Each electricity bill I receives gives an estimated breakdown of what I am using the electricity on. Each bill, AGL says I use at least 50% of the bill on hot water, yet there are only 2 people in the house.
Is it normal to use 50% of power on hot water ? What could be the reasons for such a high level of use on hot water ?
I note there is a booster switch in my switchboard- and its turned on . Could this be incurring extra costs that I dont need ?
I have reduced the number of showers from daily to just TWO per week, to reduce power consumption. Heating is wood fire, cooking is gas, lights are turned off when not needed, TV is only on when there is FtA cricket to watch, besides the hot water for the shower only the refrigerator is run by electricity and it is a near new unit, but my power bill is INCREASING !! What else can I DO ? According to AGL,s one web site, the cost for postcode 2350 should be about $140 p.m., i.e.$420 per quarter, but my most recent bill is $1-20 short of $700 !!!!
Incidentally, I don't know what percentage is hot water. These computer things are beyond me. I am a 72 yo partly physically disabled Pensioner. I would like to live at least CLEAN.
There are numerous reasons why electricity bills can be incorrect.
In the case of hotwater units.
Common issues with hot water can include :
Faulty thermostats are normally easily identifiable, the water is cold or very hot. If cold, then it would probably not be working, if the water was very hot then it is probably not turning off and the element is running continuously (high usage).
Heater elements normally do one of two things, work or not work. However, they can build up scale which effectively insulates the element from the surrounding water thus requiring more power to heat the water.
Incorrect use of hot water can simply mean that when you rinse something, wash your hands etc that you always run the hot tap.
When doing this you use hot water (whether you feel it or not), this is because when you turn on the hot tap, cold water is taken into the bottom of the heater unit and the hotter water (at the top of the tank) is taken out into the hot water piping system. This hot water does not reach the tap that you turned on and then simply gives up its heat to the surrounding pipework.
Now, you should also be aware of how you shower and how long you use it for.
Even though it may be nice to have a steaming hot shower with the water massaging your body, you should adapt your usage to a more economical approach, e.g. cooler water, reduce the pressure and the time spent in the shower.
Now, the reason your supplier knows how much you use on your hot water service, is because it is connected to the Off Peak or Controlled Load section of your meter and this should be listed separately on your bill.
If you push the bypass or the bypass override is faulty then your hot water would be using Peak consumption and not showing as Off Peak usage.
Now having said the above I would not recommend having an electrician look at your system but a plumber.
A plumber needs to have an electrical licence to work on hot water systems but an electrician does not need to be plumber to test your electrics.
Having a plumber check your system means that he can also service your system at the same time and more than likely would have the necessary parts on hand to repair any fault found.
Now I can also tell you that their have been stories in these community pages that the result of high usage has been where the user has lived in a multi unit block or in a duplex house where the wiring has been crossed over and the user has been paying for the next-door neighbours usage.
This however, is simply proved, turn off all the circuit breakers in your residence, press the bypass on your meter and see if you are drawing any power. (There should be none). Don't forget to turn off the bypass again.
If you think your meter may be faulty, having it tested is expensive and if the meter is not found to be faulty then you have to bare the full cost.
Don't have a smart meter then you could simply ask AGL to update your meter (this saves them Meter Reader costs) and then using the AGL APP or Web login you can view your usage by the hour.
Also have a look at https://www.smarterhotwater.com.au/
This is a free hot-water service (maybe some extra costs) for the smaller unit and less than $1000 to upgrade to a larger unit.
This is not for everybody but we have Solar on the roof and as their are only two of us we have the small unit (cost nothing for the change over), It is configured to turn on during the day (when we have free power from our solar). Uses approximately 3kW a day and we have plenty of hot water.
Hope this helps.
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