Even though I have now changed electricity provider after the debacle and months of arguing and lack of information from First Utility, my electricity bill is still surprisingly and worryingly high. This week we decided to purchase a monitor to measure exactly how much electricity each appliance uses and to try to establish where the high usage is.
It is early days, but the chief culprit appears to be the electric heater in DD1’s room. It is a very cold room and she has it on a lot. It is hard to make the room any warmer without knocking it down and starting again! It was created from the old outside toilet and coal rooms, which are a single layer of bricks with a bit of insulation and then plasterboard on top, as far as we can see. She also has a French window, and two other doors, which are double glazed but it is old glazing and probably not as efficient as it could be.
I have purchased a timer to restrict the amount of time the heater is on and will put some extra blankets on her bed. If she is really cold it appears it is cheaper to put the central heating on and heat the whole house rather than just her room with the electric heater. Crazy.
Mr S has also bought some more LED light bulbs to replace the old spots in the kitchen and bathroom. I didn’t realise how much cheaper these are to run, but Mr S did some research and found this in the greenage.co.uk website. ‘Each halogen bulb you replace with an LED equivalent you are potentially going to save almost £175 over its lifetime’. Stunning!
The other appliance that uses quite a lot of energy is the dehumidifier. We need this in in the winter or the condensation gets out of hand and we end up with black mould up the walls – not nice or healthy. However I am restricting this to three hours a day too.
When a childminder I know who works from home and has the lights, TV and heating on all day has cheaper energy bills than me something is going horribly wrong!!