So many reasons for saving electricity – the planet and my bank account being the principal ones (and not necessarily in that order, if I’m being brutally honest). After my husband left, I needed to watch every penny. I also had an ongoing issue with my electricity supplier regarding my smart meter.
Saving money would have been easier with a smart meter I think. I could at least have seen which of my heaters costs me the most, or how much it really costs to have the gas fire on, etc, etc, etc, and made informed decisions accordingly.
I recently decided to switch suppliers – the smart meter saga was showing no sign of being resolved, I happened to be in M&S on my shopping trip, and Octopus Energy were touting for business. They reckoned they could save me £13 a month, which is not to be sniffed at. And they also reckoned they could set me up with a smart meter. We shall see.
So finally my final bill from edf has arrived – I’m under budget, so they’ll be repaying that by 9th December. I’m not going to rush out and spend my refund – it just means that when it’s really cold, I know I can turn the heating up, or keep it on for longer. It’s back-up. For when I want to turn the heating back up.
They also wanted £70 (£35 each for the gas and electric) to let me come out of the contract early. £70!! Seriously??
I rang them.
The nice man on the phone said that he would get my complaints handler to speak to me about it. Yes, I have my own complaints handler. That’s how long the smart meter business has been going on for. She rang me within the hour. Of course they wouldn’t charge me the £70 – I think she felt it was a small price to pay to see the back of me…
I was quietly chuffed about the amount of money I’d saved on my bills. I know we’re just coming into winter and the bills will go up – but I do at least have a bit of control over how much they go up.
Now that I’m working, and therefore out of the house for longer, I’m hoping that’ll be reflected in the bills. I organise the heating so that it comes on an hour before I get home from work, which takes the chill off before I get in without spending too much money heating an empty house. I’ve also moved the furniture around so that my chair is nearer to the fire – no point in having it on and then sitting at the other side of the room!!
I’m a fully paid-up member of the thick-socks-and-extra-jumper club. I also have a big black shawl that I wear that is so warm and cosy. I like to think it gives me a somewhat bohemian air.
During the day, even if I’m not at work, I don’t have the heating on – I’m saving that for when the weather turns really cold. But I have a fan heater that I use if I’m working in the office – it warms things up quite nicely, and I’m very quick to turn it down or even off once I’m warm enough.
Other stuff that I do to avoid paying for any more fuel than I need to – I always hang clothes around the radiator over night before putting them in the tumble dryer (or if the weather’s dry I’ll hang them outside, even in the winter – the smell of washing that’s frozen on the line is phenomenal). I rarely put the tumble dryer on for more than 25 minutes – and on the low heat setting – and then only if things have been hanging around for a day or so and still aren’t quite dry.
It goes without saying that I make sure the lights are off in rooms I’m not using.
I have a bad habit of watching the TV and fiddling on the laptop at the same time. I try to do one or the other. If the TV programme isn’t interesting enough for me to give it my full attention, then I switch it off. Well that’s the theory anyway. The times when I want to watch TV and the times when there are TV programmes on that I want to watch don’t seem to coincide at all, so I usually record stuff and watch it later – that way I’m not watching rubbish just for the sake of it.
I have the TV on at night while I’m falling asleep. I set the timer for an hour. I decided to try just setting it for 30 minutes (and thus saving half) – but it just doesn’t seem to be long enough – I notice that it’s gone quiet, and it wakes me up. I might have another go at that – some nights I can’t even remember what I watched, I fall asleep so quickly, so theoretically 30 minutes should do the trick.
I only put the amount of water I need into the kettle – no point in boiling more water than I need. And the same with cooking – cooking for one means smaller pans, which means using the smaller rings on the hob. And less water in the pan means less to heat, so it shouldn’t take so long to bring a pan of water to the boil. So that’s a plus.
Right – that’s the fuel bill under control.
On with the next job – the car insurance is due in January…
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