Author Topic: Fuel Bills feels like the Twilight Zone.  (Read 751 times)

Sunshine Meadows

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Fuel Bills feels like the Twilight Zone.
« on: 01 Sep 2022 12:34PM »
This is such a big topic and that might make it scarey but all the same it is here now.


First things first here is a link to important information from Martin Lewis https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/utilities/how-to-get-help-if-you-re-struggling-with-your-energy-bills-/


We are with Ovo and our bill has already gone from £150 to £250 and now they want £378 a month. It is mind boggling and unaffordable so the heating is going to be on much less. Cold air triggers my TN and can cause severe pain. CP means my muscles need to be warm or I fall over more. Both are a worry but I can at least maybe go to bed earlier take more pain pills but what about everyone else?


How is are the rises  in the cost of fuel affecting your life and in terms of British society what do you think?


ditchdwellers

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Re: Fuel Bills feels like the Twilight Zone.
« Reply #1 on: 01 Sep 2022 01:31PM »
My monthly direct debit is going up to over £400 a month. We only have electric heating, no gas laid on to the flat, so we will be just heating the sitting room and the bathroom. The sitting room as that's where both myself and the dog spend most of our time during the day, and the bathroom radiator has a towel rail fitted on it so it keeps the towels dry after having a bath and stops the mildew building up if we keep it ventilated properly. This year though it will be turned down a notch or two.


I love my heated throw so I can see myself using that a lot more this year than previously.


We already use the timer on the washing machine to come on in the early hours and finish just as the alarm goes off for breakfast to make the best use of the Economy 7, likewise the dishwasher goes on when we go to bed. The immersion heater is also only on during the Economy 7 period.


Our electric panel heaters have timers and thermostats so we can set them for whenever we want.


I recently bought a pair of heavy velvet curtains from a charity shop to put up on my back doors which are cold and drafty. I'm hoping they will make a big difference this winter.


I'll perhaps limit how much time we use the oven too and dig out the slow cooker instead. They're supposed to use a lot less fuel.





Sunny Clouds

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Re: Fuel Bills feels like the Twilight Zone.
« Reply #2 on: 01 Sep 2022 02:57PM »
I am feeling annoyed with myself, because when I moved back into the family home, I used up all the wood in the woodshed in the burner in the living room fireplace, but didn't replace it.  At least three years ago, probably more like four or five, I asked others for advice and someone said to buy briquettes, and I meant to and never got round to it.

I've a lot of branches lopped off trees in my garden stacked up for an autumn bonfire.  If I'd got my act together, I could have chopped them and put them on a woodpile to dry out.  Daft of me.

I've inherited savings from Dad, so I shan't go cold, I think, but my heart goes out to all those that will.  I remember cold from my childhood.  Horrid.  But even then, coal was pretty cheap, so we could still have a good fire in the kitchen.

I think some people will turn to fires, using anything from wood from gardens or parks, to waste paper/card put out for binmen.  I wonder how many houses will burn down and how many people will have serious lung problems, as they use fireplaces not used for years without having them swept and or have fires not in fireplaces, improvising what they think is a safe barbecue thingy.

I already felt outraged over how our local LTN has made things harder for disabled people having to go the long way round.   More and more that are unable to walk or barely able to walk won't be able to afford the electric/fuel for their cars, mobility scooters, electric wheelchairs etc. and won't be able to afford home delivery charges.  More and more can't get carers, not prepared to take on work for people it costs more to get to.  But even without badly implemented schemes like that, a lot of people will suffer in other places where access costs is a problem.

Where I live, someone rallied the community round with a project to help  neighbours in the pandemic.  The website is still up.  I wonder whether that could be revitalised with the fuel 'pandemic'.  E.g. if a neighbour can't afford to drive to the shops and can't walk there, could I do as I did for people shielding, but instead of fetching stuff like meds, do grocery shopping for them to a budget and list? And maybe more car shares?



(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Fuel Bills feels like the Twilight Zone.
« Reply #3 on: 01 Sep 2022 03:01PM »
For me, the biggest issue is my hypothyroidism.  I usually try to keep the temperature round my bed at around 20 degrees, which for much of the year means three oil-filled radiators round my bed all night, and that's after warming the place up with the gas central heating for a couple of hours.  I normally have a fan heater next to my desk most of the day.

But I've been messing around with timings for my thyroxine, as have others I know, and for me personally, I find that taking it when I get up in the night to go to the loo is helping. I don't need to tell posters, but in case of lurkers, don't mess around with meds unless you're very, very sure of what you're doing, and think very carefully about whether it's the sort of meds you can move around timings on - a lot you can't.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Monic1511

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Re: Fuel Bills feels like the Twilight Zone.
« Reply #4 on: 01 Sep 2022 06:48PM »
Everyone with health issues should be letting their fuel providers know that they have disabilities. This means that you go on a priority list.
The fuel companies cannot disconnect you if you are paying whatever you can afford towards the bill.
I know you probably all hate debt and I’m also aware it can trigger mental health problems but if you go into debt they still cannot cut you off.
Please don’t turn off the heating, yes take sensible steps like curtains, throws, draught excluders.
If you run up debt you can apply to the British Gas energy trust to help clear the debt.
In my opinion there is no way a fuel company is going to force a prepayment meter onto disabled people if they accrue debt.
If you get PIP/AA/DLA you should also get £150 as well as the £400.

ditchdwellers

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Re: Fuel Bills feels like the Twilight Zone.
« Reply #5 on: 01 Sep 2022 07:02PM »
Thanks for the reminder about the Priority list, Monic. Good advice 👍

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Fuel Bills feels like the Twilight Zone.
« Reply #6 on: 01 Sep 2022 07:06PM »
I'm already on the priority list, but it hadn't occurred to me to mention it to others.  Thanks, Monic.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

lankou

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Re: Fuel Bills feels like the Twilight Zone.
« Reply #7 on: 01 Sep 2022 07:43PM »
I'm already on the priority list, but it hadn't occurred to me to mention it to others.  Thanks, Monic.


So am I, I only found out when I phoned to report a power cut and mentioned I have medication that must be kept at between 2C and 8C.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Fuel Bills feels like the Twilight Zone.
« Reply #8 on: 01 Sep 2022 07:56PM »
I've just phoned a friend who's in her late 90s and left a message on her answering machine to check she's on the priority list.  If she's not sure what I mean and she isn't, she'll either call me or ask a neighbour.

(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

KizzyKazaer

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Re: Fuel Bills feels like the Twilight Zone.
« Reply #9 on: 02 Sep 2022 08:37PM »
Feeling like one of the more fortunate as my current direct debit for both gas and electric is £70.54 a month (this is summer usage) but not looking forward to the 80% rise, which I'm sure I will receive an e-mail about very soon.  As for winter.. well, thank goodness I live in a compact, well-insulated second floor flat with just the one bedroom (and the benefits of heat rising, though of course it's hell in a heatwave).  So not too much to complain about personally so far, but I really feel for those with conditions that make them feel the cold more and those living in properties that are hard to keep warm.  And then I read about the profits made by the energy companies... that's what makes me sick, plus that absolute  :f_bleep: Putin who is the main cause of the global price rises in the first place as I understand it :f_steam:

One thing's for sure,  Liz Truss (I'm pretty certain she's set to be the next PM) will be having to make some very difficult decisions.  Talk about a poisoned chalice!