Why am I topping up more during winter?

  • 16 February 2018
  • 33 replies
  • 44487 views

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**UPDATED ON 30/07/2019**



That’s a great question and one we hope to nail down here. The good news is our prices are compliant with the Ofgem price cap, meaning we're keeping them competitive for you. If you’re spending more, it’s likely because you’re using more energy, which is natural during winter but can make you feel like you are topping up a lot more than usual.

Here’s the average spend of a PAYG customer over a 12 month period.


You can see that for all PAYG customers, usage goes up in winter, in line with what we’d expect. The reason for this:

  • Everything is colder - Appliances use more energy to heat the water they use, your home takes longer to warm up, again using more energy. 🚿
  • Your home is also darker for longer - Lights are used much more often (energy saving light bulbs can definitely help here) 💡
This graph is a guide, some PAYG customers will use more, some will use less depending on the size of your home, the number of people living there, how well insulated it is, but hopefully this gives a bit more insight into your usage over a year.

We’d love to hear your views on this, does it make sense? Do you see this pattern over the year in your home?

Darran

33 replies

Userlevel 2
are u not price raising like Ofcom have asked for payg+ customers as the main top 6 will be
Userlevel 1
With both my gas and electricity, I'm spending well over £200 a month. The chart on here for winter spending shows alot less
Userlevel 6
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@Ginger545 I'm not sure about the price actions of the 'big 6', but we'll offer the cheapest prices we can whilst being within the new price gap.

Tim
i changed to boost as i was told it was cheaper than the rest yeah what a lie i have toped up just over £75 this month so far and i dont even have central heating think its way to much
Userlevel 1
I was told it would be cheaper to move it's not I won't be staying not what I expected
Userlevel 5
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With both my gas and electricity, I'm spending well over £200 a month. The chart on here for winter spending shows alot less
Hey @BLACKKAT40,

I hope you don’t mind but I’ve moved your topic onto this thread.

@Jauty1 @kit8686 @BLACKKAT40 Your spend will depend fully on how much energy you’re consuming. The more you use, the more you’ll pay. This is why customers see a spike in the winter and have their spend less in the summer.

If you feel that there is something wrong with your meter, please contact the Social Team on Facebook or Twitter so they can look into this further for you.

Lucy
Userlevel 1
Since becoming a customer of Boost in May 2016
I’ve saved an average of £300 a year,admittedly my landlord changed my boiler to an a-rated one in accordance with the law! So now I’m only paying for gas to heat my water that I use instead of having it on timer twice a day with header tanks in the loft!! So the moral of this story is,if your a private house owner or tennant,make sure you’ve got an a-rated combi boiler!!!
Userlevel 1
I have both my gas and electricity on boost and I spend bout tenner more than the chart says. Look in to changing supply’s but would only save me £20 or so a year so no point in swapping. Been with ovo since 2014, never had problem or needed to call them very happy with service.
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HI @Tomhog good to hear the savings you've been making! And great advice re a efficient boiler, if you have the opportunity to change it, definitely worth the investment.

@Welshy99 the chart above is a guide, an average so is not exactly what everyone will pay per month. It will of course vary on the size of your home, how many people are living there, how many appliances etc you use and also how well insulated your home is. If you are spending around £10 per month more than the above chart then you are in line with that average which is where we'd expect for this time of year.

As you can see, you will be paying a lot less through summer, so this is a good time to continue to top up as much as you can per month through the summer, to build up credit on your meter to help you through the next winter. Just an option of course, but every little helps!!

Darran
Userlevel 1
Just to show

this year
Userlevel 1
I went with ovo a few years back and never had a problem it was really good for the money
Back then I was spending less than i am now witch don't make sense to me as back then i had 3 snake vivs on all the time 2 fish tanks on all the time a bearded drangon viv all the time
I also had a tv in front room and a dog and 4 rabbits with 5 kids and myself all with kindled Ipads etc
But now I only have 4 kids at home I only have 1 snake viv I don't have tv on anymore I still have dragon and fish but no dog and no rabbits how does it work I'm spending 10 to 15 more than that of before all coz it's boost no longer ovo
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It looks like your gas consumption has been increasing, @Michelle so I this would show that you have your heating on during the colder months etc. In July your gas consumption was £5.58 compared to December where it was £91.48.

Your prices won’t have changed during this time so this shows that your costs have gone up because your consumption has increased. During the winter months, it might be worth checking out some energy saving tips here: https://www.cse.org.uk/advice/energy-saving-tips.

Lucy
Can anyone explain me why is so huge difference in March 2017 and March 2018? I never spent so much in my life for electricity and gas as I spent last month. even in winter I spent much less. so where is the problem?

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This question @alena is similar to 'how long is a piece of string?'. It's so hard for us to tell customers why their usage has increased because we don't have visibility over what their usage goes on or when, how often they use appliances, if they're home 7 days a week or 3 etc.

What I do know though is that March 2018 was hit with two huge cold spells resulting in -5 degree temperatures and large amounts of snow. This is pretty different to how the weather was in March 2017 so I'm guessing this is why you and many other customers (including myself) saw an increase in their bills.

Lucy
Ours feels permanently High, in a new build A rated combo boiler, all nearly new energy-efficient white goods etc and our bill seems high all the time.

Userlevel 2
I think this company's expensive and the only one with a daily standing charge. I was about £20 a week on electric before i switched now im between £30 -£40 every week I cant afford that i say the compare sites are talking rubbish
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Hi @Janeclark

It would be good to know if you have checked the unit rates that you are paying with other suppliers?

That helps tell the true story of what you are paying for. We will only ever charge you a daily standing charge (rather than rolling this into your unit rates) and then for any energy you have actually used to make sure you have total visibility of what you are paying, so its these costs you should be comparing to work out if you are paying more for your energy.

Also if you have gas and electric and have signed up to PAYG+ you'l likely have a single wallet now, so rather than topping up £20 a week for electric and £20 per week for gas, you'd be topping up a single payment that would go towards both, so it can sometimes seem like more in one go, but its just combining the total you would have topped up with previously.

Not sure if that helps, but it would be good to know re the unit costs.

Darran
Userlevel 2
Hi @Janeclark

It would be good to know if you have checked the unit rates that you are paying with other suppliers?

That helps tell the true story of what you are paying for. We will only ever charge you a daily standing charge (rather than rolling this into your unit rates) and then for any energy you have actually used to make sure you have total visibility of what you are paying, so its these costs you should be comparing to work out if you are paying more for your energy.

Also if you have gas and electric and have signed up to PAYG+ you'l likely have a single wallet now, so rather than topping up £20 a week for electric and £20 per week for gas, you'd be topping up a single payment that would go towards both, so it can sometimes seem like more in one go, but its just combining the total you would have topped up with previously.

Not sure if that helps, but it would be good to know re the unit costs.

Darran

Im on a variable rate with previous suppliers I only ever topped up about £20 per week for electricity and maybe £10 for gas now I top up £40 per week with around £30 getting used for electricity. I did a comparison with other companies and it came out that yourselves were the cheapest but I still feel the pinch I dread to think how much I would pay with non prepayment meters
Userlevel 1
After looking at some of these replies with people with high gas usage,the question got to be asked is ‘What’s your digital thermometer set at?’ My plumber who put it in says it should be set at 19-20’celsius,also making sure your boiler has been regularly serviced especially checking your flue so you don’t get carbon monoxide build up!! If also your boiler is 15-20 years old,it’s time to change it for a more efficient a-rated one,it may cost between £1500-£2000 but it’s worth in the long run with cheaper bills! You may also want to use the budget features on your smart or prepayment meter to keep cost down!!!
Userlevel 5
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Hi @Janeclark

Thanks for the update. It does sound like the amount you've been topping up recently may have been effected by the unusually cold start to spring we've had so far.

As @Tomhog mentioned above, worth checking what you have your thermostat set too as you may have turned this slightly to help with the colder weather.

I'd be interested to see if that usage drops now we are heading into warmer weather and how that then compares to your previous suppliers costs. As you mentioned, you have compared the unit costs and Boost were the cheaper supplier at the time, so any increase in your top up amounts would have only been to cover what you were actually using.

Darran
Userlevel 2
It's been the same since October there was only one month I topped up £190 all the other months vary between £160 and £190 I don't touch my thermostat and it's gas central heating gas fire and gas cooker. My kettle is vary rarely I still only use about £10 a week gas and £30 on electricity
Userlevel 2
The past 2 months I have been £160 each month and so far this month I have used £80 and I will need to tip up again this week £40 or more
I'm switching from Boost to another provider this week, I've had enough of it. Every two days I get a text now saying my metre is running low. It used to be that I felt boost was cheaper. Last year we had an even worse winter than this one, for a start we actually had snow and blizzards. This year it's been mild rain at the most with a few weeks of wind. This is nothing to do with "a change in weather" as I'm sure i'll be told.

Yesterday I popped £5 on, something that would usually last 3-4 days. I run a PC, a fridge, a washing machine and that's literally it. Today I was told again I would need to top up, somehow over night £3.50 vanished and again i'll be told the same thing... forgive me if you think my math is off here but my energy prices over the past 4 months have risen so high it's driving me to the point of insanity.. you're supposed to be a "cheap" provider. There is nothing cheap about anything i'm experiencing from you at the minute. On average the gas/electric price is roughly £70-90 PER MONTH.

You have to be a god damned moron to think this is cheap or sustainable. I was told my prices would go down with a smart metre. My prices have done nothing but go up since it was installed.
Is this about right or am I paying more than I should??

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I've popped your post here, @JoceB, you'll find lots of handy info above. ☺

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