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Huge Electric Bill - HELP!!!!?
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Katieowl



Joined: 01 Jun 2006
Posts: 4317
Location: West Wales
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 11 1:04 pm    Post subject: Huge Electric Bill - HELP!!!!?  Reply with quote    

We've just had yet another flaming HUGE electric bill

In fact we were looking at energy meters yesterday, but after reading thread on here not sure it will make much difference. We turn stuff off. I try to make best use of the electric oven, have just had a gas hob fitted, have replaced virtually all the appliances with A rated ones, I have low energy bulbs everywhere....

So...apart from my son who seems to be pathologically incapable of turning his PC/TV off and leaves it running and goes out for 24 hours

One of the main contenders HAS to be the immersion heater? I checked the temperature yesterday, and I think it's running too hot, we attempted to turn it down, and OH discovered rust inside the cap, which he thinks must mean it's leaking somehow (steam I suspect!) He's fitting a new immersion rod today, and moving the switch OUT of the cupboard the tank is in (It's in the son's room - a no-go area of teenage filth and difficult to get to) The switch is going in the kitchen below.

So two questions about immersions

1) What temperature should the water be set to - it's 50C at the moment WAAAAY too hot, I've been complaining for months, but only now I've turned the Rayburn OFF - which heats it when it's on, does OH believe it's NOT the Rayburn.

2) What is supposed to be the most effective way of running an immersion? In the summer, I'm turning the Rayburn off...so it's going to be all electric to heat the water. In the winter...it's a boost. But because of all the comings and goings with the kids, and the inaccessability issues its just got left on. At some point in the past I was told that was most economic, but my £400 a quarter bill says different!

The B&B is on it's own heating ring with a seperate electric boiler. We costed that out and I'm sure that's OK. When people are in there they are paying for themselves so to speak.

Of course now, I've also got OH's workshop on the domestic bill! Would it be worth getting a energy monitor to see how much that is actually using ?

Any suggestions?


Kate

Penny Outskirts



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 23385
Location: Planet, not on the....
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 11 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Get an energy monitor, and good luck.

Ours this time was just massive, but we use electric for everything, so we're b**gered really

gz



Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 6750
Location: Ayrshire, Scotland
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 11 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Definitely meter the workshop!

vegplot



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 21298
Location: Ynys Môn
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 11 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

50C isn't hot enough as it won't kill off Legionella, you need 55C to do that. If it feels too hot it's likely the thermostat in the immersion is faulty. You might want to try a short length heater which heats only the top of the cylinder and have it on a time switch.

Penny suggestion is very sound it will tell you when your using the most leccy.

Green Rosie



Joined: 13 May 2007
Posts: 10498
Location: Calvados, France
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 11 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Have you got something like an old freezer? We were given a freezer of unknown age/rating and our electricity consumption shot up until we got another A+ rated one and turned the old one into a wheat store.

Katieowl



Joined: 01 Jun 2006
Posts: 4317
Location: West Wales
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 11 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I take your point about Legionella, but it's waaaaay to hot to stick your hand in, surely it's a scald risk?

I can see that super hot water is a bonus, cos' you can dilute it with cold and need a bit less of it?

Kate

Katieowl



Joined: 01 Jun 2006
Posts: 4317
Location: West Wales
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 11 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Green Rosie wrote:
Have you got something like an old freezer? We were given a freezer of unknown age/rating and our electricity consumption shot up until we got another A+ rated one and turned the old one into a wheat store.


Nope...got rid of those about three years ago. This one was the most energy efficient when bought it. If freezers have moved on it'll have to wait it's turn, because the dishwasher, washing machine and tumble drier have all died in the last 12 months

I use the short or eco settings on everything, and the tumble drier as sparingly as possible (usually only for bedding) I bought one of those drying racks from Lakeland which is supposed to cost 3p an hour to run, which is a marvel...but it's been taken on trust that that IS what it costs to run!

OK so which device will suit best? I was looking at one you plugged in between your gadget and the wall which told you what it cost to run a cycle of your gadget, and another that monitored overall consumption which clipped onto the cable leading into the meter, so I could do domestic, workshop and B&B seperately But I still think I need to know what things seperately cost? Should I get both?

Kate

Jenna



Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 263
Location: Away with the fairies
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 11 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Agree with vegplot re faulty thermostat - in Mad Science, it was a rule of thumb that if you could hold a bottle of hot 'something' in your hand without HAVING to put it down, it was below 60C. Thing 'the regs' require that thermostats for hot water are set below 60 to get rid of the scald risk - if your water is scaldy hot with the therm at 50, suggests your thermostat is broke! Would explain massive bill!

Assume the new element has its own shiny new thermostat? Might be a bit anal to get a thermometer to check the temp of your hot water to make sure it's working OK, but that's what I'd do

JB



Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 7748
Location: 91° N
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 11 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

vegplot wrote:
50C isn't hot enough as it won't kill off Legionella, you need 55C to do that. If it feels too hot it's likely the thermostat in the immersion is faulty. You might want to try a short length heater which heats only the top of the cylinder and have it on a time switch.

Penny suggestion is very sound it will tell you when your using the most leccy.


Though 50C isn't so hot you couldn't pit your hand in without too much risk. My experience is that immersion heaters are notorious for having dodgy thermostats. I wouldn't necessarily put a short rod in - if the tank is suitably insulated there's no great disadvantage to heating the whole tank and leaving it until you need it.

Dodgy insulation and thermostats are more likely candidtes.

PCs and TVs are not the great offendors that some people imagine. PCs can be set to go into standby / hibernate and unless either are using huge ancient CRTs then they won't consume that much power, typically 100W for a PC even without setting up standby. Worth investigating if you've a 1000 of them across a site but a single PC!

JB



Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 7748
Location: 91° N
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 11 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

and how recently did you have the gas hob fitted? That will make far more difference than the oven. For example an electric hob needs a 20 or 30A supply line fitted by an electrician, an electric oven will run off a three pin plug and turns itself off most of the time once it's up to temperature.

The other big offenders are refrigeration (particularly if you have old big freezers) and the real offender - laundry, ironing an tumble driers are phenomenally energy intensive.

Katieowl



Joined: 01 Jun 2006
Posts: 4317
Location: West Wales
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 11 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

JB wrote:
PCs and TVs are not the great offendors that some people imagine. PCs can be set to go into standby / hibernate and unless either are using huge ancient CRTs then they won't consume that much power, typically 100W for a PC even without setting up standby. Worth investigating if you've a 1000 of them across a site but a single PC!


So I won't throw him out then

Kate

Katieowl



Joined: 01 Jun 2006
Posts: 4317
Location: West Wales
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 11 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

JB wrote:
and how recently did you have the gas hob fitted? That will make far more difference than the oven. For example an electric hob needs a 20 or 30A supply line fitted by an electrician, an electric oven will run off a three pin plug and turns itself off most of the time once it's up to temperature.

The other big offenders are refrigeration (particularly if you have old big freezers) and the real offender - laundry, ironing an tumble driers are phenomenally energy intensive.


Hob went in at Easter....this bill goes back to March, when DD and her BF were both still here too - i was hoping to see a big difference when they went, as the gadget count dropped by a big percentage.

Can't do much about the laundry...but I only iron for the B&B. I try not to tumble dry - but it's Wales -sometimes there's no option.

Could turning the fridge up to keep it at 'regulation' temperature be a culprit then?

Kate

Nicky Colour it green



Joined: 25 Jun 2007
Posts: 8698
Location: Devon, uk
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 11 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

we use immersion heater in the summer when the rayburn is let out.

the thermostat clearly isn't working - we found out by leaving it on too long and the water boiled out into the attic and dripped through the ceiling.......

we put the immersion heater on for a set time now - an hour is enough for a bath. we make hot water as we need it. its not the best solution, certainy not convenient, and we are in the middle of installing our new solution (could take some years). we also have a lecky oven, for the summer months.. but our bills are not as much as half of yours.

so i reckon.. that immersion is on too much.

Katieowl



Joined: 01 Jun 2006
Posts: 4317
Location: West Wales
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 11 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Jenna wrote:

Assume the new element has its own shiny new thermostat? Might be a bit anal to get a thermometer to check the temp of your hot water to make sure it's working OK, but that's what I'd do


No such thing as too anal to get the bill down!

Kate

Marionb



Joined: 27 Aug 2006
Posts: 5261
Location: Mid-Wales
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 11 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

My first thought was the immersion.... was it on all the time, day and night? If so that would definitely use a lot of electricity.

We dont have an immersion now but when we did in a previous house we only put it on for about an hour morning and evening if memory serves me correctly. But when the parkray was lit, that heated the water. Our hot water tank wasnt lagged in that house either

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