Are you overpaying on your utility bills?

Economy 7 tariffs give cheaper rates at night (usually midnight – 7am) and more expensive ones during the day. If you have storage heaters this can save you money.  However, if you use nearly all your electricity in the daytime, you could be overpaying on your electricity bill.

If you’re on Economy 7 and decide it’s not for you, check if your supplier will switch you to a normal meter for free. If your current supplier charges for new meters, see if you can switch to another provider that will transfer you over without charge, try British Gas, SSE, Scottish Power, Npower, EDF or Eon.  You will probably find you will be placed on a standard tariff, so as soon as you move to a new meter, do a comparison online and then move to the cheapest deal  (be aware that if you’ve got storage heaters and move to a electricity-only tariff, using them on a normal rate can be expensive.)

If you decide to stick with Economy 7, make sure you are making the best use of the cheap night rate:

Always check exactly when your off-peak period begins and ends.  Be careful when the clocks change!
Make sure your meter’s clock is working correctly
Maximise your night time usage.  For example, install timers on washing machines, set tumble dryers to come on just before you wake, (fire brigades advise against setting tumble dryers to come on while you’re asleep) and charge gadgets at night

Sewerage Charges. While the water meter billing system is mostly straightforward, it’s assumed “what goes in, must come out” and that any water used creates roughly an equivalent amount in sewerage. The general assumption is that 90-95% goes back. But this can be wrong in a few specific circumstances.

Do you have a soakaway?  This is a large underground pit that collects water from the roof or drive. If you’re unsure you can check your property deeds or see your local authority to check the planning application.

Water companies should give rebates to those whose surface rainwater goes into a soakaway or straight into a river or canal, rather than mains sewers. This is usually between £20-£50/year and can be claimed whether you’re on a meter or not. To apply for a rebate call or go online to request a form.

Do you have a cesspit or septic tank?  If you’re in an area with no connection to mains sewerage, so have a cesspit or septic tank, you don’t have to pay sewerage charges. This only applies to a few people, but you should query any charges paid for sewerage services if your property isn’t connected to the main sewerage system.