Why is my electricity bill so high?

However carefully you plan or budget, life can still throw nasty little surprises your way. An unexpectedly high electricity bill can blow a hole in your finances for the month and leave you wondering where you went wrong. On this page, we’ll take a look at why these things happen and explore the ways you can avoid them in the future. First things first, ask yourself the following questions.

Is my bill accurate?

Although it’s more common to take a meter reading every six months, your supplier is actually only required to take one every two years. If your bill’s based on estimated reading it might not accurately reflect your energy use. So first of all, check to see if your bill has been estimated. If the answer’s yes, check your meter. If you can see a lower number than the figure on your bill, get in touch with your supplier. With a more accurate reading they may well re-issue (and possibly reduce) your bill.

If your energy use has dropped because of an unseasonably warm spell or if you’ve moved into a new property, an estimated bill might not reflect your energy use accurately. Lots of people are looking to new ways of getting more control over their energy bills. Smart tech like smart meters, smart thermostats and voice control are some of the most popular.

Do smart meters save money?

One way to guarantee accurate readings and to stay on top of your energy use is with a smart meter. We’re currently rolling out our smart meters free of charge across the UK as part of the government’s national smart meter rollout. Book an appointment or register your interest to find out when this service is launching in your area. Or visit our smart meters home page to find out more.

Combine your smart meter with HeatSmart®, our Which? award-winning smart thermostat and you can gain complete control over your home heating and remove any uncertainty over your electricity bill. Find out more by visiting our HeatSmart® page.

 

Smart meter benefits include:

Control

See exactly what you’re using and spending 

Accuracy

Only pay for what you use

Convenience 

Automatic readings: no more hassle, no more home visits

Am I on the right tariff?

It may surprise you to learn that a lot of UK homes overpay on their energy bills simply because they aren’t on a competitive tariff. EDF Energy offers a range of tariffs to suit everyone, including:

  • Short term fixed: These are often our cheapest tariffs. It’s easier to budget and plan effectively with fixed prices
  • Long term fixed: Peace of mind with fixed prices for longer
  • Variable: Your energy prices can go up or down. If this happens we’ll notify you in plenty of time so you can decide whether to move to a different tariff or not. 
  • Prepayment meter tariffs: Fixed and variable options
  • Low-carbon: Our Blue tariffs use electricity 100% backed by low-carbon generation
  • Feed-in tariff: Generate electricity from a renewable or low-carbon source and you may be eligible for a government incentive which will support you or reward you for the energy you generate

We regularly review and update our tariffs. Each tariff will have its own features, benefits and terms and conditions.

Find out ways to reduce your bills in the EDF Energy energy efficiency section.

Have I used more energy this winter?

If you’ve experienced a particularly harsh winter, your heating bill might be higher than average. With heating and hot water accounting for over half of the UK’s energy costs, a cold snap can leave you with a larger than normal bill to pay.(1)

If you are of a pensionable age, are disabled, have severe health problems or are on a low income, you may be able to reduce your heating bills with our warm home discount. Find out more on our warm home discount page.

If you were born on or before 5th January 1952, you could get up to £300 to help pay your heating bills. This is the Winter Fuel Payment. If you receive the state pension or are on other social security benefits, you should receive this automatically. But if you need to check whether you qualify for the Winter Fuel Payment, you can call the helpline on 0845 915151(2)

Is my home properly insulated?

One of the most common reasons for high energy bills is poor insulation. The better your insulation, the more value you get for every unit of heat you use. Our insulation page will give you the information you need on insulating your home properly, guiding you through the various types of insulation available as well as the government subsidies available to help with your insulation costs.

Am I using an expensive fuel?

Natural gas is by far the most popular heating fuel in the UK and when used with a modern condensing boiler, one of the most affordable. Electric heating is expensive by comparison, especially without the aid of a heat pump. 

Our mix fuel

Every year we must publish details of the fuel sources that have been used to generate the electricity we supply to our customers. The information in the table below covers our supply licence for EDF Energy Customers Ltd for the period from April 2016 to March 2017. Our customers' electricity is sourced from our own UK power stations, the wholesale energy market and other independent power generators.  We are a major supporter of independent renewable generators.

 CoalGasNuclearRenewableOtherCO2 g/kWhRadioactive waste g/kWh
EDF Energy's fuel mix5.7%8.4%76.9%8.8%0.3% 840.0054
Contribution to our carbon emissions62.7%35.5% 0.0%  0.0%1.8%  
UK average fuel mix8.5%44.1% 21.0% 24.2% 2.2% 2540.0015

The figures for UK average fuel mix are provided by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Depending on the tariff you are on, the fuel source and carbon emissions associated with the generation of your electricity may vary. For more information on our fuel mix, visit edfenergy.com/fuelmix

EDF Energy's fuel mix per tariff or productCoalGas NuclearRenewableOtherCO2 g/kWhRadioactive waste g/kWh
Blue (1)0.0%0.0%100.0%0.0%0.0%00.0070
Renewable (2)0.0%0.0%0.0%100.0%0.0%00.0000
All other (3)9.0%13.1%74.4%3.1%0.4%1320.0052

(1) Blue tariffs and products - all residential Blue+ tariffs and Blue for Business.

(2) All renewable tariffs and products. 

(3) All other tariffs and products - tariffs not referred to as Blue or Renewable

The low-carbon electricity that we buy for Blue or Renewable tariffs and products is supplied into the National Grid. Customers receive that electricity through the National Grid, not directly from low-carbon generators.

Is my heating system programmed properly?

Improving your home for energy efficiency might be too expensive or (if you’re in rented accommodation) simply not possible. If you can’t alter your home’s heating system or insulation standards, then you could still reduce high energy bills through sensible control of your heating system.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, turning down your thermostat by just one degree can result in a saving to the average household of up to £90 per year. In addition to this simple change, you can also take control of the timing and zoning of your heating. Your rooms don’t need to be heated if you’re not using them so if you’re asleep, out of the house or not using certain rooms, you can save money by switching off your heating.

Is a new gadget or appliance adding to my bill?

A new appliance like a heater or tumble drier can bump up your energy bill but our love of gadgets will also have an effect. The graph below shows that while some items like cookers and washing machines have become more energy efficient over the years, ‘consumer’ electronics such as game consoles, home computers etc. are a growing part of our energy use.

Still need help?

If your bill is accurate but you’re still unhappy with the cost – or have questions regarding ways to lower your energy bill, you can discuss your needs via live chat. Our experts can solve most problems in a matter of minutes. Or if you prefer, you can talk to one of our team members on the phone. Call us on 08459 15151(2)

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