Gas/Elec Bills monthly and SKY - so angry

(42 Posts)
Bakingnovice Tue 04-Dec-12 15:18:31

Oh dear, I am so angry right now. I am trying to cut back and have gone through our bills which DH said he was on top of and there was nothing we could cut back there. So I have been trying to make savings with food shopping and meal planning. However, today I decided to look through our statement and was shocked at finding the following:

1. SKY - we were paying nearly £80 a month. DH said it was less than this and that although we had sports and movies (whihc no one watches!) that it was virtually free as it was on offer. The offer expired months and months ago. So I rang them, got rid of movies and sports, complained about the boradband charge which they then reducted to £5 instead of £7.50 and paid my line rental upfront for the year which went from £14.50 a month to £9.90 a month. Overall saved loads and monthly sky bill is now £37. But I am cross with DH being so laissez faire in his views re SKY tv. Also, when I asked sky why i was being charged £7.50 for broadband and my sis was paying £5 a month he said if people rang in they automatically got the discount and told about paying bills upfront. pfft

2. Gas and electric. We live in a smallish 4 bed detached new-ish build with energy efficient boiler. We have no gas fires or electric fires. But we do have gas central heating. My eyes nearly fell out of the socket when I realised we pay £140 a month for gas and £50 for elec. thats nearly £200 a month! my parents who live in a 4 floor massive terrace pay £300 a quarter and have the gas fire on all day. I rang southern electric who assured me they had accurate meter readings and nothing could be done. I asked her to explain the difference in billing between ours and my parents bill (with same company) and she went off to re-look at our bill. Oh, it seems we are over £200 in credit so she 'kindly' decided our gas bill could be reduced to £100 a month and elec £40. So saved a bit there.

I am angry with myself and DH and these greedy companies. I STILL think our gas/elec bill is too high! We pay £50 a quarter for water which seems ok? but again much more than everyone else I know.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 11-Dec-12 15:31:33

You'll find the water companies delighted to put a meter in, people use less so their supplies last longer.

Dont forget to check the water boards website for free tap inserts, shower inserts and hippo water savers.

emma16 Tue 11-Dec-12 15:26:49

I think we need to look into a water meter, we pay £56 a month which i think is extortionate!! Yorkshire water we're with. As for Sky, do not get me started on that, we pay a completely ridiculous amount of money to them & if it was down to me id rip the lot out & put a freeview box but apparently that's my DH luxury as he doesn't smoke, only goes out maybe twice a month to the local pub, doesn't really spend any money on himself as such...altho i could argue the Sky bill as his spends on himself & maybe i should go & do the same???
Think i need to give them a call though & have a good old moan, see what happens!!

higgle Tue 11-Dec-12 11:32:58

I can't understand why people have Sky at all, cheap internet + freeview is quite adequate if you are trying to save money.

OnTheBottomWithAStringOfTinsel Mon 10-Dec-12 22:12:09

Lidl here in Ireland are doing a satellite decoder and dish for €59.

It probably costs about the same to get the dish fitted.

Mine has all the main channels for free.

So €120 total payout, vs £80 per month - that's a saving of about £800 a year.

BananaPie Mon 10-Dec-12 22:01:05

Agree with bureni - I can't see why anyone pays for sky when you get loads of channels on freesat or freeview which are free!

why do people pay for water on top of their council tax/rates, I certainly would not.

Well you'd have no water supply then if you were here Bureni wink

Baking, it sounds like you are on a metre. You will probably pay a fixed amount each month, with bills for actual usage issued quarterly, if they were suggesting cutting down usage to reduce the bills. Also think most new builds are on metres.

Good luck with it all, its worth a good sort through bills on a regular basis I think.

TrillsCarolsOutOfTune Mon 10-Dec-12 10:24:20

Well done for getting started on all of this.

I know it's daunting at first.

You should also check your home insurance and car insurance (and what you pay for AA membership or similar) - if you stay with the same company they will just put it up every year and say "this is the renewal rate".

Moneysavingexpert has lots of good advice

Some gas/elec companies give you vouchers or similar when you switch to them, but you should make the decision based on which would give yo the best deal overall.

When buying insurance always check if you can get cashback from topcashback or similar - we got £50 off our AA membership (based on already-cheap online prices, ending up much less than the "renewal amount" that they sent to us). This is also good for online shopping in general, just click through from the cashback site to the site where you want to buy stuff, you get some money in your account which can either be sent to your bank account or turned into Amazon vouchers.

(or if you'd rather not use my referral link you can click www.topcashback.co.uk instead)

Bakingnovice Mon 10-Dec-12 10:09:13

This is so embarrassing fluffy but I don't know if I'm meteredor not!! We have a meter outside our house but I don't know if we pay rates or according to the meter. When I rang the water co they discussed our usage and told us where we could check our meter but I don't know if we pay per usage according to meter. I'm ringing today to check. I know I sound pathetic. We've been here 13 years!

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 09-Dec-12 20:06:13

Are you on a water meter OP?

SoftKittyWarmKitty Sun 09-Dec-12 16:04:23

I'm not on a water meter and I pay £32 per month for water (3 bed terrace housing just me and DS). No idea what I would pay on a meter but it's rented anyway so not sure I can fit one. Bureni are you saying that you don't pay any water rates at all? If so, how?

From what you said, I assume you rang and asked for the money back, Baking. I had a credit repaid to me and my monthly direct debit hasn't risen - why would it? I'm clearly paying more than I need to, so in summer when I don't use the heating I'm vastly overpaying, hence the credit. I agree with inputting meter readings every month, I do that so I know exactly where I am.

Bakingnovice Sun 09-Dec-12 14:53:40

£130 a month! Bloody hell tickle. That's huge.
My sister pays £16 a month. Same town a few streets away. Teenage kids who are forever in and out of the shower and bath. Washing machine going all day, washing dishes up to three times a day. The discrepancy in bills is just crazy.

TickleMyTitsTillFriday Sun 09-Dec-12 14:36:08

I got a gas bill last week and was £123 in credit, they automatically paid it into my bank account. It was a lovely surprise!

That was southern electric.

TickleMyTitsTillFriday Sun 09-Dec-12 14:34:22

My water is £130 a month. Because south west water are thieving bastards.

FoofFighter Sun 09-Dec-12 14:32:08

They advise you to keep some in credit as obviously you use more in winter and you don't want to be underpaying and get hit with a huge bill . Tthe way the payments are worked out on the computer, if you have a large credit returned to you your monthly payments will go up most likely at this time of the year. Companies are bound by government guidelines to do everything they can to reduce debts or potential debts for their customers and can be fined tens of thousands of pounds if they don't.

Best thing anyone can do to make sure their payments are accurate and covering what they use is to keep entering your meter readings on a monthly basis.

bureni Sun 09-Dec-12 14:24:23

To hell with Sky, why does anyone pay to watch that rubbish on top of their license fee? and why do people pay for water on top of their council tax/rates, I certainly would not.

Bakingnovice Sun 09-Dec-12 14:17:08

SOftkitty they haven't paid it yet. Will it make a difference with me trying to cut back my usage if my bill is based on rates anyway? I read somewhere that reducing water usage only affects the bill if you are on a meter.

For anyone thinking of cutting back, do it today. Go through all your bills and try and go through each one to see if you can make savings. It's worth the hour of your time.

SoftKittyWarmKitty Fri 07-Dec-12 14:39:35

Baking did you get your money back?

onlyhannah Fri 07-Dec-12 11:14:03

Ahhh this has reminded me I need to check mine... I really struggle to cover all my bills every month and I am single.. you women are warriors - well done!

Bakingnovice Wed 05-Dec-12 23:50:02

Soft kitty thank you for this info. The bastards told me they would have to keep it there as winter bills were likely to be high! I'll ring in the morning.

Bakingnovice Wed 05-Dec-12 23:48:37

Oh I've forgiven Dh. To think I trusted him to deal with our finances! Never again. In up north so you'd think our water bill would be cheaper. The girl I spoke to said our supply wasn't connected to anyone else's and they had an automatic device on it which checked for leaks. Will go out tmrw and check myself. It's soul destroying though. You save as much as you can on spends but the bills are crippling and there's no way you can stop using water/gas/electric. My heart goes out to
People who are struggling. I can see exactly why many people suffer such hardships.

SoftKittyWarmKitty Wed 05-Dec-12 22:02:23

OP, you have every right to your £500 back from the utilities company. You don't have to wait until you move to another company - just ring up and state that you want the credit returning to your bank account with immediate effect. A few months ago I realised I was £112 in credit to EDF so I rang and told them I'd like it returning to my bank account. I think it took about a week. I now read my own meters monthly and input the readings online so my account is always accurate.

I would be absolutely furious with your DH by the way. £80 per month just for Sky, ffs. angry

I really don't know, I've been here for six years and I've changed suppliers several times but it makes no difference

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 05-Dec-12 15:27:39

There was another m'ner who had a really high water bill and she got the water board out who found the meter wasnt connected properly.

If you switch the water off at the stopcock (usually under the sink) and take a reading and leave it off for an hour then go back and check it hasnt moved on while the waters off.

HorraceTheChristmasOtter Wed 05-Dec-12 15:14:11

Ghosts, was your meter adjusted to claim debt from a previous tenant? That's really quite high! I'm on a prepaid meter and it's £40 a month gas and £20 electric. We're in an end of terrace too, so the house looses quite a bit of heat and gets cold very easily.

MirandaWest Wed 05-Dec-12 15:00:51

I think where you are makes a big difference with water costs - in the southwest it is a lot more for instance.

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