on and some slippers and try turning the heating off at 9pm.

I am also with Utility Warehouse. We pay £26 a month for gas, now that it's getting colder we actually use a bit more, this month we used £35.

We just put our heating on as and when we need it but tend to have it at 18, or 20 if I've got some washing I want drying quick. I also only have the radiators on in the rooms we need it.

What number do you have each radiator set to? And what temperature do you have the water set at at the boiler (not the thermostat)? There's three ways to control the temperature in most central heating systems.
Also, where in which room is your thermostat and the radiator with two valves but no numbered dial?

Do watch those estimates. Last year our power company tried to hugely increase our bills. We were able to tell them the entire previous years usage did not compare to their estimate usage for the next year in the slightest. We got our monthly payments down to £56/ month for both utilities by both first switching tariffs and then arguing our payments down which worked out almost perfectly. This years tariff has gone up to £68/month but its the cheapest we can find.

Handy hint. Even if you are switching tariff to a different one with the same company choose one of the links from money saving expert. We are getting 6 bottles of wine with this switch.

Well, your direct debit is being doubled but gas prices haven't gone up that much, so either you're currently underpaying and 131 pounds will pay off some of your debt and pay for the higher than estimated usage, or, they've just put it up too much. Best to phone them and ask.

Having said that, 7 1/2 hours at 20C is really quite a lot, so I wouldn't be surprised if it's not too far off the mark. Put a jumper on and start turning radiators off in rooms you're not using (presumably you don't need your bedroom heating until you go to bed, for example).

Feminine Sat 10-Nov-12 10:27:40

bigbuttons ....that needs to be checked.

That is way too high.

We have just moved in to a new house that uses bastard oil.

I think its going to be an expensive and cold winter grin

DecAndAnt Sat 10-Nov-12 10:22:31

washing 3 times a day? do you really need to do that much?
My gas is £68 per month and elec £32
just me and ds in a 3 bed end terrace.
The heaters come on at 6.30 am and stay on till 11 pm if I'm at home, off if I'm not.

bigbuttons Sat 10-Nov-12 10:17:01

I don't understand why mine is so high. I'm renting and have been here since april. Even the summer usage bill was over £300.
I use the washing machinge 3 times a day. Is that what is making it so high?

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 10-Nov-12 00:09:12

The other thing is do you have a duel fuel deal? Or pay by dd that can reduce things.

cerealqueen Fri 09-Nov-12 23:09:43

Good suggestions but get your boiler serviced, when we moved into curent home we had a boiler with a fault and it was eating up gas and we had a scary bill even though it was summer.

gordyslovesheep Fri 09-Nov-12 23:05:16

op my provider (M+S) tried to raise my gas DD - I pointed out that they owed me £56 based on what they where charging me for gas - how could they justify raising it ...they agreed and kept it the same

ring them

sparkleyangel Fri 09-Nov-12 23:05:08

Im with EON online account, at home all day three bedroomed terrace have three teenagers and the washing that goes with it. I also have R.A so have to have the house warm and pay £89.00 a month for gas and electric.

scarlettsmummy2 Fri 09-Nov-12 23:02:02

That's what we pay too! 4 bed new build. We are with first utility- husband adamant this is cheapest tarriff.

piratecat Fri 09-Nov-12 22:59:26

you have to ring them and ask them to work it out again. they have to look at your 12 months useage and divide by 12.

We have our heating on those times each day - 3 bed 1930s semi and our bill is 115 quid a month for gas AND electricity so yours for just gas seems ridiculous - I would query it.

alcofrolic Fri 09-Nov-12 22:58:32

bigbuttons you are paying more than me for gas and leccy at 20 degrees (and very comfortable).

gordy that sounds what someone in a new build should be paying.

OpheliaPayneAgain Fri 09-Nov-12 22:56:58

You have the heating on already?

Energy prices have gone up 10% this year. So there will be a knock on from that.

gordyslovesheep Fri 09-Nov-12 22:55:57

oh and that is for BOTH gas and leccie - and I am always in gas credit

gordyslovesheep Fri 09-Nov-12 22:55:36

I am in a 3 bed new build detached - I pay around £75 a month

bigbuttons Fri 09-Nov-12 22:55:24

I have my heating at about 18. I am now paying about £150 per month for gas and electricity. I wear lots of layers in the house. I think my washing machine use for me and 4 kids is what is hiking things up but I can'y not wash!

alcofrolic Fri 09-Nov-12 22:52:11

Are you detached? terraced? semi?

We're paying about £90pm for a detached 4 bed, with extremely bad insulation in an extended part of the house. A new build (even if detached), should be less than that.

niceguy2 Fri 09-Nov-12 22:32:07

For a new build that sounds FAR too high.

I live in a 4 bed new build (well 10 year old...). I work from home so the heating is pretty much on and the thermostat is usually 19-20 degrees. Our bill averages out to around £65 per month with British Gas.

I'd find out what your meter readings are for the last couple of months and have a look on some price comparison sites.

GrimAndHumourless Fri 09-Nov-12 22:27:29

yes drop your thermostat, try taking it down to 18, wear slippers, everyone wear an extra layer of clothing

thick curtaining, draught excluder by front and back doors if they are ill-fitting

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 09-Nov-12 21:39:45

www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-12606943

Have a looksie at that. Unless you are ill or very very young you don't especially need it at 20. I have mine about 17 and after a couple of days you don't notice a difference in warmth but your purse will.

12ylnon Fri 09-Nov-12 10:44:38

Great idea to have it coming on and off in the evening. Will change that this eve. Its not on the whole time in the evening, it heats up to 20 and then only comes on if the room temp drops below that (I have no idea what that's called, as you can probably tell, I have no idea about these thingsf)

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