1. Expert Q&A: Living well as a carer - Thurs 29 August, 3-4pm

    As a carer for a person living with dementia, the needs of the person you care for will often come before your own. You may experience a range of difficult emotions and you may not have the time to do all the things you need to do. Caring can have a big impact on both your mental and physical health, as well as your overall wellbeing.

    Angelo, our Knowledge Officer (Wellbeing) is our expert on this topic. He will be here to answer your questions on Thursday 29 August between 3-4pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

Utility bills - I'm new to this forum

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Phew, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. Phew

    Phew Registered User

    Feb 10, 2018
    I'm the sole carer for my Step father since my Mum died last year.
    Their elec bill was £57/month but since Mums not there to turn off the lights the bill has risen to £100/month.
    I don't live with him atm as I don't feel he's yet in harm living alone and I'm less than 10 mins away and i visit daily, do all the nec and have lunch with him etc and leave around 3pm but the lights are all on when I return every morning. I don't want to ask him to turn them off or he may get into the habit of doing that and then we'll be in trouble once Autumn/Winter hits as it'll be dark and he could trip/stumble etc, but I think I've heard of some utility companies who offer the kilowatt per hr rate at slightly less for those living with dementia. Could anybody please tell me if they have come across anything like this before I sign up to a company for a yr etc etc. Thank you in advance for reading and any help you can offer !
  2. try again

    try again Registered User

    Jun 21, 2018
    Having just had my own bills put up then I can only suggest that you do the normal price comparison on how much he is being charged. I haven't heard of any reductions.
  3. Angela57

    Angela57 Registered User

    Jan 22, 2016
    Hi, I've just googled this and cannot find anything from suppliers who offer this. Perhaps the citizens advise may be able to point you in the right direction?

  4. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    Have you got low energy led light bulbs? It can make quite a difference.

    My apologies if you've already thought of this.
  5. Phew

    Phew Registered User

    Feb 10, 2018
    Thank you for taking the time to respond. Also to say you've not heard of any reductions. Maybe I was hopefully dreaming ;)
  6. Phew

    Phew Registered User

    Feb 10, 2018
    Thank you Angela.
    I was hitting a brick wall with all the companies I rang, but I have to say I've not yet tried Citizens Advice. Thank you !
  7. Phew

    Phew Registered User

    Feb 10, 2018
    Thank you. I'm am gradually changing all the bulbs over but the kitchen has loads ! A friend said today 'take one or two out' if it won't make the area too dark and that may be another way forward until I can afford another one of those low energy ones as although they're helping to reduce the cost of electricity they're bloomin expensive to buy aren't they, but yes deff a good idea, and thank you as I had taken my mind off that part of the plan....
  8. Angela57

    Angela57 Registered User

    Jan 22, 2016
    They may not be able to help, but always worth a try. They are notoriously difficult to get in contact with though, always busy.

    Good luck, Ang x
  9. Angela57

    Angela57 Registered User

    Jan 22, 2016
    A word of advise regarding low energy led bulbs, I've tried to get them cheaper on eBay in past, but they don't last long, so false economy!
  10. Phew

    Phew Registered User

    Feb 10, 2018
    Thank you again Angela.
    I've just rung but they're not there and the chat online thing on their website isn't working now either. I'll try them thurs as tomorrow is mega busy.... thank you again, x
  11. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    North West
    Of course, there will be other things that use electricity in the house in addition to the light bulbs. Are you sure none of those are being left on?
  12. Amethyst59

    Amethyst59 Registered User

    Jul 3, 2017
    Hello, @Phew. Welcome to Talking Point, if you haven’t had an official one yet! Have you looked into the reduction of council tax that is available? I’m pretty sure you can apply once PiP or Attendance Allowance is being claimed. That would mean a bit of extra money in the pot.
  13. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    North Manchester
    £516 p.a. is a lot of lights being left on for a long time.
    As has been said are any other appliances (heaters etc) being left on?

    I doubt if any supplier will give you a reduced tariff so it is up to you to do something.

    Installing low energy lamps in fittings and reducing the number of lamps in fittings will help, there are also hitech solutions involving time delays and motion sensors.

    In the final analysis ~£10/wk in the cost of looking after a PWD can fade into insignificance, although 'every little helps' is still a good mantra.
  14. YorkshireLass

    YorkshireLass Registered User

    Feb 15, 2017
    Hi there. welcome to the forum. Looks like there's a lot of advice and ideas posted by members. I don't know if this is still available but when my mum lived at home we were with British Gas (for gas and electricity) and every winter I applied for a winter payment from them as mum was on basic pension plus attendance allowance. This was classed as a low income and her fuel bills were more than a certain % of her income. They paid £120 towards winter fuel and this went into her electricity account which was also with British Gas, We never swapped suppliers because of this. Could be worth looking into and might help others too. Someone might remember what it's called too!
  15. Louise7

    Louise7 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2016
    It's called the warm Home Discount Scheme. You can get a £140 discount off your electricity bill if you receive the guarantee credit element of Pensions Credit or are on a low income and meet your energy supplier's criteria for the scheme:


    Here's a list of energy suppliers in the scheme but I think you'll have to find out what their individual criteria is to see if your step father meets it as this may differ between supplier.

  16. Hair Twiddler

    Hair Twiddler Registered User

    Aug 14, 2012
    Middle England
    Thinking about Nitram's comment ... does step-dad have a freezer that is running empty/door slightly open or a washing machine run regularly with only a few items inside? Garden lights? Plug-in radiator?
  17. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    One hundred pounds a month is a lot, I live (alone) in your average 3 bed semi, gas central heating and hob but all the usual electrical appliances; fridge, freezer, washer, tumble dryer and my last bill was just over £100 for 3 months so literally a third of his!
    Is the meter reading correct or are they using estimates? Estimates always seem to be on the high side sometimes double the actual usage so it's worth checking the meter.
    Anything that gets hot uses a lot of electricity so any form of electric heating, washing machines, tumble drier, irons, kettles and the like use way more electricity than any light bulb so if he uses anything like that a lot that's where the money's going.
    Old fashioned bulbs were typically 60 to 100 Watts, the new ones are about 8 to 12 Watts so there is a big difference, but my tumble drier is 2,500 Watts, the washing machine and oven about the same so while getting low energy bulbs is a good idea there are plenty of things that could be the cause.
    According to my electricity bill I use on average 4.8 Kwh a day or 1,710 Kwh a year and over the year that averages out about £40 per month (with the standing charges) which I think is pretty reasonable as I'm home pretty much all day most days.
  18. Duggies-girl

    Duggies-girl Registered User

    Sep 6, 2017
    Hi I have installed led bulbs in every room now except the bedrooms. We have eight bulbs in the kitchen and five each in dining room and front room. We have not lost one in well over two years. I bought them in that pound shop and they are very good.
  19. gotanybiscuits?

    gotanybiscuits? Registered User

    Jan 8, 2017
    the beautiful south
    Any "plugged-in" lights (eg. table lights) could be put on to timers.
    Usually they're cheap enough in the likes of B&M, etc.
  20. Slugsta

    Slugsta Registered User

    You can also get light switches that turn off after a certain time, which could be useful for places like the hall that are just passed through.

    However, £100 per month would seem a lot, even if every light is being left on 24/7!

    Edited to add - a 'smart meter' would tell you where the electricity is being used.

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