We had our electric bill today.  To say it caused some palpitations is to put it mildly.  According to npower, our daily electric consumption increased three-fold from November onwards, though has now returned to normal, and as (weirdly) it’s taken them this long to realise this, our arrears are now daunting to say the least.   We are perplexed.  Yes, obviously we’ve just endured a particularly cold winter, and we did have some electric heaters on during those bitingly icy weeks.  But since the log-burner has been back up and running, the heaters have been packed away, so surely that cannot account for the massive jump in our usage (no kidding – the guy at npower asked my husband if we had a swimming pool!!).  Either there is something amiss with their calculations, or we’re in deep trouble.  Our anxiety has been exacerbated by the fact we’re paperless for billing, and owing to some problem with their website, we can’t currently view our previous bills to check previous consumption and meter-readings. 

A quick mental inventory of our electrical items would include:

  • the oven (on sometimes, but as you all know, I’m not a huge fan of cooking, so surely not the culprit)
  • the kettle (on frequently – but not for long in each case!)
  • the microwave (on for seconds or minutes at a time and certainly not overused)
  • the fridge and freezer (both small)
  • the washing machine (on a fair bit, but not excessively – and over the winter we couldn’t use it because the pipes froze!!)
  • laptops, printer, the wireless box thingy
  • phones, chargers for various things
  • the telly, DVD player, the freeview box
  • lights and lamps (nearly all with low-energy bulbs)
  • the iron (used far more frequently than I’d like!)
  • the vacuum cleaner (probably not used frequently enough!!)
  • alarm clocks
  • radios
  • hairdryers and straighteners
  • one of those digital photo frames
  • a pump for the mini waterfall on our little three-tired trickling-stream effect pond
  • heaters (including one for the dog run in the worst weather) – but they’ve not been on for months…

We already turn everything off at night so we’re not powering anything on stand-by.  We know our house is terribly poorly insulated, but in the winter, we put curtains across all the doors, and have draught-excluder snakes like your Nan had!  The loft is insulated (I know, because I cleaned it out!). 

If the bill is accurate, perhaps it’s time we considered solar heating after all!  Or installing a wind-turbine!  We’re certainly going to have to think of ways to cut back.

I’ll just have to stop using my laptop and go back to pen and paper (by candlelight of course!) – so no more blog.  😦

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