My gas and electricity bill gets cheaper every time.

We used to use, what we thought was, a reasonably priced energy supplier and then, as prices kept increasing, we became increasingly judicious about suppliers, tariffs and how we paid. You will always get a cheaper deal if you 1. pay by direct debit 2. Read the meter yourself and submit the reading online 3. Usually, use a duel fuel tariff. However, you need to be vigilant and be aware of price rises and be ready to switch suppliers if you can get a better deal.

We also, didn’t count the cost of energy, why should we have? as it used to be cheap and then, from 2007 onwards energy costs just went up and up. Each quarter, our energy bill would creep up by a few pounds until, by 2009, the energy costs had doubled since 2007. (Sorry about the nerdiness, but I have spreadsheets of all the bills for the last five years!) Enough was enough, in the end, we were paying almost £150 a month for gas and electric. We took, what was to us then, drastic action. We don’t have the water and heating (gas combi boiler) on a timer and now only put it on when we really feel we need it. We use electric showers and have five minutes, we only wash clothes when they are dirty, we make our bath towels last all week, we boil the kettle to wash dishes, we heat the one room we are in (we keep asking the lodger if he wants the heating on and he’s sat there bare foot, in a t-shirt, looking at us as if we are mad because he never seems to be cold), we use our slow cooker and mini-oven, we batch cook and then re-heat in the microwave, we sold the tumble drier and large washing machine and bought an ‘eco-washer’, we air dry all our clothes and we have managed to halve our energy costs.

Our first bill/reading,  which was in May and for the previous quarter left us in credit so they reduced our bill from £150 per month to £115 per month. The next quarterly bill/reading also left us in credit so they’ve reduced out monthly payment to £75ish per month. We add the money we save to a monthly debt repayment to increase the size of our snowballing!

I’ve copied part of the bills below as I’m so proud of the savings we make. To do what I do and to save the money I have saved, just live like your granny. Don’t leave anything on stand by, don’t leave any lights on, wear more clothes and save yourself money. I’m painfully conscious of my environmental impact and I’m always trying to reduce it and I can quite happily say that I’m doing my bit.

My most recent combined energy bill, with the much reduced monthly direct debit and money in credit (I wonder why they can’t just give it back to me??)

My previous energy bill from May this year for the previous quarter, I was so delighted that we had significantly reduced our bill and I’m even happier that we’ve reduced it again.
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18 thoughts on “My gas and electricity bill gets cheaper every time.

  1. Well done Froogs that's great, we are going to have to do some severe economising too, daddy Troll just got off the phone from the energy suppliers and they have been undercharging us for several years apparently!!!!!!!!!!! They have mixed up our night rate and our day rate so I'm not looking forward to the postman bringing us the new bill.

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  2. I really enjoy your blog and have already learned loads from reading it. I loved your posts about your capsule frugal wardrobe and i am now off to see if i can find a cheaper energy supplier. My bills seem so high i'd struggle to find a more expensive one anyway! 🙂

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  3. I didnt change my towel for five days this week and was going to mention it on my blog but I thought my readers my think it was gross.
    It would be good to see some of your spread sheets.

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  4. I must be frugal by proxy, because we always use bath towels for a week before washing. Don't see a problem with it myself, afterall you are clean when you use them – you're just drying your body.

    You should be able to get the credit back from your energy supplier – have you asked them for it? I've asked in the past and they send a cheque out for the amount.

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  5. Well done Frugal Queen!
    I agree with notSupermum – I have found in the past that if you are assertive about asking for the credit tio be refunded to you, they will agree, so do try again!
    Great blog.

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  6. Ref repayment of credit – it snowed last winter and I left the heating on when I needed it, I intend to do the same this year if it gets too cold. I'm frugal but I don't like the house to drop below 15 degrees. N Power we give us the money back in the spring, we found this out today, without us asking or we can have it back if we ask. We'll leave it there and take it next spring, we'll put it toward debt repayment. The lodger is frugal, he doesn't cook much, doesn't want the heating on, he has eco light bulbs in his room, he doesn't use the washing machine and he has one shower a day, but I do earn £40 a week for the four nights he stays, so he is a help to us and no bother at all.

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  7. Congratulations. We have also just changed suppliers, but my savings will not be as great as yours since we have been running a fairly tight ship for a while.

    I wonder, however, what is your actual reduction in energy use (kwh)? Also, if you have a combi boiler (i.e. no hot water tank), then would it not be cheaper to use that for any hot water rather than boil the kettle?

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  8. hi salis, we have a boiler that heats the water and heating, hence a combi, but it heats a tank of water, it's an old boiler so it's not good for heating a bit of water, so we use the kettle on the gas stove to heat the water – i'll look up my bills for the reduction in energy

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  9. Thank you for this post – it has really prompted me to look more into our energy use. I have been monitoring different settings with our central heating/hot water for the past few weeks and am so pleased to see how successful you've been in cutting back. You are an inspiration!

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  10. We're just in the process of switching supplier and I found that I could dictate to them what I was prepared to pay each month rather based on what we intend to use over the coming year rather than them over guestimating to us. We now have a electicity monitor and it has opened my eyes to the high use items which for us is the range cooker … its getting on a bit now and its much cheaper to microwave or use the slow cooker. We don't have a bath and use a power shower. The tumble drier only goes on for the 10 min setting to soften line/airer dried clothes which cuts the ironing pile down no end too. Thanks again for all your tips FQ x

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  11. Hi lady Hawthorne, we pay the same all year round, but we use more energy in the winter than in the warmer months, so it is offset all year round, I have used a lot less energy than predicted/previousl;y used. I can have the money back, but I will wait until spring, I don't know what kind of weather I will get, unlike areas of the US where you know you will get snow, we don't know. Last year was -10 most of the time, but usually it doesn't go below freezing in the day time here in Cornwall.

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  12. I used to work for an energy company. They don't give you the money back as the figure you pay monthy uses the credit you are in as well as your payment. If they gave you it all back your payment would go up.

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  13. We are switching to a pre-prepayment meter now because looking at the detailed paperwork, EDF don't charge any more than for normal standard tariff.

    I bet our electric will go lower as the kids will be able to physically see the £ go down.
    We managed well on one before they were forced to reassess charges years ago.

    We have no gas in the village, the housing people offered us Oil as we refuse to use the night storage heaters that don't actually work properly! I told them that I didn't want oil and that I will use the open fire.

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  14. Froogs we have a metric badgerload of eneergy efficient lightbulbs if you want a few. We keep getting free ones off the energy company periodically, and have ahd them from elsewhere as well.

    If you want any drop me a message to my email address and I'll pop a couple in the post for you.

    When we moved in I purposely made sure I could get to every plug socket to turn them off rather than leave a single light on. The only regular drains now are the fridge and freezer and the heatmat for the ghecko. Nothing else is left on.

    Our last quarter cost us £115 combined, and even last winter we paid £230 for the quarter through the worst of the winter.

    Next year I am going to start experimenting with solar to try and bring it down further.

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