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High Energy Costs

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Author Topic: High Energy Costs  (Read 46 times)
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« on: September 10, 2020, 04:56:14 PM »

Hey,

So about a year ago I moved into a one bedroom ground floor flat with my partner. When we viewed it we were told it was all electric and had the 'latest and greatest ultra-efficient heating systems etc.' - this played a big role in us signing the tenancy. The apartment is in a listed building which was recently converted from offices to flats - so we are the first people to live here as a residential property.

It was all going well until we got our first electricity bill, which claimed we were using 7-10 of electricity a day. Both my partner and I are usually out of the flat 12+ hours a day working, and the heating was used sparingly - especially once we had our first bill! So this high cost really was a surprise.

Initially we weren't too concerned, assuming that there would be a problem with the meter, or we were paying for somebody else's electric, or something like that. However it turns out that every flat in the building is using 10+ of electricity every single day (and they are all one bed flats!). In fact, we have used the least energy out of every other flat, because we have always been very energy conscious.

Anyways, we contacted the landlord promptly and after almost a year of "investigating" they have finally come to the conclusion that there is nothing that can be done to resolve this issue, and because the building is EPC exempt it is not his problem. Obviously this isn't ideal, we've gone from what we thought was an efficient flat (albeit knowing it may be slightly more expensive due to it's age) to spending north of 300 per month on electricity. The impact this has had on both mine and my partners mental and physical health is huge - especially when we had to balance the financial pressures of COVID and battling bills of almost a quarter of an income on electricity alone.

Has the landlord broken any laws/regulations here? Is there anything we can do? We're currently sinking financially as we have a multi-thousand pound energy bill, on top of our other bills, alongside the pandemic.

Thanks in advance for any advice. 


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« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2020, 05:05:52 PM »

Usually you would ask - did you not review the EPC yourself?

But you say it's exempt... I find that strange... but I would also find it suspicious at the time of viewing... and I'd probably have asked to see a run-down of previous bills if something like that was terribly important to me. If  you didn't do that... why not? Seriously, you can't listen to anecdotal evidence like - "latest and greatest ultra-efficient heating systems" - and then base your life decisions on that... it's not quantifiable, in any way - even one person's idea of cheap is another's idea of expensive. If you really did use that as a big decision point, then I have some magic beans you might well be interested in... let me know if you want to connect to arrange a deal.

Whatever you were told was probably verbal and even if as you quoted... what is wrong with it? It might be the latest and greatest and efficient - compared to whatever was there before... no law has been broken. You must decide if you want to continue living there or move on... I would advise you move on... but make sure your next property has the energy profile you desire. Alternatively - smart meters and jumpers and uSwitch! You are responsible for the energy you use, no-one else. You are responsible for keeping track of your bills - no-one else. If you've arrived at a "multi-thousand bill" (I'll assume 3,000)... and it's 7 per day... you have been doing this for at least 428 days... move on, 'cos it's time to groove on...

And turn that heating down!!!
Newbie
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« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2020, 05:16:33 PM »

I did review the EPC myself, and while the efficiency was poor (as you'd expect from a building of this age) the EPC has proven woefully inaccurate (with energy costing well over double the estimate), meaning it would fall into the F or G category. If the estimate was a reflection of the real-costs, we wouldn't have had such an issue.

There were no previous bills to review because it was previously an office building, and we were the first people to live here once it was converted to flats.

Like I say, we rarely have the heating on and are very familiar with jumpers, so we can't really reduce our energy usage any further.

We're currently looking to jump ship, but property availability on the rental market here is limited.
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« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2020, 05:33:18 PM »

I think you have very clearly articulated where your path lies... focus your efforts on moving to somewhere that excels in this area, ASAP. I don't think trying to claim anything against the person who told you something has legs.
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