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MuckleMoo

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Think I need some help here, regarding whether I am overthinking, or considering committing fraud....

Solar generation plus batteries traditionally benefits from a dual rate tariff. A dual rate tariff is only for those with smart meters, so I have one scheduled to be installed.

However, with a smart meter, they can see every kW I import for which they will charge me say 30p. They can also see every kW I export for which they will pay me say 5p.

With an old meter, all they ever see is the difference between last month and this. So if I use a lot one day, I only pay for them if I do not wind the meter back in the interim time with export.

So despite not being paid for export currently, there is, weather depending, the potential to NOT pay for every kW imported, provided I put it back in.....

The disadvantage is clear. My battery spends half the winter lying flat on its arse.....

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6 hours ago, Detournement said:

I didn't say they didn't use any power

Really…you said…

7 hours ago, Detournement said:

You're not charging them though. They are just part of the circuit.

So, you did say just that.

6 hours ago, Detournement said:

…it's a bit strange to be bothered by something which is costing pennies.

 

I see, and could you clarify the point at which something costing pennies reaching a bothersome point? How many things costing pennies would you be happy to have plugged in before you got concerned?

Lets say you have a charger you leave plugged in…and it draws a watt, that’s 24 watts a day, even if you don’t use it…which is the same as leaving an incandescent bulb on for 20 or so minutes. Funnily enough, that’s the kind of thing people are trying to stop doing.

More basic math…24x365=8,760…or 8.76kWh. Paying 50p, that’s £4.39 a year…have several vampire devices, and you’ve shelled out an extra £20…pennies add up.

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4 hours ago, TxRover said:

Really…you said…

So, you did say just that.

I see, and could you clarify the point at which something costing pennies reaching a bothersome point? How many things costing pennies would you be happy to have plugged in before you got concerned?

Lets say you have a charger you leave plugged in…and it draws a watt, that’s 24 watts a day, even if you don’t use it…which is the same as leaving an incandescent bulb on for 20 or so minutes. Funnily enough, that’s the kind of thing people are trying to stop doing.

More basic math…24x365=8,760…or 8.76kWh. Paying 50p, that’s £4.39 a year…have several vampire devices, and you’ve shelled out an extra £20…pennies add up.

I heard years ago that leaving a phone charger plugged in for a year used the same energy as driving a petrol car for a second. No idea if it's true.

Edited by welshbairn
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26 minutes ago, welshbairn said:

I heard years ago that leaving a phone charger plugged in for a year used the same energy as driving a petrol car for a second. No idea if it's true.

A litre of petrol has 10kWh of energy in it. Most cars can idle on about 1/2 a gallon (U.S.) per hour, or about 1.9 litres. That gives us 1.9 x 10=19kWh/hour. So then 19000/3600 (1.9kWh equals 1900 watts and there are 3600 seconds in an hour) = 5.28w.

So if a charger left plugged in uses 0.3w, that’s (0.3x24)x365=2628w, or 2.6kWh a year…in just a day, it’s 7.2w…even if it’s a very efficient charger using only 0.03w while idle, that’s still 0.26kWh a year, or 260w…almost 50 times the idling car.

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32 minutes ago, TxRover said:

A litre of petrol has 10kWh of energy in it. Most cars can idle on about 1/2 a gallon (U.S.) per hour, or about 1.9 litres. That gives us 1.9 x 10=19kWh/hour. So then 19000/3600 (1.9kWh equals 1900 watts and there are 3600 seconds in an hour) = 5.28w.

So if a charger left plugged in uses 0.3w, that’s (0.3x24)x365=2628w, or 2.6kWh a year…in just a day, it’s 7.2w…even if it’s a very efficient charger using only 0.03w while idle, that’s still 0.26kWh a year, or 260w…almost 50 times the idling car.

What about an 8 litre muscle car dropping down to third and going full blast to overtake on the freeway?

Edited by welshbairn
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Advice please, (yeah I know but Martin Lewis is ignoring my emails) Anyone use Utilita? I've recently purchased a flat and the energy is provided by Utilita on Pre Pay. I realise switching isn't really an option currently but would moving to a monthly Direct Debit be a better option because as far as I'm aware Direct Debits get you a slight discount? Any advice appreciated 

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I'm in a very similar situation but won't be touching a DD until things have stabilised. There's no reliable record of how much energy I'd be consuming compared to the previous occupant, so I'm concerned that the DD couldn't really be called out if it's set too high. 

The chumps that are Scottish Power (after failing to record the email address properly have also now failed to record several corrections to the billing address and actual fucking location of the flat they're powering) sent a letter today estimating that the annual cost will rise by £178, presumably based on historic usage. Unless I'm misreading their letter, the £400 support scheme would therefore stand to reduce energy costs compared to last year. 

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37 minutes ago, Bert Raccoon said:

Advice please, (yeah I know but Martin Lewis is ignoring my emails) Anyone use Utilita? I've recently purchased a flat and the energy is provided by Utilita on Pre Pay. I realise switching isn't really an option currently but would moving to a monthly Direct Debit be a better option because as far as I'm aware Direct Debits get you a slight discount? Any advice appreciated 

I've never been with Utilita, but...

I was on PAYG/Pre Pay in my flat for years before I switched.  British Gas as it happened.  I told them that I wanted to go on a monthly Direct Debit.  No problem. They sent out a man within about 10 days or so to rip out the PAYG meter , and install a new one.  Quick, and seamless.

Yes, you do get a discount for paying by DD.  The companies love it..., steady money, no messing around with late payers.

As it happened, after about 4 months I switched to another supplier, with cheaper rates.

( Somewhere along the way, I'd gained the impression that the best way to do the switch away from Pre Pay was to do the switch with your

current supplier,  as that gives you more options about your next move.., rather than approaching a new supplier, and saying you want to also switch from 

your current PAYG payment method ). 

 

The downside of DD's is that, as mentioned many times on here, is if the supplier starts viewing your bank account as a box of sweeties

that they can dip into when they feel like it.

 

Edited by beefybake
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1 hour ago, beefybake said:

I've never been with Utilita, but...

I was on PAYG/Pre Pay in my flat for years before I switched.  British Gas as it happened.  I told them that I wanted to go on a monthly Direct Debit.  No problem. They sent out a man within about 10 days or so to rip out the PAYG meter , and install a new one.  Quick, and seamless.

Yes, you do get a discount for paying by DD.  The companies love it..., steady money, no messing around with late payers.

As it happened, after about 4 months I switched to another supplier, with cheaper rates.

( Somewhere along the way, I'd gained the impression that the best way to do the switch away from Pre Pay was to do the switch with your

current supplier,  as that gives you more options about your next move.., rather than approaching a new supplier, and saying you want to also switch from 

your current PAYG payment method ). 

 

The downside of DD's is that, as mentioned many times on here, is if the supplier starts viewing your bank account as a box of sweeties

that they can dip into when they feel like it.

 

Which is why having a second account that you keep a lowish balance in to make automatically drafted payments from is useful. Use it to link to for cash payment apps, DD accounts, and such…and keep your primary account unlinked and safe. Generally speaking, it’s easy to set an automatic payment from one account to another monthly or on some other fixed period, and if you know the DD amounts, it’s pretty easy to tailor the amount to minimize the extra in the secondary account. Just remember to adjust the automatic transfer when you add or remove a DD payment.

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7 hours ago, TxRover said:

Which is why having a second account that you keep a lowish balance in to make automatically drafted payments from is useful. Use it to link to for cash payment apps, DD accounts, and such…and keep your primary account unlinked and safe. Generally speaking, it’s easy to set an automatic payment from one account to another monthly or on some other fixed period, and if you know the DD amounts, it’s pretty easy to tailor the amount to minimize the extra in the secondary account. Just remember to adjust the automatic transfer when you add or remove a DD payment.

I'm not sure how it works in the US.  In the UK there is no need to do this.  If you pay by DD and you disagree with any change to the amount you can phone the supplier and discuss the change.  If they refuse to reduce it and proceed to take the payment you can tell your bank that you aren't paying it under the DD guarantee and they are required to restore the funds and contact the company.  I have done this many times in the past.  You just have to know your rights https://www.directdebit.co.uk/direct-debit-explained/direct-debit-guarantee/

If you keep a low balance and your DD fails, you will be charged by the bank and possibly the DD recipient also.

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My flat is electricity only and uses a top up meter. Every company has said the meter is too old to be replaced or that it's the wrong type to be repaired or some shit to that effect.

Before October, I was using about £40 a month in the summer. The only reason it was more in the winter was the obvious, using the heater to dry clothes. I say 'the heater' because there's no central heating and 'the heater' is an electrical heater that you plug in that absolutely guzzles energy. In the summer (and much of the spring and some of the autumn) the clothes dry naturally on the clothes rack as the living room gets quite a lot of sun.

I've invested in a heating rack that seemingly uses little energy that I'll be using over the winter for drying clothes. Should ensure I don't have to use the electric heater. Will be getting one of those big comfy blanket things you can wear as well. Have thermals for winter as well that I used over the last couple of years when working from home started. The flat is a piece of shit with horrendous windows that barely have single glazing that are draft as f**k, and the front door is really drafty too. I usually use that plastic sheeting stuff over the living room windows in winter, as well as that insulating  tape stuff for the joints. Thankfully the landlord knows it's a piece of crap flat and hasn't raised the rent since I've been here. I think he might be worried for when I eventually move out, as he'll probably struggle to rent it out unless he sorts the windows and gets heating in. This will be my lasg winter it.

Anyway, I'm getting a £66 voucher to top up the meter each month from my provider, meaning my actual costs will probably be between £0-£20 now (will be able to judge at the end of the month, or when the meter runs out!).

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17 minutes ago, DA Baracus said:

My flat is electricity only and uses a top up meter. Every company has said the meter is too old to be replaced or that it's the wrong type to be repaired or some shit to that effect.

Before October, I was using about £40 a month in the summer. The only reason it was more in the winter was the obvious, using the heater to dry clothes. I say 'the heater' because there's no central heating and 'the heater' is an electrical heater that you plug in that absolutely guzzles energy. In the summer (and much of the spring and some of the autumn) the clothes dry naturally on the clothes rack as the living room gets quite a lot of sun.

I've invested in a heating rack that seemingly uses little energy that I'll be using over the winter for drying clothes. Should ensure I don't have to use the electric heater. Will be getting one of those big comfy blanket things you can wear as well. Have thermals for winter as well that I used over the last couple of years when working from home started. The flat is a piece of shit with horrendous windows that barely have single glazing that are draft as f**k, and the front door is really drafty too. I usually use that plastic sheeting stuff over the living room windows in winter, as well as that insulating  tape stuff for the joints. Thankfully the landlord knows it's a piece of crap flat and hasn't raised the rent since I've been here. I think he might be worried for when I eventually move out, as he'll probably struggle to rent it out unless he sorts the windows and gets heating in. This will be my lasg winter it.

Anyway, I'm getting a £66 voucher to top up the meter each month from my provider, meaning my actual costs will probably be between £0-£20 now (will be able to judge at the end of the month, or when the meter runs out!).

Don't know your financial situation but get in touch with home energy Scotland, if your landlord agrees, based on any benefits you get you may qualify for grants. I got a new boiler in the flat I rented, much to landlords delight.

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12 minutes ago, RH33 said:

Don't know your financial situation but get in touch with home energy Scotland, if your landlord agrees, based on any benefits you get you may qualify for grants. I got a new boiler in the flat I rented, much to landlords delight.

Financial situation is not bad. There is a boiler in the flat for the hot water (which I only use a couple of days a week, mainly for the weekly flat clean, especially mopping the floor; since I live alone I use very few dishes and cold water is usually fine for cleaning them) but no radiators!

The vouchers are a big result since my contribution each month will be significantly reduced (I think!).

Edited by DA Baracus
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5 minutes ago, DA Baracus said:

Financial situation is not bad. There is a boiler in the flat for the hot water (which I only use a couple of days a week, mainly for the weekly flat clean, especially mopping the floor; since I live alone I use very few dishes and cold water is usually fine for cleaning them) but no radiators!

The vouchers are a big result since my contribution each month will be significantly reduced (I think!).

Might be worth looking into grants, not sure thresholds etc.

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