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Electric Bill over 500 EURO - Always on is an issue?

  • 24-01-2023 10:28am
    Registered Users Posts: 39

    Would appreciate any advice on this. The last few bills have been through the roof, most recent was 525 and only for those credits that were applied I don't know what I'd be doing. I've done some digging and with the smart meter most things seem to be similar to other homes except our always on is nuts. As you can see from the shot below it's been high for quite some time. We've a few TVs that are always on standby, the kids have 2 consoles that are on standby and I've a heavy duty work computer that was always left on, now it's gone to standby mode to see what happens.

    Maybe it's me? But I think something is defintely wrong here.

    This is the KWH graph

    Looking at the charts, September 2021 was the last time that Always on was well below 100 quid (it was 53 euro) - Any ideas on how to figure out WTF is happening? As my projected usage is heading for 522 from now until March. Is it possible the meter is faulty? Or is there something in the house that's drawing huge amounts of power? If so how could I narrow it down?



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,802 ✭✭✭daheff

    So (and apologies if these are stupid questions you have already addressed in the background)

    What happened at 7am/7pm to cause these spikes?

    Are you using LED/CFL light bulbs where possible?

    Is heating included in this, or just electricity?

    Have you tried turning everything you can think of off and looking at the usage? turn on appliances one by one to see which causes a spike?

    are you charging a car?

    are your appliances A rated?

    Whats your usage in kWh rather than EUR? Maybe your electricity plan is not the best deal you can get?

    Also for comparison my usage over the past 12 months has been approx 4000 units (including charging a PHEV a couple of times a week).

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,205 ✭✭✭cruizer101

    Your usage is definitely on the high side, in the middle of the night we'd be using about 100w compare to your 300w. Standby might explain some of that but I wouldn't be strict and unplugging everything myself. Your peak usage is also pretty high, guessing the morning is an electric shower but even the evening peak seems high, my usage would rarely go over 1kwh in an hour even when cooking dinner. You've nearly 9 hours from 3 til 11 with pretty high usage, whats using all that power?

  • Registered Users Posts: 39 oldgamerhead

    7am may well be a shower, everybody getting up. 7pm is probably dinner being made, tv, consoles. Majority of the lights are philips hue bulbs (looking at the smart meter charts our lights are 20 quid) - Heating is Gas, so this bill is just electric.

    Not charging a car, not 100% on which appliances are a rated.

    I have an Alienware PC which are reportadly heavy going but I've changed that from always on to going to sleep (I know it's using, but it's using a lot less) - Maybe this is a stupid question but, If I were to turn everything on and off, would I just rely on the daily data from the smart meter (think that makes sense)

    Nov - Jan was 1146 KWH.

  • Registered Users Posts: 39 oldgamerhead

    Cheers for the reply. Thing is it wasn't always like this, even with that big PC always on. I know things have gone up, but this just seems a lot. And there's nothing new has being bought for the house that be using a tonne of juice, not that I can see anyway.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,041 ✭✭✭Icsics

    Would you consider a smart plan? Our night usage allows us a reduced rate 2-4, we do all washing & car charging then. Reduced up to 8am, so your showers at 7 would be reduced.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,205 ✭✭✭cruizer101

    The pc whilst it might have a 800-1200w power supply wouldn't use that much, even when playing games would probably only use couple of hundred and on standby would be feck all.

    Consoles maybe 200w plus a tv bring it up to 300w, how much are they playing? 300w x 2 kids x 5 hours a day x 60days x 40c unit rate could be 70quid ish, not massive but not insignificant.

    Might need to get a plug in power meter and check various appliances try see what is using most power. Can also get ones that go in meter box and connect to phone so you could read how much is being used as you go around plugging stuff in and out.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,205 ✭✭✭cruizer101

    Need to be careful smart plans, only suit if you can shift a huge amount of load to the cheap period. I've a smart plan but it works because I've electric car pulling 7kW from 2-5, the day rates are more expensive and you have a peak rate too from 5-7 where OP usage is highest.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,453 ✭✭✭Evd-Burner

    Cruizer is right, your standby usage is fairly high, my standby from 11pm to 2am is always less than 150w and I have a tonne of items on standby etc. You seem to be averaging 375W which over 24 hours is 9kWh alone, depending on your tariff that could be almost 5 euro a day alone.

    My bi monthly usage at the moment is about 1300kWh and my bills are coming in around sub 450 and that's with an electric car charging and electric heating an office with somebody always home.

    What tariff are you on?

    Would you consider buying a while house ct clamp monitor, attaching in the meter box and then turning off circuits at the board to investigate and go from there down to a device level?

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,162 ✭✭✭ongarite

    Your standby usage is really high. I'm using 110W always on with HRV system running 24/7.

    I've 2 TVs, 2 Google TV/Shield and PS5 on standby at all times. PS5 uses 3W on standby and others less than 1W.

    The PC is the one to focus on. If left on 24/7 it's pulling 200W just idling on desktop.

  • Registered Users Posts: 39 oldgamerhead

    Cheers for the reply. Really insightful. Any recommendations on plug in power meter or the ones that go in the meter box. Took a look on amazon and there seems to be a tonne. No hassles if not.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 39 oldgamerhead

    Thanks for the reply. On the Electric + tarrif (discount of 4.5%) - The clamp monitor is definitely an option.

    First plan is from tonight, I'm going to plug out the alienware completely and leave it off for 24 hours and I'll take a look at the smart meter data and see what that says as this is what I suspect is the problem (but more of a guess than anything) - But the thing is, the spikes are at 7am and 7pm and it's rarely used at either of those times. So it could well be something else.

  • Registered Users Posts: 549 ✭✭✭Manzoor14

    Might be worth popping into your local library, you can borrow the plug-in monitors for a few weeks.

  • Registered Users Posts: 39 oldgamerhead

    Thanks for the reply. Wow!! My gut is telling me the PC as well, and it's only in the last 6 weeks or so I've turned on the goto sleep function, but that may not be enough?

  • Registered Users Posts: 39 oldgamerhead

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,510 ✭✭✭OwlsZat

    Have you any of the following?

    • Electric Shower
    • Electric Oven Hob
    • Air conditioning
    • Any Storage Heaters / electric heaters?
    • Grow bulbs
    • Heated pet enclosure

    Do you put on the washing machine, diswasher etc at night time if so what time?

  • Registered Users Posts: 39 oldgamerhead


    Yes on the electric shower - now that you mention it, the pulldown switch is always on - dunno if that makes a difference

    Oven /Hob - yep. Not used every day

    No Air con

    One electric heater for outside that's used for an hour or two every few weeks, if that

    No grow bulbs

    No heated pet enclosure

    Dishwasher goes on whenever it's needed, mainly when we go to work in the morning, but at night? probably after 10pm

    Washing machine the same

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,317 ✭✭✭bladespin

    Really doubtful it's pc and consoles, really looks like something heavier is consuming as mentioned above that king of consumption is normally related to heating or cooling. Check Immersion heater setting/switch, fridge setting.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,988 ✭✭✭jmreire

    I've everything now switched off at the wall switch, but I'll have to wait until the next bill comes in to see what if any difference it will make. Last bill was €300, so its wait and see time. I've already converted all the lights to LED bulbs. I don't have a smart meter, only the old style one, so not sure if it can be interpreted like the smart meter type?

  • Registered Users Posts: 39 oldgamerhead

    You could be right. Currently, the immersion element needs to be replaced as it's tripping everything for the last while, so that's not being used at all until we get it sorted. Heating is gas and no air con. As for the fridge, it's set to 2 degrees. Freezer is at 19.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,012 ✭✭✭

    If you dont , where do you get hourly graphs for kWh/T from? I want one

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,051 ✭✭✭Sarn

    That confused me as well. That was a different poster to the OP that said they didn’t have a smart meter (although the nature of their comment made it look to be from the OP). The OP has a smart meter.

  • Registered Users Posts: 39 oldgamerhead

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,061 ✭✭✭DataDude

    Your peak useage is extremely high and won’t be driven by an accumulation of small things like bulbs/computers.

    Only things I can think of in my house that could give that sort of usage profile would be either Immersion to heat water or electric underfloor kicking in in a few bathrooms.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,012 ✭✭✭

    yep, i admit i got mixed up. 😊

    And OP need smart meter to monitor "smart meter"- loving it 😊

    anyway, there seem to be some unaccounted and unwanted usage

  • Registered Users Posts: 39 oldgamerhead

    Cheers, unless it's the immersion that's causing it, but the heating element is knackered so it's always turned off

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,012 ✭✭✭

    Just to ensure, switch it off at the fuseboard if not done yet. Not going to repeat - "stand by" heavy users listed in few posts above. PC runnig (without any tasks) can consume ~100W depending on hardware - prime suspect

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,510 ✭✭✭OwlsZat

    Is the pull cord on the shower for a pump to turn on or off or is it to heat the water? The shower could be keeping a bit of water heated the way a quooker tap does?

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,676 ✭✭✭✭Dtp1979

    Have you allowed for the fact that the **** have pretty much doubled the price of electricity in the last year?

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,988 ✭✭✭Stone Deaf 4evr

    one other thing to consider once you've exhausted the above suggestions.

    If your water is coming from a bored well - make sure you dont have any leaks under the footpath following the recent big freezes - the pump will keep running, and a leak might not be obvious as the water will be underground. In worst case scenario you could lead to issues with your foundations.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 202 ✭✭hello2020

    how do you view the smart meter readings?

    my latest bill touched 500 for two months and now considering switching to smart plan as well..but they say you can not revert back to old plan once smart plan is opted.