Why is my bill higher than my neighbours
Simon… How did the staff at Sero assist with identifying the times when you and your family where consumed the most energy?
Eric… Well, I enquired if it was possible to break down at what times of the day, we were consuming the most or least energy. Within a day I received a detailed response, and it was very informative.
Simon… What did the breakdown tell you?
Eric… Over the month of June, 38% of our usage was between the hours of 6 and 9 in the morning.
Simon… Over a third between those 3 hours? That is a lot! I should ask for the same breakdown, as I have noticed that our consumption has gone up over the past couple of months and I cannot figure how? If you do not mind me asking, what are your consumption figures for your house over, shall we say, the past 3 months? We should have the same, as same size families, same number of solar panels etc.
Eric… Let me look via the Sero app. Here we go, May 234, June 235July 185, and August 155. How does match up to your figures?
Simon… Either my husband and the two children are secretly powering an electric car each or Robert [Simon’s husband] has a hot tub stashed away somewhere, as my figures are, May 300, June 356, July 327, and August 356. Am no mathematician, but my consumption is much more than yours. This does not make sense. I need a cuppa… the eighth of the day. Robert tells me I need to cut down on my caffeine intake, as well as stop having full English every day, though, they are my little luxuries and hearty breakfast, sets me up for the day! Simon clicks the switch for the kettle as his husband Robert and their two sons Oliver and Liam are playing multi-screen, multi-player, Vampire Meerkat Hunters.
Simon… Any of you guys want a cuppa? As one… Yes please.
Robert… Your turn to hang the washing as well since you are out gassing with the neighbour’s. Simon unloads the 8kg washing machine… two shirts, two t-shirts, a pair of trousers and five pairs of socks and takes the basket under his arm and heads back to the garden.Simon… Now where were we?Eric… [jokingly] Where’s my cuppa?
Simon… Oh sorry mate, will re boil the kettle now. Milk and sugar?
Eric… Only joking.
Simon… So, tell me, how did you reduce your consumption in July and August, especially with your children being home?

Eric… I took a step back and looked at what appliances we were using that time of the day. Yes, bit of a manic time that time of the day, though I noticed a few things.

Simon… Such as?
Eric… For example, how many times the kettle was being boiled or re-boiled, the appliances that were switched on and not being used, the inefficient way we were using our washing machine and the multi-screen cinema we had open every morning. The children with their televisions on as well as the television on downstairs. So, as a family, we took the decision to change our habits.
Simon… What changes did you implement?
Eric… As you know, I am a coffee monster, thus I purchased a thermal cup, £2.50 out of the family budget. Only boil the kettle once in the morning, instead of the usual half a dozen. We had a family outing visiting the local charity shops and bought a few board games and a pack of cards. Cost £4.50. So, instead of us either secluded away in our rooms watching the TV or tapping away at our mobiles or laptops, we spend at least an hour a day playing board games or cards. Plus, we even got the children interested in reading books! Fiona is reading a book on forestry conservation and Ed is reading a book on ancient Japanese cultures. Plus, whilst at the library, both signed up for volunteer dog walking at the Monty home for retired Marine Corp dogs that is what they are doing now. Eric’s wife, Fionna, calls from an upstairs window.
Fionna…. Eric love, make yourself useful and hang the washing out.Eric proceeds to unload his 8gk washing machine and fills up the washing basket. Simon notices the washing basket is full and enquires.
Simon… What is the size of your washing machine?
Eric…Umm, 8kg, I think. Why do you ask?
Simon… Well compare our washing lines… Yours full, mine is sparse and we have the same size machine! Eric. Ah yes… instead of six washes a week, we decided on two large washes a week. I noticed that the washing machine was only being half filled when used. Read that not economically or energy efficient to half fill the washing machine, thus we changed our routine.
Simon… mmm. If I may ask, with all your energy saving and your purchases, have you saved any money? Could do with adding a few extra pounds to the family coffers with the upcoming price increase plus, as you are aware, the price of coffee etc has gone up.
Eric… Saved enough that we have been able to afford, as well as the boards games and thermal mugs, all in house have one now, to purchase a Big Red health grill. And with the upcoming increases, I estimate everything that we have purchased, plus our lifestyle change, will help us a family, have fun, eat healthier, reduce our bills and by more environmentally friendly.
Simon… So, your initial purchases, though an initial dent in the family budget, will save money long time?
Eric… I cannot audit down to penny’s, but, for example, using the health grill, cooking time has halved and the grilled tomatoes and chicken taste as good as when cooked in the oven. Plus, the added bonus of not spending money on cooking oil. Over the past month I estimate cooking time has reduced by at least a quarter.
Simon… I will follow suit, ask for the same type of breakdown, and see what times of the day the family’s consumption needs addressing. I will email Sero on Monday and take it from there. Right mate, have to say bye as am joining the clan for a day of gaming. Speak later.Eric…. Have a good one Simon walks into the kitchen and is about to put the kettle on again, when he reflects on the previous conversation……