Monthly Energy Cost Calculator Spreadsheet

An image of an old calculator

If you like a spreadsheet and want to know what you are actually going to pay for your energy on a monthly basis, rather than what the average bill will be, then you can download this Excel document, put your monthly usage in, add the unit costs and get a monthly cost and annual total for your usage.

It can be difficult to find actual unit rates, as all the announcements are for total average usage rather than the kWh unit cost and daily standing charge, but Money Saving Expert has them here. You can get past values from your old bills.

If your billing periods don’t equate to calendar months you can change the months and days columns in the document to suit.

This will show your actual costs (assuming you put the right data in) rather than the average bill cost which the energy price cap is usually quoted in, which is a bit more useful when it come to having an idea of what you’ll actually pay. Note that this isn’t what a monthly direct debit would be as those usually spread the annual cost equally across 12 months.

Going 5 minutes quicker

I’ve completed the Cyclone 100km route for three years in a row and improved dramatically each year due to experience, more practice and a new bike.

The challenge for 2015 is to shave another 5 minutes off my time to get under 4 hours. Training starts in January (weather permitting).

Cyclone 2012
Cyclone 2012

Cyclone 2013
Cyclone 2013

Cyclone 2014
Cyclone 2014

Setup a fixed IP address

In order to setup some routers, print servers and modems you  often have to connect to them via a wired connection even if they are wireless. Some of these devices have an inbuilt DHCP server so it’s just a case of connecting a cable and you are ready.

For the devices that do not have inbuilt DHCP you may need to set up your PC to have a fixed IP address. To do this in Windows XP go to Network Connections in the Control Panel.

Find the connection you will be using to connect to your device and right click on it and choose Properties from the menu. It the dialog box that appears scroll down the list of protocols in the centre box and find Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) and click on the Properties button.

Network Connection Properties
Network Connection Properties

In the new window that pops up click on the radio button next to ‘Use the following IP Address’. It the IP address field enter an IP address for you machine. This should be in the same range as the device you are connecting to. For example if you are connecting to a device with an IP address of 192.168.0.102 you could set this filed to be 192.168.0.100. Pressing the TAB key after the last number automatically fills in the next line. If you are just setting up a device you can leave the rest of the fields blank and click OK to save all the settings.

Once you have finished setting up your device you can set you connection back to automatic by repeating the steps  above and choosing the ‘Obtain IP address automatically’ option. You will also need to choose the ‘Obtain DNS server address automatically’ at the bottom of the page.