Tag Archives: Utilities


7 Jan

london 7.28pm 13C night dry tuesday 2020

nothing happening, except watching tv detective series, the one i am seeing is father brown, and someone just got smothered to death by a pillow. with so many detective series going on in the tv, you would think the countryside is rife with murderers.

the other programs that are numerous here are about food. this one i am seeing now is about ginger grown in thailand.its basically a program about dieting. 

and clashing with this program is another about finances, about finding best deals for broadband, utilities etc. it seems average bill for gas and electricity is £1200 a year. mine is only £230 a year and that is only for electricity. i dont have or need gas supply. 

and on the other channel is one about what the fishermen lives are like in mevagissey, a seaside village in cornwall. ah well that is what we in uk are watching on our tvs.

i have allready done my finances , and fixed them, and am quite happy with the tariffs i got for my utilities, so dont need to bother with all those money saving ideas that he is suggesting. it can be a bit tiresome chasing all those cheap deals, it is for me anyway, and not worth chasing every last bargain. to me, once i am happy with the amount i pay , i put it out of my mind and forget about it. that way i get a lot of peace of mind, not worrying about it all. 

i suppose most people will be dealing with the debt they have incurred over the christmas. and having to cut down on spending this month. i thought there will be a lot more free food offers being promoted by businesses, but my diary is just empty of these offers. none to be had. though there is the one that is continueing from mcdonalds, a daily free offer, for 24days, but u need their app to get it. oh, there is one where u got to wear a crown, you can get a free meal, if u do, and it is on monday.  yesterday, supposed to be the 3 kings day. i dont have a crown, and so did not go. 



electricity 2oct2015-2 jan 2016

7 Jan

london 12.29pm 9.7C rain thursday 2016

the bill for the autumn quarter arrived in the post today.

263kwh over 93days @.1667p/kwh = £43.85

47p/day. 2.82kwh/day

interestingly, they gave me £12, they say it is the govt electricity rebate. i don’t know what it is in aid of, but whatever it is, i will take it. haha. i happened to look at last year’s bill, and it also shows a £12 rebate by the govt. so it looks like this rebate is annual.

my electricity cost is very low. i wonder if others too are doing as well as me.

compare with last quarter, and the quarter before that and not much has changed. except i noticed in summer months i use slightly less electricity per day. (2.82kwh/day as opposed to 2.59kwh/day then or an extra 3.84p a day between summer and winter usage. it would be interesting for me to see if the next 3 months of winter will see another rise in daily use. though i do notice i have been gradually increasing my use of electricity. it was 2.51kwh/day and 41p a day last winter quarter.

the only thing i have changed is that we got a HD” tv screen, and using it more because it is much nicer to see films and programs on HD now than before when we were using the old analogue tv screen. and that tv must use up electricity.


festival of light 14.1-17.1.2016

3 Jan

london 12.36pm 10.1C rain sunday 2016

saw in the observer newspaper in the library this article about light installations on show in the west-end and kings cross from 14jan  . visitlondon.com/lumiere

then there is this article in the observer about people having trouble with their power suppliers. 

this is about some customers getting wrong bills. from it i can see if they had immediately called up the company on the freeline and give it their account number and  their meter reading it would have solved all the problems before it got to that stage where the mistake escalates to the bailiffs being called in. 

i too was billed wrongly by np when i first moved to them, their estimated reading was not correct, so i called their free line and gave them my reading, and i got a corrected bill later in the post. so that was that, problem solved and  potential future trouble avoided. now why dont those people do that?

and only yesterday i called their free line and gave them my meter reading. i do it every three months. i have been doing it without them reminding me. 


electricity bill 1oct2014- 6jan2015

10 Jan


Today the postman came with my npower electricity bill.

i know this is trite, haha. but i like trite. it is the small little things like this that gives me a flavour of what a person’s life is like. so i do this for it gives me a flavour of what my life is like for me to look back on years from now, if i live that long. haha.

you may well ask who cares what my electricity bill is, and rightly so too. but this blog is for me to look back on what i did or felt even if it is the most mundane thing ever. also it enables me to keep a record that is easily accessible to me as to what my utility bill is like and to monitor my usage. 

my npower bill 1stoct2014-6jan2015.  it is effectively the autumn quarter oct-dec.2014

kwh used over 98days  324

@15.880p /kwh  = £51.45

VAT @5% = £2.57

total  = £54.02

0.55p per day

3.306 kwh per day

added.john wrote to give me his costs, when i asked him. 

he wrote ‘Records do show I spent £91 for the quarter July – Nov in elec and £19 in gas’. unfortunately he did not give me the details. i would have loved to see the details.

later he wrote that the £19 for gas was because of the standard charge, as he used very little gas. that would explain it, as that bill was for the summer months, and by rights the gas bill should be near zero. this is why i object to a standard charge… you pay for gas even when during the summer your gas central heating may be switched off. 

There was a govt electricity rebate of £12 (govt electricity rebate) taken off the previous bill. that would explain why a lower amount was taken from my direct debit last quarter.

from my own experience, it is clear to me that utility bills can be very low.

all those people who say their bills are high are using up more power to heat up their homes, which dont need it.

recently i read a couple in costa rica i think who said they need the cold weather payments that pensioners in uk gets because they have to prevent condensation water streaming down their walls by keeping the rooms heated. u can see what a fallacy it is. all they have to do to prevent condensation is to open the windows a bit. but because they are afraid of the cold, ( how cold can it be in costa rica for goodness’ sake), they keep the windows tight shut, and so condensation from their own perspiration makes the walls stream.

a lot of life is doing what appears to be contradictory… opening the windows a notch so there is some ventilation, can prevent condensaton.

but who would have thought that, isn’t it? it sounds so illogical.

they would argue we are cold allready and u want us to open the windows? are u mad???

as for feeling cold just wear more layered warm clothing. it has even been studied that cold can make u lose weight as it makes your body metabolise more to generate the heat.

range of temp in costa rica is 28C – 22C.

They were featured because they will lose the winter fuel allowance given to all pensioners abroad, but that is going to stop from this year. (for those whose country have winter temp above the south england average 5.6C)

Previously, people were only eligible for the winter fuel payment if they moved abroad after the age of 60. But a ruling by the European Court of Justice, insisted that any eligible expat should receive the payment, whenever they left Britain.  The judgement meant that costs to the British taxpayer nearly doubled. link and another one  daily mail link

that explains why the govt is stopping it from this year 2015 for all those who retired abroad if their average winter temp in the country they are in is above 5.6C, southern england’s average winter temp.

 it is £200 for those between 60 –80yrs , after that it is £300. only one household can get it.

i think this means if there are two over 60s in that house/flat, it means one gets £200 , the other gets £100.

i think the max payment is £300 a year for a household.

it is not income related, so a millionaire over 60yrs old can get it.  like i said, this country really treats its over 60s really really well.

electricity bill july-sept 2014

9 Oct


my quarterly electricity bill has arrived today. it is for the summer months. 290kwh for 88days @.1667p/kwh = £48.35 (vat of 5% included)

3.25kwh per day

.55p a day

I am quite pleased with the amount as it shows my usage is quite low and constant and moving to npower has been a good move. British gas with their standing charge would have increased my bill even if i had kept my usage constant.

i passed the pub, surprise of pimlico , just now and was surprised to see it boarded up. i was so surprised i could not help exclaiming and a elderly woman passing by stopped and told me they had noticed it closed a few weeks ago.she said she suspect it is a property developer who will buy the land and build flats. a building nearby was 6storeys so it is possible to get planning permission for that number of floors.

the pub had opened the two floors above it for a hostel, so i thought they are doing well.

interestingly another pub across the street that had been closed for ages had opened recently. its taken over by moo cantina, an argentinian steak chain of restaurants. this other place is part of a housing estate and so wont be demolished in future. and it has a drinks license which for a restaurant must be quite a crucial requirement.

people have been saying the pub business is failing, but i think there is still life to it if managed well. i think if a pub changes usage it is because its lease has run out or the owners are selling up to property developers. 

added. 2.1.17 sunday 00.22 am . 4.9C rain. that pub, the surprise of pimlico is still shut and boarded up. so it is 3 yrs or more since it shut. 

update 21/9/22. that pub is still shut and boarded up. so after all this time, nothing has been done to it. 

electricity 26mar14-4july14 npower./15feb 2014- 25march14

12 Jul


This is the first quarterly bill since i moved to npower.

kwh used over 101days =333kwh

333 kwh at 15.88p/kwh = £52.88

vat @5% = £2.64   (cost including vat is 16.67p/kwh)

total £55.52 for 3months10days.

3.3 kwh per day

.55p a day

(this is just for my own reference. but feel free to compare with yours if u like.

 i found out that i did not post another earlier bill i had from npower . it was for about a month 15feb to 25march.

kwh used over 39 days 117kwh

117kwh at 15.88p per kwh = £18.58

vat @5% = .93p

total £19.51

.50p a day

3kwh per day


final electricity bill from britishgas 26jan-14 feb2014

18 Mar


This is just for my own reference.

Total electricity used over 20days =63kwh.

63kwh x 11.960p = £7.53

Standing charge  20days x24.77p/day = £4.95

Total £12.48 dual fuel discount of -.78p = £11.7

average cost 0.186p/kwh (compared to npower 0.166p/kwh I am still better off with npower.

Average usage per day 3.15kwh.

58.5p a day





electricity bill BG 2nov2013- 25jan2014

2 Feb

I got my electricity bill a few weeks ago but could not make head nor tail of it.
Anyway here it is for my record.
Total electricity used 281kw over 85days ( 1nov 2013- 25jan2014)

2nov2013- 22nov 2013
Actual kwh used over 21days 73kwh
Cost of first 41kwh @21.170p £8.68
Cost of next 32kwh @12.963p £4.15
Total £12.83

23nov2013- 31dec 2013
Estimated kwh used over 39days 127kwh
127kwhx 12.470p= £15.84
Standing charge 39days @24.77p/day =£9.66
Total £25.50

1jan2014- 25jan2014
Actual kwh used over 25days 81kwh
81kwhx11.960p = £9.69
Standing charge 25days @24.77p/day = £6.19
Total £15.88

Total elec used £54.21
Dual fuel discount -£2.71
Direct debit discount -£0.57p
Vat at 5% £2.54
Total incl vat £53.47

They gave me a summary of my usage
Same period last winter 299.96kwh vs. now 281kwh

I used 1228 kwh last year.

I have changed to npower. But it is not clear when the changeover takes place.

If I calculate the npower tariff .166p /kwh
281kwh x.166 = £46. 64p

I will be glad when I change over.

update 2.3.14 i got a letter some time ago from npower saying they are taking over on 15.2.2014. i applied to change over in oct 2013, and it has taken this long to finally transfer. just as well i am easy about these things because the actual cost in £s is very low. and i am glad i got BG to remove my gas meter so i dont have to pay a standing charge on that. 

 i was hoping to escape British gas’ standing charge but it looks like i will incur their feb standing charge as well as their january one. 

uk users waste a lot of electricity

22 Jan



In the report, Inside the Cost of Energy, Mr Massara argues that the unit price of electricity in the UK is one of the lowest in Europe.

“But bills are high because British houses waste so much energy,” he says. 

Mr massara is the chief executive of npower who had been criticised by ofgem for saying network costs (the cost of transporting gas and electricity) will rise. ofgem which controls that and sets the price, says it wont.

this article shows he is correct about uk electricity prices being lower than average in EU.

It may well be that npower is overstating its costs, but i think mr massara is right in saying the british household wastes a lot of energy.

This is a mild winter, and i have observed even in the warmest days, u can see the steam rising from the outlet pipes of some flats in my area… suggesting that the boiler is on. sometimes u can see it is on and the windows are open. perhaps some of these people are taking hot baths, but i doubt all of them are and so the steam is from central heating systems being on.

It might be not their fault, but the fault of the old thermostat that many houses still have, and so the temperature control is not very precise and the boiler is switched on by the system without regard to the shifting air temperature so that a warm spell just does not register with the thermostat. the uk is notorious for rapid shifts of temperature within a day. yesterday the lowest temperature was 4C, today it is 7C.  the thermostat inside a house or flat may not be that sensitive to pick this up. or there might be a time lag, in response. 

Mr massara meant the houses in uk are so leaky that heat is wasted. i thought he was going to say because they are wasteful in the way they cook. i guess that is too much of a hot potato for him to say.

But I am not important,and my opinion is never going to get widely spread and offend others.  so i shall say it. I noticed that even in the way they cook you can observe they are very wasteful. boiling large amounts of water in the kettle for one cup , or turning the rings to highest setting and red hot even when simmering food. or carelessly leaving the rings on or forgetting to switch it off. I am sure u can find households that are very poor and struggling even when they switch everything off, but i think majority of households are just wasting electricity and gas by this careless usage. in the past, gas and electricity prices are very low, and we dont think about it. it is only within the last 5yrs that prices have shot up,(since 2008 when i began to notice it)  and it is this that makes people feel it. It takes time for people to change their wasteful habits. not me of course, but i think i am a small minority who can and will do a 90 degree about turn when circumstances changes. 

no heating club

13 Oct

It is 8.11am Sunday, and I look out of the window and I see a cloudy grey day drizzling with rain. I like it, a nice change but also it is warm in my flat. yet, I don’t have the heating on.
The outside temp according to the weather website is 10C, but inside my flat according to this NHS thermometer which is given free to warn old folks about low temperatures says 18C, ‘comfortable house temperature.

It makes me wonder why no one ever advise others who are facing huge heating bills to just switch it all off. Have no heating at all.

That would drastically reduce the bill to zero.

What not to like, right?
So why have no one suggested it?
Well, I am going to do just that, and be the first to suggest it and hope plenty more will give it a try.

Start small, as it were.
In my case I thought I shall start 5yrs ago by not switching heating on till January, as most of the time jan and feb are the most cold months.

Then jan, feb came and I kept putting it off switching on the gas heating, until winter was over.

That made me realise that it is possible to weather winter without heating.

It is this gradually dawning of what is possible, and shedding all the preconceived ideas that seem to be brainwashed into us;  that it is possible to have no heating and be quite comfortable…

Then you start finding ways that will keep you warm.
Like for eg, coming back from a walk outside… you find yourself really warm, so much so that u have to shed some clothing.

Then drinking or eating a very hot soup or meal does wonders … you literally sweat and have to shed clothing again. U get a bonus too, in that cooking a meal warms the place up.

These two may be sufficient to keep you warm all winter.
But then u also learn which clothing are more effective in keeping you warm. Fleece !! Is the short answer in my case.

And hoodies, and scarfs, and gloves and socks. And wear layers.

And draw the curtains to cover the windows at night.

Then I noticed my body beginning to adapt to low temperatures, so much so that I don’t notice it being cold anymore. I would open the windows a notch in the day time to keep the flat fresh and allow ventilation.

The temperature gauge can list 12C indoor temperature and I don’t notice it. It is not often it gets to 12C, even with no heating on, I guess the flat is well insulated and I think it gets heat from the neighbouring flats, esp downstairs flat.

So I suggest u give it a try. Switch off the heating. Or maybe u already are doing it. In which case I would love to hear your experience.

Is there anyone else who just don’t require heating on at all?

I have a feeling you have to be quite an independant person, willing to try new things, and very determined. either living alone, or owns your flat, and be quite strong minded so that even if u have someone else living there, you are the boss in it. It’s likely u dont have children. i think you will be in your 50s upwards. this may surprise others, as most people think old people are the ones least able to withstand the cold, but older people are sometimes the ones who are the most thrifty, having lived in an age when they know about scarcity and want, so plenty of older folks are determined individuals and frugal. well, i think that is the profile of those likely to be in the no heating club.added. i think u will be living in a flat rather than a house, and in the city and its suburb,  rather than in the countryside.

i have been googling, and found this link to how to cope with no heating.  i haven’t found anyone anywhere in the world living in cold countries who dont have heating at all out of choice. I am unique it seems. Looks like i am the only member of the no heat club. haha.