Jump to content
  • 0

Electricity meter question


veggieman
 Share

Question

I am brand new to this forum and, not being electrically-minded,, I hope that you will bear with me.

We have a big and worrying problem regarding an electricity meter and I am hoping that someone here can give us some good advice. Apologies in advance for the long and rambling story but I need to fully describe the problem.

My wife and I are retired and living on our own here in the Shetland Islands. We moved here in April 2008 and, apart from the crap weather seemingly all year round, we are happy. Our electricity is suuplied by Scottish Hydro Electric and is monitored via two meters. We pay for our electricity via a monthly direct debit and this is increased/decreased annually with maybe a refund given if large. We are on a plan called THTC (Total Heating Total Control). There is one meter, an old-fashioned one with a wheel going round, that records the "Standard Energy" electricity used via the sockets and the lights. A second meter, a digital one, records the "Heating Control Energy" electricity used to power our storage heaters and the hot water; and an electric shower is also linked to it. It is this latter, digital meter that is causing the problem.

The digital meter model is a Horstmann Radio Telemeter Series 2A. It switches on, via radio-controlled signals at several times of the day but mainly in the early hours of the morning. We have absolutely no control over the hours that the cheaper tariff electricity is supplied to us. As I mentioned previously, it is just the two of us and we have lived in a similar lifestyle in each of the 4 years that we have been here. We have had visitors for about 2 weeks in each year and have holidayed at approximately the same time each year. We have had the same storage radiators on similar settings at about the same times in each year so the electricity that we will have used, via this cheaper electricity meter, would be approximately the same for each year. However, that is where our problem has arisen..

For each of the first 3 years, the usage of electricity via this radio controlled meter has been similar but, in this last year, it has increased by well over 200%. The meter reader tends to come to us only once per year but, if the quarterly estimated numbers are way out, we read the meters and phone them through to them. This has worked fine up till now. To illustrate the problem, I will refer to the 6-months periods, November to May, for the past 3 years. In each of the years, the November reading was an estimate and the May reading was an actual. The November readings, though estimates, would have been fairly close to the actual at the time, becuase we would have otherwise phoned them through as stated above.

17 Nov 2009 to 18 May 2010 units used 7062

17 Nov 2010 to 23 May 2011 units used 7881

5 Nov 2011 to 8 May 2012 units used 23586

It is this last reading that is the bummer. It would seem that, at some point(s) in the 6 month period to May 2012, the meter jumped by some 16,000 units. This could be in one or a number of blips totalling approximately that figure. The bottom line, financially, is that we have been overcharged by some

Edited by veggieman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0

Blimey riley a massive jump. Sorry I cant be of any help with this one, other than to say the check meter should show up any issues with the meter itself.

You could try isolating each of the circuits i turn to evaluate if any of the circuits are demanding more than previous readings:C

Why is the shower on the off peak supply?

Keep looking in I'm sure one of our members will have more knowledge of the meters you have.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

Are the storage heaters on a timer/programmer? Just wondering if the power cuts have reset the timers and subsequently the heaters are on for the whole duration of the off peak? Similarly for the water?

without the aid of a clamp meter to see what is being drawn it is difficult to tell.

Would probably suggest getting a local spark in to run a few tests sees what comes up.

Have you checked the meter to see if it is infact switching at the correct times? Are they billing you on the off peak tariff, or have they billed you on the normal tariff?

Again strange setup with shower ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

Firstly welcome to the forum. At last someone on here I can refer to as being "up North"

Secondly, in resolving this issue, don't be tempted to change your tariff. The "Total Control" heating tariff you have is no longer available to new customers, so if you ever change for something else, you will never get it back. So hang on to it. It's got some nice features, the main one being (if it's been wired properly) is that heating appliances, like panel heaters, and even electric showers should get the cheap rate at any time of day.

So to your problem. It's hard to say what's wrong. It could be a blip and a faulty meter, or it could be your usage really has increased. Perhaps a thermostat has failed in one of your storage heaters or your hot water tank so they are not turning off when up to temperature.

I would start by taking a DAILY meter reading of both meters. Read them at the same time of day and write the readings down. This will quickly show you how many units you are using each day and each week. After a few days of doing that you should then be able to calculate your expected quarterly usage at current consumption rate and see if it really is as high as you think.

If your daily readings show your usage is still at historical levels, then contact the Hydro and ask for a check meter to be installed and explain you think the meter has read wrongly.

Once you have a few days figures, come back and post them here. Remember to take the readings as near as possible the same time each day.

---------- Post Auto-Merged at 13:53 ---------- Previous post was made at 13:40 ----------

I've just done some figures:

This "blip" quarter you have used 15705 units more than the same quarter last year.

assuming 90 days per quarter that's 174.5 EXTRA units PER DAY

And assuming 10 hours of off peak rate, that's an EXTRA 17.4KW of consumption for those 10 hours.

Simply not possible. Argue this point, get a check meter fitted, and hopefully argue to get the "blip" refunded.

Do post some daily readings please.

NOTE TO ADMIN:

I typed ALL the above as an EDIT to my previous post, only to be told I can't edit after 3 minutes. All my typing and workings out were LOST and I had to start from scratch. I very nearly didn't bother.

If you are going to put a cap on edit time, then at least make it so all your hard work and typing CAN be posted as a NEW post, and not just simply lost.

VERRY ANNOYING INDEED

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

Many thanks for the comments to date.

M107 & Sharpend - as mentioned by ProDave, the electric shower is definitely included in the cheaper tariff. However, as mentioned by me, the shower has always been included in that tariff for each of the 4 years that we have been here so there is nothing different.

ProDave - Firstly, I like your avatar ! Funnily enough, we almost moved to a hamlet called ****t here in Shetland. It is on the west side of the Shetland mainland, close to a village called Bixter.

As I wrote earlier, we have had a check meter fitted recently and have been checking the meter readings for each of the 5 days so far at the same time. At this time of the year, our usage is very low and, for the 5 days, the cheaper tariff units used so far are 11, 12, 15, 10 & 12. Very early days so far, obviously.

The charged units, as stated in my original post, were for 6-month periods in each of the 3 years, being from November to May in each year.

There is no thermostat problem here that we are aware of. With us only currently using some 11 to 15 units per day (albeit in a "Shetland summer"), if the thermostat was wrong and constantly on, we would be registering far more daily units.

Our concern is what we should do if, as expected, the check meter returns that there is no fault with our meter. A n approximate

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

It's a very difficult one indeed.

If the check meter, and the normal meter, both show you are using about 11 to 15 units daily, then it's down to you arguing that the "blip" period must be wrong as it's totally outside normal possible usage.

Is the errant meter an electronic one, or a clockwork one?

Whatever you do, you must watch it like a hawk and record daily readings for the foreseeable future. I doubt this will get resolved quickly. I would even suspect you might have to go through another winter, diligently recording daily readings until you have enough evidence to prove the blip could not possibly be actual recorded usage and must be a meter fault.

If it was a stuck thermostat that was really causing excessive usage, then you would either be roasting in the house, or if it were the water heater thermostat stuck, you would notice scalding hot water and possible hear it boiling away in the tank.

Edited by ProDave
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

If it was a stuck thermostat that was really causing excessive usage, then you would either be roasting in the house, or if it were the water heater thermostat stuck, you would notice scalding hot water and possible hear it boiling away in the tank.

That most definitely isn't the case. There is no scalding water and no boiling away in the tank.

With just the two of us here, at the very most we might only have 5 of the storage radiators on in the depths of winter and, for much of the time, not at full settings on 2 of them. However, nothing changed this past November to May period than was the position in the previous 2 years and we would have had the same radiators on at similar settings in each of the winters that we have been here.

I do agree that we should keep the check meter right through until at least May next year to see what the usage is over the next November to May period. If the usgae is back down to the levels of the two previous years to this one then we will have a stronger case to argue with.

If you have any flashes of inspiration regarding our problem, please don't hesitate in letting me know of them.

Edited by veggieman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of UseWe have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.