High gas bills after moving

13 Feb 2014
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United Kingdom

We moved into our current house in November 2013. Since then, we've been getting high gas bills. E-ON says we use 85% more gas than similar homes.

The last bill for 23 days using actual start and end readings shows that we used 2003 kWh worth of gas (179 m³) which cost £95. That's 87.09 kWh/7.78 m³/£4.13 per day.

It's a 3 bed semi-detached house (3 adults) with 10 years old Combi boiler. Gas is used for central heating, cooking (oven hob) and hot water.

1. Central heating:
The external thermostat is broken and only works in full position. I set it to full (>25C) and decided to use the boiler thermostat instead. I set it to the lowest position on the dial. Any lower would put the boiler in 'summer mode' and it wouldn't fire at all. The thermostat is at the same temperature pretty much all the time because all of us have different work shift patterns so there's always somebody at home. All radiators are set to full. It isn't cold in the house, but it's not as warm as we'd like. Definetely colder than we're used to.

2. Hot water:
Only 1 person uses gas to heat her shower. The other 2 use electric shower.
When that 1 person is not showering, the hot water temperature on the boiler is set to minimum (it's barely warm when doing the dishes).

3. Cooking:
We cook pretty much every day.

Does this consumption seem reasonable? I don't mind the high bills if that's what we're supposed to get. I'm just trying to make sure eveything's right since these bills are much higher than we're used to. I read that an average energy consumption (electricity + gas) varies from £800 to £1200 per annum. I paid £600 for the last 3 months and huge majority of it is for gas. According to EON our electricity usage is 2% lower than similar homes.

I'll be doing some testing tonight checking how the gas meter behaves when the boiler and oven are on/off.

Thanks for spending time to read this.

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What tests are you going to do? My gas bill is high and I work in the industry, any help appreciated.
600 quid for gas over the coldest 3 months of the tear doesn't sound too bad to me. It cant be helping having a broken thermostat and the boiler won't run as efficiently when it is set to a lower temperature.

Make sure the boiler is working properly by sorting the thermostat and getting it serviced. Then make sure your house is properly insulated and draught free and you can't do much more at this stage.
Switch heating and hot water off.
Is the gas meter static? Then you aren't loosing any gas.

Heating on at night?

Wandering around in shorts a T shirt?
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Heating in the colder months does rack up the charges (hence why most people over-pay in summer). Still, that does seem a little over the odds.

As already mentioned, I'd get your boiler checked out, and the thermostat sorted.
looking at your usage information:

for 23 days using actual start and end readings shows that we used ... 7.78 m³...per day.

7.78 m³ is a bit high, but not unusual in cold winter weather. You already said your room stat is not working. So fix that.

Hot water and cooking usage will not be significant.

I paid £600 for the last 3 months and huge majority of it is for gas.

you have not told us what the actual gas meter reading usage was over the last (winter) three months.

You did not mention the size of your house, its age, or how much insulation it has, or what hours the heating runs, or the internal temperature. So you have not given enough information for a sensible reply.
Why not spend 20 odd quid on a replacement room stat and save yourself a great deal more on gas usage , boiler temp on low with room stat set high is absolute madness , obviously the low boiler temp can't match the heat loss and you wonder why you have high gas bills , it might be an idea to use the timer/programmer in order to save a bit more.

It sounds to me like a weather comp set-up with those low flow temps :mrgreen: , it has been proven weather comp saves absolutely ZIP. :LOL:
I checked the meter and it does go static when everything's switched off. I haven't smelled any gas either which tells me there aren't any leaks.

I was going to sort the thermostat out, but never got round to it. I wasn't being stingy, I simply didn't realize that this setup would cause problems. I just thought that adjusting the boiler temp to our needs would be alright.

We didn't have an external thermostat at our last place so I'm used to adjusting room temperature by increasing/decreasing temp on the boiler.

I have ordered digital programmable thermostat which I can't wait to install and try out.

Thanks for your feedback.

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