South West electricity cost

In a similar vein to my daily electricity cost investigations 4 years ago, I thought I should work out the costs for

This is a big issue for our family since oil prices have rocketed leaving us testing our brains trying to work out questions like:

  1. Is it cheaper to do hot water with electricity?
  2. Is an immersion heater the way to go or are there more efficient options?

For general heating we have recently brought out a Japanese style electric heater, but we struggle to compare it the cost of oil based heating since it's really quite hard to work out the efficiency and consumption of our Rayburn.

Back to electricity and I'm really quite disappointed the way electricity bills are done still. If electricity bills and reporting were done well, I can't help but feel people will make much better decisions.

For example how many people go nuts nowadays when someone leaves a light bulb on? Lets assume you leave 5x20W (energy saving bulbs) running 12 hours. Lets assume you are charged 10p per kW/h.

0.100kW*12hrs*10pence= 12 pence for the day

Is it really worth going nuts over 12 pence? No !!

The EDF bill

It's in PDF which sucks. There is unsurprisingly no API and the delay is very long. For example I logged onto on 2012-05-27 to find the latest bill from 2012-01-12, almost 5 months ago.

direct debit balance curve

It might be more convenient to pay a regular sum for budgeting, but again this obfuscates what your consumption actually is. I think you need at the very least a summer versus winter perspective.

coarse energy usage

17.5 kW/h per day is the average I assume. This figure is practically useless. If we knew day to day our kW/h consumption then we could act upon this information.

Charge breakdown

I think in our case the cost per kW/h is 9.73 pence (10.22pence including VAT). But just by my experience before, it's probably an incorrect assumption when you factor in the confusing "standing charge". My mother understands the "standing charge" is the same as BT's line rental. In that case we get charged about 30 pence per day for having electricity running to us.

I also don't understand why EDF have ridiculous tariff names like Fixed S@ver v2 that change every season which is very hard to find clear information about. My mother allegedly had to "fight" to get this rate. Not sure why.

This "Fixed S@ver Version 2" tariff end on 30 September 2012 and we don't actually know what the price will be from then.

Add confusion about competitors

Evidently there is a new law that electricity providers must tell you about a cheaper provider. I'm not sure how this works because they are all probably in cahoots with each other. All the infrastructure in our part of Cornwall is maintained by SWEB. We know this because we have a small pylon on our farm and we get paid by SWEB to have it across our property. Even though EDF discontinued the 'SWEB' brandname on 5 June 2006.

Maybe you simply need to move to get cheaper electricity. The cheapest electricity according to the "Fixed S@ver Version 2" booklet which isn't seemingly online anywhere is Yorkshire.


I hope you agree that electricity utilities are not any clearer to 4 years ago, making it incredibly difficult to make informed decisions about energy.


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