My usage appears to be sky high

Our small cottage appears to be using nearly £5k per annum of electricity. We have a ground source heat pump and gas cooking facilities.
Not sure how to get this checked and how realistic it is that the meter is faulty and / or someone is piggy backing off our supply. has anyone experienced similar?

Two things to try:

Turn off absolutely everything, preferably right at the meter via an isolator switch, or at the consumer unit. Then wait say, an hour, and make sure that the meter reading does not change. Sometimes when meters are faulty they increment even when no current is flowing.

Assuming that test passes ok, try running a known load such as an electric heater for 1 hour. For example, with everything else turned off if you run a 1kW oil filled radiator or fan heater for 1 hour, then your meter should increment by exactly 1kWh. Make sure everything else in the house is turned off, and any thermostat on the heater turned up full to ensure it runs permanently on for the whole hour.

If that all passes, then either you’re simply using more electric than you realise, or indeed something is connected to your supply after you meter that you don’t know about. I suppose that’s two ways of saying the same thing, really.

Hi @Mr_MrsP

Meters can very rarely start recording usage inaccurately (93% of meters submitted for accuracy testing are found to be operating within statutory limits).
There are many reasons my your meter might produce unexpectedly high or low readings:

-User error in reading the meter

-Previous underestimation of energy consumption making the actual reading look relatively large or small

-Particularly cold or mild seasonal weather leading to use of more or less energy than normal

-Changes in circumstance (eg illness, new baby, working at home etc)

-Faulty appliances using more energy than it should (a trace test would show this; which can be carried out by an electrician)

-Changing types of appliance (ie moving from gas to electricity or vice versa)

I would imagine your high usage might be caused my a “vampire appliance” which is where one of your electrical goods uses more enegy than it should. I would suggest trying @Hooloovoo’s test to see if any of your applicances aren’t functioning as they should.

Cheers,

Ben