could my meter be faulty?

I live in a one-bedroom flat, and because I'm afraid of getting a big gas bill, I'm *very* sparing with my central heating. I usually just put it on for half an hour when I come in each night, just to take the chill off the air. At most, it'll be on for an hour or so. And the only hot water I use is the water that's been heated through the central heating being on (ie: I use the setting for "hot water and C/ H" rather than '"hot water only", then use some of the hot water to wash, do dishes, etc, after I've turned the C/H off again). This is the only thing use gas for, as I have an electric cooker.
I'm being as frugal as I can be, yet my gas bill from Powergen for last quarter was over 110. This seems really excessive.
Also, I noticed that when I deliberately left the heating/hot water off completely for a week, the meter still went on running, and clocked up half a cubic metre of gas. The only way I can keep the meter from running is to turn the gas off at the mains.
I contacted Powergen and they said gas meters were 'very rarely faulty'.
I don't know anyone else where I live that has gas central heating, so can't compare bills. Could anyone here tell me if this bill seems too high?
Thanks in advance.
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Turn the boiler isolator switch off. The electricity supply to the boiler that is. See what happens over a few hours.
If it is in fact running, even when the boiler is completely off - not just the programmer telling it to be off - which may in some cases (frost stats, ...) then there is certainly a fault somewhere.
If you can find an isolator valve before the boiler for gas, then turning this off will eliminate the boiler as a possibility, the remaining possibility being a leak. This may not be detectable inside, if it's into a well-ventilated space.
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wrote:

big
just
the
C/
to
is
water
not
space.
Could be an older boiler with a pilot light burning all the time
AWEM
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On 5 Feb 2007 09:47:23 -0800 Viv wrote :

One-bed flat covers everything from a small modern studio to a Victorian conversion with very high ceilings and draughty sash windows. 110 would seem expensive for the former and cheap for the latter. What sort of flat, what sort of boiler (make and model should be visible if you look)?
--
Tony Bryer SDA UK 'Software to build on' http://www.sda.co.uk


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viv wrote:

Does your boiler have a pilot light? 0.5 cu. m of gas is only about 5.5 kWh, or 33 watts for a full week (168 hours). That's quite low as pilot lights go - the one on my ageing Baxi accounts for about 120 W.
Also - as you seem to have a metric meter - make sure that your supplier is aware of this and is not applying the times 2.83 conversion factor to convert from the 100 cu. ft. 'units' of the more common imperial meter into cu m. If this factor is applied when the meter is already metric your bills will be high by a factor of almost 3. This has been known to happen. Caveat emptor!
--
Andy

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There are some obvious possibilities more likely than a faulty meter, setting aside the mystery of an advancing meter for the moment.
Is the bill an actual bill or an estimated bill? If an actual bill are the previous and current readings correct? Check the bill and meantime record the meter readings every day when you get in.
Next, is the meter number on the bill the correct meter number? Is this your first "high" bill? For how long have you been the occupier?
Perhaps an obvious question, how do you know its your meter?
In cases like this concentrate on the bill, billing and metering first before getting technical.
Jim A
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viv wrote:

Do you have a wife and/or kids?
If yes to the above then try isolating the gas fire if you have one. It could be being used while you are not there to compensate for the cold house.
Just a thought.
Pete
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viv wrote:

My bill for the last quarter was between 40-50 with EDF. I'm not generous with the CH, but I do have hot water every day and the gas fire on quite a lot.
So it could be the 2.83 conversion factor mentioned by Andy Wade.
Owain
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Thanks to everyone here for their advice so far (though some of it is a bit technical for me, as I'm not a DIY-er). I'm not doing this post from home, as I'm not on-line, so I can't answer questions about which boiler, meter, etc, just now, but I will give a bit more info to clarify matters.
As to the size of my home, it's a very modern ground-floor council flat, so the rooms are fairly small. Also, I never have the heating on in the kichen, and very rarely in the bathroom. That leaves just three radiators:bedroom, living-room and hallway. My flat also has double glazing throughout.
I live by myself, so the only time the heating's on is when I turn it on. And as I said earlier, the only hot water I use is what has been heated through having the C/H on.
Someone here remarked that 0.5 cubic meters isn't really that much, which makes me wonder if somehow I'm being charged wrongly. I say this because last year I monitored how much the meter changed through a quarter. It was something like 8 cubic meters (it might have been more, but it certainly wasn't very much - even the meter reader remarked to me "it's hardly gone round at all since your last reading"). So naturally, I expected a tiny bill, and was shocked when it turned out to be 84. I phoned the company, and was told that I had to multiply the cubic meters by about three or four factors to get the kwh result, which is what they were billing me for. I seem to remember that this calculation bumped up the cubic meters figure up by a factor of 39, and when I'd done this, the bill of 84 turned out to be correct. But I'd still hardly used my heating at all! I used a pocket calculator to do the calculation, and checked it three times.
I just get the feeling I may be being charged wrongly somehow.
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Possibly, but you still don't appear to have scrutinised you bill. That is an essential first step in a metering/billing dispute.
Jim A
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On Tue, 06 Feb 2007 11:51:52 GMT, Jim Alexander wrote:

Quite, that will have all the required numbers to take the volume of gas used and convert it to kWHrs along with the formula to do so.
Might also be worth checking that the volume units on the bill are the same as the volume units that the meter measures.
--
Cheers snipped-for-privacy@howhill.com
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And that the meter number on the bill matches the number on the meter.
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Try calling your local Energy Efficiency Advice Centre on 0800 512 012
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