My gas boiler/central heating have been completely off for the past six months. My pilot light is still on and is costing £15 per month (10 cubic metres). Does this seem about right?
Part of the £15 will be the daily standing charge.
10 cubic metres = about 112 kWh per month. Which isn’t particularly brilliant, but it’s “only” about £3.15 per month, or maybe nineteen quid overall if you’re stoic enough to keep your hands off the thermostat from the start of April all the way to the end of October…
However, the standing charge itself should only be about £7.11, so £10.26 total. Don’t know where the other fiver is coming from? It shouldn’t be the electrical standing charge as it’s the same as the gas one, and if you’ve got away with only five pounds of actual use you’re doing well - that’s about 1.3 units per day, or an average of less than 60 watts.
(edit: oh, wait… VAT? Still doesn’t seem enough though, as that should be 5% on energy, so that doesn’t even add up to £11…)
How old is the boiler? Modern ones shouldn’t need a continual pilot light, only leaving it on if they’re in an active demand period and regularly cycling on and off. Certainly mine has consumed almost no gas at all the last few months as it only fires up if the hot tap is left turned on for several seconds and has been absolutely stone cold and unlit otherwise - literally just 1 and a bit cu-mtr per month which shows up as 1 or 2 whole units and 11 or 22 kWh (so less than a quid a month, and barely worth considering vs the standing charge).
Though this has required manually flicking the front panel switch to “off”, because leaving it set to timer or smart thermostat programme sees it firing up at random times and burning full tilt for a couple of minutes. Worcester’s janky software thinks the boiler for some reason needs regular “pre-heating”, even though the measured temperature is in the high twenties, the set temperature is down at 5’C, and the water is set to “demand only”… overall using almost as much as the old system’s pilot despite not running one of its own in-between the preheat cycles.
(The old forced-air system dated from some time in the 80s and, whilst it could be manually turned off so it wasn’t wastefully running a pilot light all through the summer when zero heating was needed, doing so was quite a palaver … and getting it relit typically involved a service call-out, because the supposed automatic lighting system had inevitably yet again failed to work despite having been replaced the same time last year, and I lacked the necessary quadruple-jointed pipe-cleaner-narrow arms to get a naked flame somewhere near the burner whilst simultaneously pressing the flame-out override button… so it was generally cheaper and easier to just let it idle and try to ignore the extra half celcius or so it added onto the already horrific indoor temperature. I think 10 cubic metres a month would have been quite conservative with that old crock, it was somewhere in the range of 20-25…)