Everyone feels the pinch now, if you’re in the northern hemisphere at least.
Winter is coming…
… but so is the heating bill, and my fuel poverty!
Although, when I was preparing to move out, I knew Winter would mean extra costs in terms of heating but then I moved out.
Before we go any further, I love my little flat- but there are flaws.
The biggest problem is that I live in a listed building, technically my flat spans across two listed buildings. If you’re unaware of what that means; in the UK historical or architecturally important buildings, which can range from castles to old shops, are given a protection.
On practical terms this means that the building can only be updated within certain limits, to keep it’s integrity. For me that means no gas oven or stove, electric storage heaters, and not really double glazing.
I call it ‘not really double glazing’ as there are two panes of glass at each window. The exterior is a traditionally styled, and I swear in some placed original, window frames coupled with a newer second frame. Both of which open independently of each other and in Summer work rather well, but aren’t that well insulated.
The storage heaters are very modern, they were put in between the last tenant moving out and my moving in. My landlord, it turns out, is not only happy to modernise his properties, but actively seeks effective ways of doing so. I looked up the brand and model number when I first moved in, and found that they are highly effective – for storage heaters.
As you can image, combining ‘not really double glazing’ with the ‘effective for storage heaters’ my home is not that warm. To explain; I have an electric key metre rather than a direct debit, which I have no issues with but as everything is electric it gives me a brilliant way of measuring my heating expenses.
During the Summer, logically, I have no heating expenses and £10 Saturday top up lasts me for just over a week. So £40 (49 USD, 46.44 EUR) for the month give or take.
Earlier this month I took the advice suggesting to heat all the rooms but to a low temperature. The idea being it prevents any damp and means that when you do want to heat the it warms up quickly- thus making it cheaper. No. Just no. I topped up £20 on the Saturday, as I had a busy midweek and didn’t want to wedge a trip into Asda for a top up. Upon arriving home from work on the Wednesday I found that my metre had run out- completely. Technically I was over drawn by 34p. If I wanted to keep this up it’d be £45 a week, not wanting to come home to a powerless flat midweek again, so £180 (224.14 USD, 209 EUR) a month.
As a someone living on their own, £180 is more than I spend on food a month- let alone heating.
I reverted back to what I had done last year. I haul my TV stand, my monitor for Chrome Casting, into the bedroom and heat just that one room. It’s a more manageable £20 week, so £80 (99.62 USD, 92.87 EUR) a month, but it does get annoying.
For all intents & purposes, I have a bedsit over winter, not a flat. When there is a ‘warm’ weekend during the Winter I do manage to use the living room, or as my partner calls it, the Ice Box. Even if I had the money to heat it, I’d not have the time during the week. I did try last year, I sat in there with jumper, hoodie, coat, scarf and gloves on and just found the whole exercise a bit stupid.
My partner promises that my future will hold a fully heated home- which I am visibly excited about.