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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

I am trying to get to understand which Electricity and Gas tariffs we will need to choose when we move to Portugal. Here in the UK its simple as there is only fixed and standard tariffs offered but in Portugal there seems to be different rates according to consumption but you appear to have to work this out in advance?

With electricity there is the Potencia Contratada (KVA) which has values like 1,15 2,3 3,45 4, 6 and on up with a Potencia Contratada (eur/dia) and a Termo Variavel (eur/KWh) rate against each. These have different rates for Com tarifa de acesso and Sem tarifa de acesso.

With Gas there are different rates for Escalao De Consumo like 1o esc. (0-220) 2o esc. (221-500) 3o esc. ( 501-1000) and 4o esc. (1.001 - 10.000). Next to each again com and sem tarifa de acesso with Termo Fixo (eur/dia) and Termo de Energia ( eur/KWh) prices

Then there are Tarifa bi-horaria prices too !

Help! Can anyone explain simply what this all means and how on earth a person new to Portugal chooses which to plump for?
many thanks
John
 

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I can't help with Gas tariffs as I don't use any other than the odd bottle of gas for cooking.

The electricity tariffs broadly involve two components - a daily charge related to the contracted power (Potência contratada) and a charge per unit for energy consumed.

The supply is limited to the contracted power, so if you try to exceed the limit you have agreed the supply will be interrupted by a user resettable switch. This may limit the number or type of appliances you can run simultaneously. The Potência can be changed at no cost at any time.

The unit cost is broadly the same, regardless of Potência but the Bi-horária tariffs allow you to pay more for 'daytime' electricity in exchange for cheaper 'night-time' consumption. There are two different time bands - the same every night or a shorter period every night and some of Saturday and all of Sunday. You typically need to use one third of your consumption at the cheap rate to make a saving over the standard Simples tariff.

Until you can gauge exactly what will suit you best, it's probably best to contract for the same sort of Potência & tariff as the previous occupant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dear Richard,
Thank you for your message. Do you know whether the figures under Potencia Contratada like 1,15 2,3 3,45, 4,6 5,75 6,9 etc are the hourly consumption in kWh ?

thanks
John
 

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The Potência contratada is the peak power that you can draw instantaneously before the supply is interrupted. You are paying for the right to be able to use that amount of power (kVA) simultaneously. You pay this every day whether you consume any energy or not.

What you actually consume is charged per kWh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks. I understand the concept. What I do not understand is whether the peak power listed by the electric company is the maximum amount of kWh you can use by each hour or by each day. This obviously makes a difference when choosing which maximum to plump for. For instance 6.9 kWh used each hour would be quite generous but if that were the amount you were allowed in a day that would be quite restrictive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ah Having thought about it a moment longer I think it may be dawning on me. I suppose I need to add together all the devices kwh that we are likely to use in any moment and that would be what we require to ask for. This is quite a tall order to calculate though . I think I will need to make my latest spreadsheet much more complicated to tel....Ughhhh !
 

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Sounds like you're getting there! That's why I suggested opting for the same as the previous occupant, at least to start, as they've had the benefit of practical experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Unfortunately we will be buying a new property and so there will not be a previous owner to ask about electricity consumption levels. I have made out a spreadsheet covering hourly periods and fed in those appliances we will be using. All went well until I tried to estimate the kwh for airconditioners/heaters. The total was so high no one could ever afford it! Im sure I am going wrong with these units as they are unnecessary in the UK and we have gas powered central heating here which does not seem that common in Portugal. I guess people either rely on heaters/aircon units or a log burner. We are not keen on log burners because we do not drive and so it may be difficult to maintain a supply of fuel and they are supposed to be damaging for the environment as they burn fossil fuels.
 

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Unfortunately we will be buying a new property and so there will not be a previous owner to ask about electricity consumption levels. I have made out a spreadsheet covering hourly periods and fed in those appliances we will be using. All went well until I tried to estimate the kwh for airconditioners/heaters. The total was so high no one could ever afford it! Im sure I am going wrong with these units as they are unnecessary in the UK and we have gas powered central heating here which does not seem that common in Portugal. I guess people either rely on heaters/aircon units or a log burner. We are not keen on log burners because we do not drive and so it may be difficult to maintain a supply of fuel and they are supposed to be damaging for the environment as they burn fossil fuels.
On the EDP website there is a calculator. Just click on all the items that you have / might use at the same time and you get the answer. As a rough guide a Property with aircon, electric ovens, fridges and freezers will need 10 kva and if you add to that a a pool, irrigation and a borehole pump go for 20kva.
 

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Unfortunately we will be buying a new property and so there will not be a previous owner to ask about electricity consumption levels. I have made out a spreadsheet covering hourly periods and fed in those appliances we will be using. All went well until I tried to estimate the kwh for airconditioners/heaters. The total was so high no one could ever afford it! Im sure I am going wrong with these units as they are unnecessary in the UK and we have gas powered central heating here which does not seem that common in Portugal. I guess people either rely on heaters/aircon units or a log burner. We are not keen on log burners because we do not drive and so it may be difficult to maintain a supply of fuel and they are supposed to be damaging for the environment as they burn fossil fuels.
Hopefully your new home has excellent insulation as a part of its construction ? All being well at least 'A' or 'B' ? That being so the AC units can be reasonably sized and you should be able to install 900 or 1200 btu units for each room.

Each will consume about 1kwH so will cost 20 cents per unit per hour to run - either on heating or cooling.

Logs should be delivered and stacked neatly by the 'log man' when you call him - no need to drive anywhere. Last year I was still paying 100 euro for a ton if I took a full load (5 Tons). Wood is a mix of Carob, Cork Oak and Olive and is the result of older non productive trees being chopped down and replaced with new ones - so sustainable in my view. Five tons lasts me almost two years burnt in a Portuguese wood burner with a back boiler that heats 1000litres of water and runs the underfloor heating system for the whole house (I also have solar panels and a heat pump to top up heat requirements when solar and wood burner are not enough - it's only occasionally needed). Not sure about the economics of gas central heating and would imagine a pellet boiler would be a lot cheaper to run.
 
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