Huge monthly bills! Please Help

Good afternoon,

I have been with bulb for quite a long time but moved to larger property in August 2018 and stayed with Bulb (1 more bedroom and one more floor, semi rather than terrace). In my old property, my bills were around £125 in the winter (actual usage). In the new house, they are £200. This seems a huge difference but am I just being naïve and heating a larger, older house is more expensive? We actually have the same amount of radiators in this house as we did at the old one, we also have similar aged boiler. No extra appliances - ie we have never had a tumble dryer, all our bulbs are LED. 2 adults, 1 child, 3 days of the week the property is empty in the day and I am quite tight about putting the heating on! Can someone please explain why we are using so much more energy?! And try give me some reassurance it will balance out in the summer??

Hi @hannah5028 ,

Yes, older and larger houses do take more to heat - they tend not to be so well insulated for starters and you need more ‘power’ to heat a larger space than a smaller one. We live in 3 bed new build semi, and our monthly bills are around £65 - but our parents live in a 3 bed 1940sish era semi - and their bills are around £90 (both houses occupied 24/7, both gas heating/hobs and electric elsewhere). When we purchased the property, it had a B(83) EPC rating (you can check yours at https://www.epcregister.com/reportSearchAddressByPostcode.html - the property needs to have been sold since around August 2007 to have an EPC): we just need solar panels to get a bit higher.

I would check you’ve got loft insulation, newish double glazing (old style - IIRC, 70/80s - isn’t brilliant), cavity wall insulation etc where appropriate.

I assume you are providing Bulb with meter readings when requested and not relying on estimated bills (which, if you’ve recently purchased the property, will be based on the previous occupier’s usage rate).

Thanks for your reply Richy,

Starting to wish we had bought a new build! The energy rating was D - not great I know, but also pretty standard for houses of that age. No loft insulation as the attic space are used bedrooms with dorma windows. Double glazing around 10 years old now. Not sure there are any cavity’s to insulate due to the age of the house and how its constructed?

I think the bills are probably right - I just keep seeing people on other threads with similar circumstances and much smaller bills so wanted to check it out.

Yes we send regular meter readings.

You don’t say what vintage your home is. Crucial to comfort and keeping costs down is (to start with) draught-proofing (followed by) loft insulation (lots) and double-glazing. Wall insulation comes further down the list. There are lots of variables, but stopping unwanted moving air (draught-proofing) comes first. Look for gaps around the outside doors (at night, get someone to shine a bright light around the frame outside and look for tell-tale brightness between door and frame indoors). Draught-exclude the letter flap. Gaps between floorboards on the ground floor are a no-no, even if you have carpets. Seal them. Real sash windows, even modern timber ones like we have with lots of anti-draught strips, are inherently draughty! Old “characterful” flues suck warm air out of the house unless they are properly sealed. And so on and so forth. Comparing your bills to those of others won’t get you anywhere :anguished:, although in this case it’s prompted you to start the long journey to a more comfy home! PS: just cos you have LED bulbs doesn’t mean you can now leave them on all the time. Treat electricity a bit like water - if you’re not using the light, turn it off.