Help! Please... bills soaring!

**My bills seem to be soaring month by month, getting really worried. I have been put on oxygen 15 hours a day, and this seems to have pushed up my bill enormously. Could anyone suggest a better company for electric in my region South West.

/I have tried many comparison sites, but it all seems a bit too complicated for me! (I am 80) I pay by monthly direct debit, which started off fine, but every month now they ask for higher payments. I ALWAYS without fail give them my monthly usage, any advice would be gratefully received. Thank you. PS I don’t want a smart meter! strong text**

My sympathies for your condition. You could try GREEN.(the dot is part of the name)
They have a lower tarrif and a lower standing charge.
Make sure you get the one in Newcastle and not the one with a similar sounding name
They also offer a 24/7 live chat facility(with real human people)

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As skippy has mentioned its worth contacting green. (dot) they do not insist on a smart meter and are cheaper for electricity.
If the cost is escalating since your use of oxygen then that does point to the rising costs. If you are up for it you could check your kWh usage and work out if thats what is causing the rise.
To get a reasonably accurate cost you need to give an estimate of annual usage, you should be able to get this from previous statements, if the oxygen use is recent then you need to try and make adjustment for that in an annual forecast.

Thank you so much for your reply! I really appreciate your time in looking into it for me :blush: I will certainly look into it for me.

Thank you also scudo, its most kind of you taking the time to reply to me. I do have my exact usage, as I read the meters every month on the same day. I will look into green. it looks interesting :grinning:

Woofly I hope you dont mind me asking if you think I am invading your privacy just ignore this.
What sort of machinery is involved re the oxygen, the reason I ask is that the main reason for high electrical costs tends to be anything that heats up which based on my lack of medical knowledge wouldn’t apply in your situation.

Hi @Woofly ,

I’m really sorry to hear about your circumstances and I’m also sorry to hear that you bills are increasing.

If you’re looking to make a comparison I would always recommend comparing the unit prices as this is what you’ll be charged. Don’t go off an estimated quote.

I’ve had a look at your account and whilst we are getting monthly meter readings from you these are coming in half way through your bill period and we’re therefore having to estimate the second half of the month. I’d recommend giving us a meter reading a couple of days before your bill in produced to ensure we’re closing your bill on an accurate reading. Around the 7th of each month would work.

If you’re struggling with your payments I would recommend getting in touch with Citizens Advice Bureau as they may be able to offer some impartial advice.

All the best,

Gabby

Thank you for your reply Gabby, what I fail to understand is why has the payment date changed? I was advised by BULB to give my reading on the 26th to 27th. This worked fine until all of a sudden I keep getting these estimated amounts which really annoy me.
I like to keep on top of my bills and have never failed to pay any bill on time! I have to say I am disappointed with BULB over this matter. Sincerely, Woofly

I don’t mind you asking me at all :slightly_smiling_face: the machine I have is called:
Perfecto2 NEW INVACARE PERFECTO2 V 5L OXYGEN CONCENTRATOR
Thank you again.

I am just taking a stab at this so I may be wrong but I reckon your machine uses approx 1 kWh every 4 hours so say 4 kWh per day so at approx 13p per kWh that would be 52p per day plus vat, so possibly adding around £16 to your monthly bill.

That aside as Bulb have indicated if your readings are not within the 2 day time frame they will use estimates and they can be way out. A few customers have been caught out with that.

I would take my last statement and check their reading against your meter reading to see if it is anywhere near where it should be.

I am no longer with Bulb but I did find there readings / statements to be accurate, Unfortunately (for them) I got better prices elsewhere.

Dear Woofly, Have just joined this part of the community. I hope my suggestion will be helpful.My understanding is that people using oxygen concentrators should obtain financial support for the increased costs of having to run the equipment. I would suggest you initially speak to the company who installed it, they are the contractors for your Health Authority. If they cannot help you, speak to your GP practice and ask if they can put you in touch with anyone that deals with these issues at the Health Authority. Using the calculations SCUDO has made I hope you get some help. Good Luck

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Hi @Woofly

Thanks for getting back to me. I’ve had a look through your account and your payments have always come out on the 11th of each month and your statements come out on the 10th of each month.

I’m unsure as to why you were told to provide your readings on the 26th or 27th but going forward it would be great if that could be changed to around the 7th of each month. That way your bill will close on an accurate reading and you won’t see any estimated figures on your bill :smile:

Thank you jmullender, that would be good! I will contact the company that service the machine, any help would be good!

@jmullender Thanks for sharing your advice with @Woofly that seems a great starting point to see whether there’s any financial support available to you on this & hopefully the contractors would be able to build on the calculations @scudo detailed for you previously.

The more significant increase in your usage based on the regular actual readings you’ve provided is for your gas, rather than electricity & started in December when we’d expect you to use more heating. This has now started to decline as the weather gets warmer. I can see you’re already on our Priority Services Register which is great.

Given the medical condition related to your enquiry it’s completely understandable if you’d need to use more heating than the average or you used to. A couple of things to consider would be how you’re using the heating (for example using the timer, instead of leaving the heating on constant for longer than needed), or having an engineer check out the efficiency of your boiler.

With this in mind I’d advise checking out gas unit rates as well as electricity on any price comparisons :slightly_smiling_face:

Thank you Matthew for your kind reply, I will do what you advised. :slightly_smiling_face: