Donate SIGN UP

Electricity bill...... AAAAAGH!

Avatar Image
VenalWinfrey | 17:47 Fri 09th Nov 2012 | Family & Relationships
28 Answers
Please can someone help/advise me concerning my Dad's electricity bill?

My Dad lives in a council property. He is 80 years old (retired), and he has a prepayment key meter for his electricity.

He has no gas whatsoever. No central heating.

What he does have is an electrically run water heater, and two small electric heaters in the house.

I realise these things can be costly to run. But he refuses to have gas/any central heating system installed. So, so be it.

My question is simply this: he pays on average £50-70 per week. Yes, really. Each week, in electricity top-ups on his key.

He is limited of budget, being retired, and, having spoken to some other friends, they were astonished at how high his payments are.

I have just this week changed his supplier, which hopefully will reduce his bills somewhat. He is on the standard variable tariff.

My hands are limited somewhat, in that he won't let me interfere too much in his affairs. But I was wondering, would it be worth me calling either the new supplier/the council/some other organisation that could perhaps advise me if there might be something wrong with his electricity set-up?

It just seems such an huge sum of money to pay, for what is essentially a few lights, two televisions, one kettle, etc.

Any suggestions, particularly helplines we might call, or really any ideas GREATLY appreciated.

Thank you for reading!


1 to 20 of 28rss feed

1 2 Next Last

Best Answer

No best answer has yet been selected by VenalWinfrey. Once a best answer has been selected, it will be shown here.

For more on marking an answer as the "Best Answer", please visit our FAQ.
Hi. That does sound an awful lot. Might be worth trying here first for some advice. Good Luck
im on a prepay meter, 2 bed house (well tiny tiny house) no gas. elec shower, oven etc and as its a tad chilly i'm using an oil heater in the evenings. Im paying about £60/70 per month.

I am at work throughout the day but still seems very high
It sounds a bit high to me; but that said I heat by gas so would expect to be fairly low electricity usage too since heating is the big consumption, and I think mine was close to £200 for the quarter, so about £70 a month. And that isn't pre-pay so is probably a cheaper rate. (Maybe my PC/Net use is high).

Bit it can not hurt to get the supplier or an independent electrician to check things, just in case. Why not give it a try ?
I think the pre payed ones are a more expensive tariff, still sounds way to high though.
Are there any arrears attached to the prepay meter, that usually pushes up the cost?
Hi...i know prepayment charges are higher than if you are a Direct Debit customer.
Is it possible he could change to monthly direct debit as this would bring the basic unit costs down i believe?
I appreciate that due to his age he may not want to use online billing but my supplier offers a discount for online and paperless billing - even if this was to come to you every month that would also get a further reduction (depending on your supplier)
From experience i used to run electric fan heaters in an old flat and that did rack up huge electric bills and similar to your dad i think I clocked up bills of around £200 per month. As a comparison we are now in a new build 3 bed house and with two of us we only spend around £30 per month!
I think its worth checking too that noone else is feeding off of your dads supply as we have found that to be an issue in the past too!
Due to his age i think he is also entitled to heating allowance- does he claim this?
I hope this helps :)
As an older individual I think the chances are reasonable that he may, as I do, resent the idea of being manipulated into handing over control/access of his savings for some commercial concern to just dip into. Shouldn't be allowed. Try to encourage him to use a cheaper form of energy to power the heating of home & water.
OG, what commercial concerns manipulate savings? You have me baffled.

Try and persuade him to allow the council to install central heating. It will make a big difference to his home comfort and cut his bills.
No one has suggested commercial concerns manipulate savings. Individuals are manipulated into handing over access control of their money by commercial concerns. By passing on the company fixed costs regarding collecting the payment in different amounts to different customers according to how they wish to pay, instead of charging for the product or service alone and absorbing the fixed company costs, they effectively push folk into a situation where they feel they need to give in or be unfairly penalised. And they all, or at the very least most, try this cynical ploy.
For how many hours each day does he use the heaters?
You could get a rough idea of what the 2 heaters cost by multiplying price per kw by the number of kilowatts each appliance is.
I have a electric heater that is 2 kilowatts-and I pay about 17p per kw per hour on my prepay that's 34p per hour. If he runs 2 of those for 5 hours per day-that's £3.40 per day...£25-ish per week.I can't see all the other appliances costing another £25-40. That's obscene. Do get his elec looked at...he shouldn't be paying so much-even though the suppliers do rob us blind. He may also be elegible for a reduction from his supplier if he gets certain other benefits-look into this also.
Do you have any chance to speak to his neighbours because it might be worth checking with them whether they have been upgraded and he has just refused., also to ask them what their usage is, i really dobt anyone would mind too much especially if he knows them.
That's an awful lot of money to pay each week, my daughter lives in a 2 bed council flat with key meter and she pays £10 a week in the winter £5 in the summer. I'd ask next door as someone else has suggested. It would do no harm for you to enquire with CAB about the amount he pays. The council should also be able to send someone round to check the meter if he is renting and not bought from them. Hope you get it sorted soon.
I have not read through all above, so appologies if I am repeating things already said.
Immersion heaters can be very costly to run 24/7 especially if they are not weel lagged (try contacting age concern for free installation and supply of imm heater lagging) secondly, electric heaters are very costly to run, try and convince him that a calor gas heater may be warmer and cheaper to run. Hope this is of some use to you.
If your dad is in receipt if certain benefits he might get help with insulating his home from these people -
I don't thin WarmFront applies to Council properties.

I have to agree with everyone, he is paying far too much, unless the heaters are very powerful and on all the time and the house is hot.

As said contact Age UK for advice.
^ think
Everyone I know with pre-payment meters pays in the region of £1 per day ( all bed-sits/one bedroom flats). Unless you actually mean he pays £50/£70 per month, there's something very seriously wrong there.
Be careful when approaching neighbours cos it sounds to me like one of them is running a cannabis factory at your fathers expense. (Such people know how to,and often do, hook into other people's supplies).
Hopefully when its sorted you'll have a monster rebate.
can you invest in halogen heaters for him AND have the meter checked ... is he paying for a previous tenent's arrears?
I don't understand OG's concerns about DDs. The bills will be much lower if payment is made by DD. yes, suppliers tend to set the DD on the high side but they are prepared to reduce the monthly DD if there is good reason.

Also the tariff should be reviewed- standard variable rates are there to trap the uninformed or those who are reluctant to change and are 10-20% higher than the most competitive rates.

Then he should look at whether it's worth having an Economy 7 meter installed which offers much lower rates between around midnight and 8 am in return for higher rates in the day. He could heat his water overnight in the cheap period

If he's on pension credit there is a scheme for reduced bills in winter. I assume he also gets the Winter Fuel Allowance.

Finally someone needs to check he is not wasting heat by leaving lights on, boiling full kettles, leaving stuff on standby, etc

Good luck
Having identified all those steps I still think something is seriously wrong. That level of bills seems too high even for the most expensive tariff and profligate user. I would do some checks - perhaps turn everything off for a few hours and see what happens to the meter

1 to 20 of 28rss feed

1 2 Next Last

Do you know the answer?

Electricity bill...... AAAAAGH!

Answer Question >>

Related Questions

Sorry, we can't find any related questions. Try using the search bar at the top of the page to search for some keywords, or choose a topic and submit your own question.