Unexpected surge in electricity use?
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Unexpected surge in electricity use?

by dominocat » Fri Mar 03, 2023 11:10 am

Hi everyone, I hope this is an appropriate kind of post.

To give you a bit of background, I submitted an electricity meter reading to my energy company the other day, and the app told me that I’d gone from being £523 in credit, to £501 in debit! When I phoned up, I was asked to do something called a “creep test” which I did, and it showed that there was no change to the electricity meter, so unlikely to be a fault there. (It’s not a smart meter)

My last meter reading in December showed I was using 14 units per day, the new reading is 28 units per day, which even the person at the energy company said was “really high”. Even accounting for higher usage in winter, it doesn’t make sense.

All they have suggested is that there could be a fault on an electrical appliance in my home.

My question is this – can a faulty appliance still work exactly the same as before yet double my domestic energy use? Nothing in the house has changed, there are no new appliances and I’ve not had any problems with the appliances I have already. Of course I will contact a qualified electrician to check everything if need be, I’d just like some ideas before I do.

My apologies if this sounds vague, I’m happy to answer any questions that may help, I’m just really curious as to why my energy usage has literally doubled for seemingly no reason Many thanks in advance for your help.

Mr White
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Re: Unexpected surge in electricity use?

by Mr White » Fri Mar 03, 2023 9:19 pm

Short answer, no.

Check the meter once a day, write down what it reads along with the date and time.
Make sure that something is not being left on after use.
Do you have an immersion heater?
Is there an electric heater in your shed/outbuilding?

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Re: Unexpected surge in electricity use?

by ericmark » Sat Mar 04, 2023 2:20 pm

Items like fridge or freezer can use extra power when they become faulty, it is a test I do from time to time, if thermostat stops turning them off, or they lose gas, they can use up to three times the normal amount, but it is not that high to start with.

My approach is to turn off everything I can, then go to consumer unit and meter, and switch off each RCBO in turn and watch to see if meter stops or speeds up as each is switched on/off. Yours may have fuses or MCB's but same idea, work out which circuit is using power.

I have the advantage of a clamp on ammeter so a little easier for me, normally you can have a good guess by working out how much is being used, 13 amp is around 3 kW so if using 3 kW would look at kettles, immersion heaters, ect, but if 250 mA then looking for a 60 watt lamp being left on.

14 units is around 600 watt, a freezer is around 60 watt, so unlikely that, so assuming a single device looking for some thing using over 600 watt.

I have come across garages linked to wrong house, and even a socket connected to wrong house, but turning off circuits at the fuse box/consumer unit should help working out what is using the power.

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