Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Global warming, bring it on!

I've had a bit of a shock today, the quarterly gas bill arrived. When my central heating didn't work it was so easy, I just managed without it. No questions, no worrying about whether I could afford to switch it on. No central heating, end of story. I didn't mind receiving a gas bill, because I knew I wasn't going to get any nasty surprises. Every time I opened one I smiled, that will do nicely, I thought.

But now that the government has very kindly fixed my heating for me, my bill has shot up to £96.89 from the £52.90 it was for the same period last year. They said, get a new energy efficient boiler and watch your bills go down. Well mine flippin well hasn't, it's gone up! I knew it would be too easy to flick the switch when I felt the slightest bit chilly. I knew I would become a whimp and give in. Well this has got to stop. I can't be doing with the uncertainty of these fluctuating bills, I want to get back to the old method of not using it and not paying for it.

I know you can pay by direct debit and spread the cost, but from what I have heard the gas and electricity people always set the monthly payments quite high so that you are always paying more than you need to. Eventually you end up with quite a sizeable amount in your credit pot. I am not going to get into that situation, lending British Gas my money so they can invest it and make a profit. Better that it's in my purse, and I will pay for what I have used.

That's another thing, I try and keep my direct debits to a minimum, I don't like the idea of people helping themselves from my bank account. Whenever possible I pay my bills as and when they arrive, that way it feels like I am paying with real money. It helps me to keep track of things, my bank statements are usually only one page because there is very little activity, makes it easier to spot anything untoward.

With a bit of luck, with all this global warming going on we won't be needing central heating, then everybody will be in the same boat, hot and sweaty :-)

8 comments:

  1. We find that having a key meter is great, we put the same amount on the key each week all through the year and we never have to worry about using the heating. Maybe you pay a little more this way in the long run but there are no bills and no direct debits, you are in charge.
    Hope this is helpful Ilona.
    Briony

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  2. Oh Ilona, don't wish for for something you might get it. It is so hot here, everyone is grumpy and tired, we aren't sleeping at night because it still in the high 20's and 30's. At work today we got the ice packs out of the fridge and passed them round for everyone to put them on their necks or forehead. So roll on Autumn.

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  3. Gas has doubled in price, so even though we use half as much we still pay more than we used to. We found the answer through waste/gleaned/scrounged wood. I've become shameless in my pursuit of free heat and will go to Jewsons, the local timber year, pick up wood at the side of the road, get to forestry land and pick up 'wind fall' and I also burn pallets......I just won't give any more money to the robbing thieving utility companies, which there are only 6!!!!!! in the UK with a strangle hold monopoly! I know what you mean - heat is a shocking price!

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  4. I think we all are struggling to make ends meet. Prices are going up but income does not reflect this kind of rise. Frugality will be pushed to its limits for us soon.

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  5. British Gas have introduced EnergySmart which is a new-fangled idea ... you submit your gas meter reading monthly online and... guess what? You only pay for what you have used! I don't know how they managed to think up such a NEW idea (isn't this how it always used to be?) You may or may not be interested in it. As part of the EnergySmart idea they send you a BG Electricity monitor to gauge what you use on a daily basis.

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  6. This is the link if you're interested in what they call a revolutionary idea!

    http://www.britishgas.co.uk/products-and-services/energy/our-products/energysmart.html

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  7. I hate to be the voice of doom and gloom but global warming doesn't necessarily mean warmer winters for the uk. If the gulf stream shifts we may even end up having winters akin to scandinavia. Please don't throw that craft work at me Ilona!!! haha

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  8. Having just returned from chilly north Scotland where a very dear friend who lives on her own, with only a state pension has just had an electricity bill of £500!!! I can certainly sympathise... my friend does not have gas... its electric storage heaters which I know are expensive... but even so... We are contemplating opening up the fireplace and installing a wood burning stove, turning the heating right down to almost nothing and wearing extra clothes... and lets be honest... the cost of gas and electricity is only going in one direction... up!

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