I’ve been getting my knickers in a right old twist about my gas and lekky bill.
Everywhere I look come dire warnings that prices are zooming by as much as 50%. Help-ma-bunkie, that will blast a major hole through my monthly budget.
Affa visions of cutting down on lunches with the girls. Even worse, sticking just to coffees. Nightmare. Bye bye, beloved battered haddocks.
I haven’t had a bill for about six months, so I knew one was due any day. Sure enough, I just about tiddled masellie when the letter came last week asking for my readings.
Have you ever thought about recording ever-so-slightly lower numbers? Me too, but never dared, lest an inspector arrived and exposed my felony. I phoned them in and waited for the worst.
Frugal on fuel
I like to think I’m fairly frugal on fuel. Because of my huge, south-facing living room window and underfloor insulation, a touch of sun turns the place into a hothouse, so I rarely need to switch on the heating until late afternoon, even in winter. And I always cocoon myself in a thick, woolly cardie long before I even go near the “on” switch.
Of course, on entry, my heat-challenged quine always harrumphs: “It’s absolutely Baltic in here!” Tough.
As for the electricity, I’ve a night and day meter, with the cheaper rate kicking in from 11.30pm to 7.30am. The lekky-lapping dishwasher and tumble dryer are always late-nighters; nobody close to be disturbed.
I loathe central lights, so most of mine are on walls or table lamps, rarely all on together. When I’m watching telly, all I need is one wee 60-watter. That’s pretty damnt dim. The kids reckon, in another life, I must have been a mole.
So-called money-saving expert Martin Lewis’s recent telly shows have put the wind up me
In spite of my energy-saving proclivities, my monthly payments are always on a fast incline. I started off with SSE, idiotically thinking “Scottish” gas would be cheaper, then switched to French-owned EDF. They always fix my new direct debit higher than it needs to be, so I’ve to phone and haggle it down.
So-called money-saving expert Martin Lewis’s recent telly shows have also put the wind up me. He scraiks about prices rocketing, yabbers too fast to understand why, then advises: “Don’t do anything. Sit tight meantime on the price cap rate.”
Dodging a big bill
Then, clunk, my missive from EDF with the new prices. My peer handie shook. Don’t tell me I’ll need to get a paper round.
There, at the top of the letter, in big, black writing: “Your monthly payments are staying the same.” Fit the? How the? If they never have before, how could they possibly now?
Well, for one thing, both my gas and electricity usage was down – no-visitors lockdown solitude has its advantages. More crucially, my payments are not going up because, last February, I opted to go on to a fixed tariff, not for just one year, but two, staying on the lowest rate until February 2023.
Eeehaa! How clever I am? Can’t even remember doing it, nor why. But I can smell the plates of battered haddock as I write.