Tuesday, 18 December 2012

What to do for the best ask I...

Well, there is no season of goodwill from ye old electricity people. Yes, we had used slightly more electricity this quarter compared to last year (I reckon the ultra cold November had something to do with that), but overall, they owed us some money, due to too high a monthly direct debit (which has now been sorted out).

Although our provider didn't up their prices last year (as promised), in January next year, they are more than going to make up for it. Not only are they raising the unit price (both day and night) they are now starting a standing charge.

This means we will have to pay just under £100 per annum for the privilege of having electricity coming into the house, regardless of how much we use. This standing charge plus the raised unit price will apparently see us being charged another £69 per annum. Can't quite fathom that out as the standing charge alone is more than that, so we reckon it will be more like an extra £8 - £10 per month.

Other than a wood burner which we use mid to late afternoon on cold days, we only have our heating/hot water on for 40 minutes every day (cheap rate). This helps air the house and give us warm but not hot water. We only have a bath so have to heat our water anyway. We share bath water 3 times a week to keep this cost down but do we stop heating the water on the days we don't need it. If so, our electricity prices will go up as we would need to boil a kettle to wash pots, hands, shave etc. Which is better value for money?

We do have a little camping kettle which feasibly could sit on top of the wood burner to boil. But that would only do us one hot drink in the evening as the burner does not get used until it has to be.

Quandary, quandary, quandary.

16 comments:

  1. I trynot to use the heating much either as I have a woodburner - wonderful things! Fuel is such a problem now isn't it?

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    1. Living in the countryside can be good and bad regarding fuel. We have to buy oil, logs and electricity - can only economise so much but can still do more.

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  2. I really object to paying through the nose for electric and water. The companies really do have you over a barrel - this is one of the reasons we will be installing solar panels and wind generators to be free of these robbers xxx

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    1. Solar panels, wind generators and a larder, I'm only the mildest shade of green!

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  3. My friend who has a woodburner (and uses it as little as you do) always keeps a kettle on it. She has a couple of large flasks and when the water gets really hot, she puts it in the flask and refills the kettle. It takes forever to get hot enough for a drink but she can fill both flasks in an evening with hot but not boiling water and it is enough for washing up or washing themselves or whatever. Every little helps : )

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    1. Thank you Jo, that is a great idea.

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  4. Its disgraceful how much electricity now costs.My husband says they should renationalise it so they can keep the costs down instead of shareholders getting big profits, but its impossible to do that now. I feel so sorry for people having to choose between heat and food, disgraceful in a society like ours.

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    1. Certainly must be very hard on pensioners who are trying to live only on a government pension. We live on my husbands work and government pension, without the later it would have been very difficult. Mind you, it will be many years yet before I get mine as it keeps going up!

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  5. I agree with Anne. And, I wish we who live in council acommodation would be allowed
    to instal solar power, but we are not. This means no escaping from the money grabbing power suppliers.

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    1. There doesn't seem to be much escape for many of us.

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  6. I agree these fuel costs are getting out of hand now but our hands are tied. We are very loosely thinking of getting a wood burner to keep the gas bills down but of course that's an expense in itself with the purchase of and installing etc. Thankyou DC for your advice on my post about keeping presents out of view of would-be burglars. Much appreciated.
    Patricia x

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    1. After the installation charge the next big bill is the wood. Its great if you can source free wood yourselves, other than that, you have to search around for the best buy. Storage for said logs has to be found of course. You can I think, get wood burners that heat your water. We also have oil which is why we don't use the central heating much. We bought our oil at 50p per litre in August. Our neighbour has just bought it and it was 75p per litre!

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  7. Just tought I'd pop in here and add my thoughts on the matter, as the standing charge here will now amount to £110 per year - just for the priviledge of having mains electricity in the house. Your stove seems like the obvious choice for making some savings IF you can source some cheap fuel - we love pallets when we can get any, but our stove hasn't even been fotted here yet, so it's still open fire.

    Have you considered fitting a shower? I do miss a bath, but the shower is handy and uses much less water. Re the pans & camping kettle, I have a set that I use on the open fire or BBQ during power cuts and they're great! :)

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    1. I don't know how they sleep at night. We can only occasionally get hold of pallets and use those for kindling. They give off a lot of resin and can cause chimney fires. Mind you, we also 'invested' in a chimney sweeping set (will take 5 years to pay its way) to now I can do that whenever I need to. Are thinking about our little camping gas kettle sitting on top. Don't like showers much and at least in summer, when there is a shortage of rain, we can empty the bath onto the garden.

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  8. This is a pet peeve for me, as here is costs more per month to have the electricty "delivered" to our house than what we actually use, it's bloody annoying.

    We have a woodstove and have a kettle of water always on the top of it when its on, so we can heat water. In Summer though when it's stinking hot and humid, we HAVE to have the air on and we pay around $200 a month for hydro which sucks but we need to be able to sleep, yes it gets hot and very, very humid and even though we have lived here nearly 24 years, our British blood and bodies don't do well int he humidity..........told you this was a pet peeve of ours!!!

    Thanks for the comment about my glasses, I have no idea what is going on. I'll give it until after Christmas and if no better, I will have to go back and see what's what.

    Gill

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    1. Shocking isn't it, how they can justify it I don't know. That plus the unit price increase is crazy.

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