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Sunny Sundays

I love a sunny Sunday. It’s our chores day, generally, a day when we get the house sort for the week. Do a main dish for dinner and generally try, and obviously I’m failing, to get away from the computer screen.

It’s the first truly sunny day of the year so far. I had a task to get a click and collect from Argos, so walked down the road. The heating noticed we were away, allowing the house to have a break from pumping hot water through the floors and radiators – especially since my son refuses to make use of the Tado geo-fencing. As it is so bright today, opening the curtains wide allows the most to be made from solar gain too. The solar iboost is heating the water, thus allowing our footprint to be reduce by just a little bit.

The sun is a benefactor in many ways, an early afternoon stroll gives us our steps but a useful dose of vitamin D too. Running a washing load while away, means that we can make the most of the solar energy by donating while getting things done. The good news being on a floating tariff means our tariff will soon be coming down – finally. But only in terms of the unit price, the price for what we use – which is the only thing in our control.

The standing charge, the rate per day for getting gas and electricity supplied to the house, is still increasing. Which is not great – lowering the unit price makes it pay to use less energy, but the standing charge is swallowing this up.

Some months, with more days being in the month, the charge is more, e.g.

MonthNumber of daysGasElectricity
January31£8.59£12.89
February28£7.76£11.64
March31£8.59£12.89
April30£8.32£12.47
May31£8.59£12.89
June30£8.32£12.47
July31£8.59£12.89
August31£8.59£12.89
September30£8.32£12.47
October31£8.59£12.89
November30£8.32£12.47
December31£8.59£12.89

February is the cheap month here, as a result.

Of course, moving to using electricity for your heating helps here: you save an automatic £8.59 a month by not having gas connected – though of course that is not the major cost, the electricity standing charge is £4.30 a month more than the gas for the months with 31 days.

We turn our gas boiler off for 3-4 months of the year – from mid-May to mid-September. During this time, we use either solar power to electrically heat our hot water or an hour in the morning just off the mains. But of course, we still have to pay our standing charge for the gas – £25.

Make sense to go to a standing charge free tariff?

Personally, I would love this – it makes the unit price higher but if you don’t use, you don’t pay. For reducing the carbon footprint of the UK, surely that’s what the regulator should be looking at doing?

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