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Excessive gas consumption (£5/day) on British Gas prepayment meter. Any suggestions why it's using so much?

59
Found 15th Apr 2012
I've recently moved house and it has a prepayment meter installed. It's been using £5 a day and all I have on is the central heating during the evenings.

I was intending to have the prepayment meter taken out but if I'm going to stung with a quarterly bill of £450 when it's not even winter then I don't think it's such a good idea.

The boiler is less than a year old and should be fairly efficient according to my research.

I've rang British Gas and they say there is nothing wrong!

It's a 3 bed semi not a mansion btw :-)

Any ideas?
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59 Comments
Is there a debt on the meter? To find out...

Insert your card and go to screen 25 and 26 to see the minimum and maximum debt you’ll repay in a week. Screen 27 shows you the amount to be repaid.
Need more info.
You pay a lot more for gas on prepayment. A but of a **** take as they already have your money.
Did you take meter readings when you moved in? Did you let the gas provider know what they were?

Odds on, as already advised, there is a debt on the meter that your actually paying off rather than the previous tenant. Are you renting? You may want to ask the landlord for a copy of the gas safety certificate and get the boiler checked if the above is a dead end.
There's no debt. I had it put into my name and got a new card when I moved in.

The heating is on for anywhere up to 12 hours, the same as my previous house which used about £60ish a month.
I've taken the readings, albeit a week after I moved in.

Yes I'm renting and I already have a copy of the gas safety cert.
jtx

There's no debt. I had it put into my name and got a new card when I … There's no debt. I had it put into my name and got a new card when I moved in. The heating is on for anywhere up to 12 hours, the same as my previous house which used about £60ish a month.



You should still check the debt - transferring name & getting new card is all well & good, but unless an engineer physically 'clears down' the machine, the debt will remain on the meter.

Check this for standing charge info in your area:

britishgas.co.uk/pdf…pdf
Had the same problems with my nans pre-payment meter she had hers on for roughly the same amount of time and her cost her more than it is you guess they trying to make us more energy efficient.Rang to get the meter removed and they were going to charge us for the pleasure of removing it .
Best to come off the meter if this is a possiblility
They rip you off if you are on pre-payment meters
sonand

Had the same problems with my nans pre-payment meter she had hers on for … Had the same problems with my nans pre-payment meter she had hers on for roughly the same amount of time and her cost her more than it is you guess they trying to make us more energy efficient.Rang to get the meter removed and they were going to charge us for the pleasure of removing it .



They won't charge you more just to make you more energy efficient. OFGEM would have a serious issue with that.
jtx

There's no debt. I had it put into my name and got a new card when I … There's no debt. I had it put into my name and got a new card when I moved in. The heating is on for anywhere up to 12 hours, the same as my previous house which used about £60ish a month.


so your heating is on 12 hours a day, not just evening

have you checked your heating thermostats so it is clicking off when at temp, or are you saying the boiler is running the heating all night, if the latter then that is where your £5 is going, how is your hot water supplied, via combi i am guessing, are you not drawing on that too?
Edited by: "sassie" 15th Apr 2012
12hours a day? seriously.... and you wonder why your bills are so high
12hrs isn't just in the evening OP, it's half a day. Can't you just put a jumper on?
It is a combi boiler. I tend to turn the whole thing off in the morning and switch it on at night. I like to be warm. I'm not going to sit at home with layers of clothes on.
jtx

It is a combi boiler. I tend to turn the whole thing off in the morning … It is a combi boiler. I tend to turn the whole thing off in the morning and switch it on at night. I like to be warm. I'm not going to sit at home with layers of clothes on.


that is fine, do you have trv on rads, have you set them to a temp that is not ott, same with room therm, if it is running continually all night then of course it is going to cost you £5 a day
I've gone through the screens of the meter and there is no debt. I guess it's just because it's an older house?
jtx

It is a combi boiler. I tend to turn the whole thing off in the morning … It is a combi boiler. I tend to turn the whole thing off in the morning and switch it on at night. I like to be warm. I'm not going to sit at home with layers of clothes on.



Do you turn the hot water off too?
Maybe you need to look at ways of stopping heat that is being generated escaping.

Good insulation.
I have the temperature thingy turned down to minimum but it doesn't seem to make any difference anyway. The radiators are open or closed and I have them fully open.

Good to see you posting again btw sassie
jtx

I have the temperature thingy turned down to minimum but it doesn't seem … I have the temperature thingy turned down to minimum but it doesn't seem to make any difference anyway. The radiators are open or closed and I have them fully open.Good to see you posting again btw sassie


thanks

what is minimum? there is no way you need the boiler running continually, unless you are saying your house is not reaching a comfortable heat, in that case you need to look at why? do you not have a timer? you dont need the heating running in the night whilst you in bed under a duvet
Do you have double glazed windows? How many outside walls do you have? Do you have damp on the walls?

I had simmilar problem with my old house (3bedroom). Iwas paying £150-£200 per month during winter, because was no double windoes, it was detached house, and 2 rooms with dump on the walls. We moved last year to other 3 bedroom. It is semi detached, no damp, and new windows (exactly the same gas boiler), last winter we paid arround £80 per month...
So you have a ~25kW boiler constantly 'on' for 12 hours. Even at 5p/kW (you probably pay more on a prepay) thats going to be about right with the radiators fully open. Is there not a room thermostat somewhere - it sounds like all you are lowering is the central heating water temperature (which generally is less efficient if you have it set low).

Can't see why you would possibly want in on for 12 hours/day at the moment anyway - a few hours in the evening and maybe 1 in the morning - any more is daft!
Edited by: "jah128" 15th Apr 2012
wow, I am on a prepayment meter, and not even using a fiver a week at the moment... which gas company are you with, and which tarrif are you on? may be worth looking at you switch.
jtx

It is a combi boiler. I tend to turn the whole thing off in the morning … It is a combi boiler. I tend to turn the whole thing off in the morning and switch it on at night. I like to be warm. I'm not going to sit at home with layers of clothes on.



Are you awake through the night?
You say it's on for 12 hours, yet you switch it on at night.
The temperature ranges from 40-80 and it's on 40. The house is double glazed. I will set the timer to go on and off throughout the night but I don't want it constantly off, I hate waking up and it's cold.

I'm off to bed, I have an early start and it's been a long day. I'll respond to any other posts tomorrow. Thanks peeps.
jtx

The temperature ranges from 40-80 and it's on 40. The house is double … The temperature ranges from 40-80 and it's on 40. The house is double glazed. I will set the timer to go on and off throughout the night but I don't want it constantly off, I hate waking up and it's cold. I'm off to bed, I have an early start and it's been a long day. I'll respond to any other posts tomorrow. Thanks peeps.



Unfortunately if you want warmth all the time then you have to pay for it!

If you can imagine a gas ring cooker, then times that by 50, that is the size of a combi boilers flame, if it has its own thermostat knob and its on max, it will just heat and heat, get an engineer in to look at it all.
Surely an electric blanket is more efficient than heating your whole house when you're in bed. We have a three storey house and our gas and electric has only been £60 a month over winter.
i personally would put it on timer to come on for an hour at night, then to come on an hour in the morning, anything you want in between do it manually
pre payment meter charges about 3 times more than normal meters and are normally put in for those who are always in debt and can not afford to pay the monthly bills.
mutley1

pre payment meter charges about 3 times more than normal meters and are … pre payment meter charges about 3 times more than normal meters and are normally put in for those who are always in debt and can not afford to pay the monthly bills.


What a load of rubbish, it's about 20% difference not 300%!
oddballjamie

What a load of rubbish, it's about 20% difference not 300%!



it certainly feels more like 300%. have you ever used these meters before? they eat money like there's no tomorrow. £5 a day is not that great. when we bought a house some years ago and it had one of these stupid meters in, it ate more like £10 a day and we only turned the boiler on during the day.
mutley1

pre payment meter charges about 3 times more than normal meters and are … pre payment meter charges about 3 times more than normal meters and are normally put in for those who are always in debt and can not afford to pay the monthly bills.



It's about 20p a day, give or take.
This happened to me a few years ago, I managed to annoy my girlfriend so much that she kicked me out. I recommend this course of action.
mutley1

pre payment meter charges about 3 times more than normal meters and are … pre payment meter charges about 3 times more than normal meters and are normally put in for those who are always in debt and can not afford to pay the monthly bills.



another exapmle of how the poor are kept poor
miles136

another exapmle of how the poor are kept poor



i do agree that life is irony. that those who need money the most find it the hardest to make the money as it is easier to make money when you already have money.
jtx

The temperature ranges from 40-80 and it's on 40. The house is double … The temperature ranges from 40-80 and it's on 40. The house is double glazed. I will set the timer to go on and off throughout the night but I don't want it constantly off, I hate waking up and it's cold. I'm off to bed, I have an early start and it's been a long day. I'll respond to any other posts tomorrow. Thanks peeps.



This means the central heating water temp is set to 40 degrees, which is nowhere near hot enough to be efficient. The dial you are adjusting sets the heat that the water for CH leaves the boiler at - if you set it too low, the radiators will never get hot enough to raise the room temperature enough. You should set it to between 65 and 70 - anything lower will be inefficient. You *should* have a room thermostat (or TRVs on the radiators) somewhere that will turn of the heating system when a certain temperature is reached (this should be set to something sensible - 18 to 21 degrees is recommended, the lower it is the less the boiler is on). If you don't you have one or TRVs you have a poorly designed heating system - but your boiler should at least have a timer switch. If its a manual one, try setting it so the heating comes on for only 15 minutes every hour for a few hours in the evening - at this time of year that should be enough.
My sister has pre payment meter. She is unhappy because it is costing her £25 per week, 2 bedroomed terrace house with combi boiler.

Seriously considering changing to another company for her but really don't know where to start on prepayment meters.

Will try some of the tips here first
iglimpse

My sister has pre payment meter. She is unhappy because it is costing her … My sister has pre payment meter. She is unhappy because it is costing her £25 per week, 2 bedroomed terrace house with combi boiler. Seriously considering changing to another company for her but really don't know where to start on prepayment meters.Will try some of the tips here first



you seriously need to get her off those prepayment meters and get the proper ones put in.
mutley1

you seriously need to get her off those prepayment meters and get the … you seriously need to get her off those prepayment meters and get the proper ones put in.



It costs a £400 deposit to get a proper meter put in, I don't know anybody who can afford that.

My gas and elec are both on pre pay meters, Elec is about a tenner a week, and gas is a fiver a week. I'm paying less than my parents at the moment, and they are on d/d
Kitten13

It costs a £400 deposit to get a proper meter put in, I don't know … It costs a £400 deposit to get a proper meter put in, I don't know anybody who can afford that. My gas and elec are both on pre pay meters, Elec is about a tenner a week, and gas is a fiver a week. I'm paying less than my parents at the moment, and they are on d/d



Perhaps it depends on your supplier. That's not £400 across the board, I assure you.
There may be a charge for the engineer visit, but to get a credit meter, you need to pass a credit check, negating the need for a deposit.
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