Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,639 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi. I just got my electricity bill, and it's again 145 euros for two months. I'm in a one-bedroom apartment that's about 50 m2, and I can't understand how I'm using so much. I've had no heat on for the last two months. I've never paid an electricity bill in my life, as it's always been included in my rent. So I'm wondering if someone knows how I can figure out how to save on electricity? I'm doing the best I can by limiting my usage, but perhaps can figure out how to do better? Here are my electrical usages:

- Counter-top ceramic stove
- Small microwave
- Medium-sized fridge with freezer
- Three room lights used regularly
- Fume hood over stove
- Water tank heater set to low setting of warm water (no hot water)
- Laptop, speaker and monitor plugged in all day
- Extra-large convection oven
- TV

Does anyone know what type of cost I'm looking at for these usages and which are the best ones to target to reduce my bill?

Here are pics of my bill:

IMG_20150508_011326430.jpg
IMG_20150508_011351501.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
913 Posts
€145 for your apartment sounds about in line with our last bill. We have a small 2 bedroom terraced house and our recent bill is €212.

We have asked Iberdrola to check our electricity usage but they say, as we are on a private urbanisation, they are not responsible for electricity usage within our gates.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,101 Posts
Anything that heats gobbles up electricity. So your cook top, your oven and your water heater are the culprits. Having a gas cook top and oven, and a gas or solar water heater would be cheaper to run - but those are changes you can't make because you're renting. Short of eating raw or having cold showers, it looks like your electric bills won't get any cheaper.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,163 Posts
Anything that heats gobbles up electricity. So your cook top, your oven and your water heater are the culprits. Having a gas cook top and oven, and a gas or solar water heater would be cheaper to run - but those are changes you can't make because you're renting. Short of eating raw or having cold showers, it looks like your electric bills won't get any cheaper.
Sadly for you, AllHeart, I agree with Kalohi. We have gas for cooking, although we do heat our water by electricity. With a 3.45kw potencia, my bills are around €90 for two months, and I think the fact that your cooking facilities are all electric accounts for the difference - both because you will use more electricity, obviously, but also because your potencia is almost certainly higher than mine as it has to be to run an electric hob and oven, therefore your standing charges will be higher too. The only things you could try are using a timer for your water heater (ours is on for 1.5 hours twice a day) and if you have a washing machine with a cold wash facility use that all the time, as we do, so the machine is not heating up the water. It works fine so long as you use liquid detergent not powder, as powder doesn't dissolve properly in cold water. But those small adjustments aren't likely to save you very much, unfortunately.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,012 Posts
Sadly for you, AllHeart, I agree with Kalohi. We have gas for cooking, although we do heat our water by electricity. With a 3.45kw potencia, my bills are around €90 for two months, and I think the fact that your cooking facilities are all electric accounts for the difference - both because you will use more electricity, obviously, but also because your potencia is almost certainly higher than mine as it has to be to run an electric hob and oven, therefore your standing charges will be higher too. The only things you could try are using a timer for your water heater (ours is on for 1.5 hours twice a day) and if you have a washing machine with a cold wash facility use that all the time, as we do, so the machine is not heating up the water. It works fine so long as you use liquid detergent not powder, as powder doesn't dissolve properly in cold water. But those small adjustments aren't likely to save you very much, unfortunately.
If it's a modern boiler then this won't make any difference.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
I'm all electric here. Cooking is by electric as is water heating, with at least one shower a day, plus clothes washing. I paid my two month bill the other day €58.27. If you have not got a bad meter (it happens) you may be paying someone else's electricity. Turn your electric off for as long as reasonably possible and see if a neighbour complains. In Britain a few years ago, someone did this and found the nearby traffic lights went out.

If you have access to your meter, turn everything off and see if it is still moving.

You could buy one of the small ovens which also works as a grill. They are not expensive. I have had chickens in mine without any problems.

PS. You don't have outside lights left on all night, do you?
 

·
Super Moderator
Originally from UK but lived in many countries
Joined
·
6,931 Posts
Hi,
l am not familiar with the Spanish electricity industry - but I notice that your standing charge is very high as a proportion of your bill.
In the UK, you can choose your tariff and your tariff suits high users more than the low user that you are.
In the UK, you would be better on a tariff with a slighty higher price per unit but no standing charge.
Try to find out if this is possible in Spain.
Also - don't underestimate how much power your lights use.
As an example, if you have 3x 50w halogen lamps - they use 150w per hour or 1 unit of electricity every 6.6 hours.
These can normally be changed for LED lamps that use a tenth of the power and normally last for around 10 years - so payback very quickly.
Cheers
Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,012 Posts
I'm all electric here. Cooking is by electric as is water heating, with at least one shower a day, plus clothes washing. I paid my two month bill the other day €58.27. If you have not got a bad meter (it happens) you may be paying someone else's electricity. Turn your electric off for as long as reasonably possible and see if a neighbour complains. In Britain a few years ago, someone did this and found the nearby traffic lights went out.

If you have access to your meter, turn everything off and see if it is still moving.

You could buy one of the small ovens which also works as a grill. They are not expensive. I have had chickens in mine without any problems.

PS. You don't have outside lights left on all night, do you?
I'm not saying you're wrong but that seems very low - was it estimated or real?

My standing charge on a flat I own is 33€ for two months (59 days in this case) with zero usage.

You must be living in the dark and only eat raw fish and salad :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,611 Posts
Try cooking in batches, freezing the surplus and using the microwave to defrost/reheat. If you do turn the oven on, cook several things at once and reheat them later.

Get a pressure cooker which takes less than half the time to cook things (though they are expensive to buy).

Use cold-water detergent (30ºC) in the washing machine.

Make sure the temperature on the fridge and freezer isn't turned up too high. 4ºC for the fridge and -18ºC for the freezer is the optimum.

Don't leave your monitor on when you're not using it. They are surprisingly greedy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,639 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Hi,
l am not familiar with the Spanish electricity industry - but I notice that your standing charge is very high as a proportion of your bill.
In the UK, you can choose your tariff and your tariff suits high users more than the low user that you are.
In the UK, you would be better on a tariff with a slighty higher price per unit but no standing charge.
Try to find out if this is possible in Spain.
Also - don't underestimate how much power your lights use.
As an example, if you have 3x 50w halogen lamps - they use 150w per hour or 1 unit of electricity every 6.6 hours.
These can normally be changed for LED lamps that use a tenth of the power and normally last for around 10 years - so payback very quickly.
Cheers
Steve
Hi Steve. :) I'm not sure what you mean by "standing charge." Are you referring to the second picture with the grey areas (impuestos, recargos y otros conceptos)?
 

·
Super Moderator
Originally from UK but lived in many countries
Joined
·
6,931 Posts
Hi Steve. :) I'm not sure what you mean by "standing charge." Are you referring to the second picture with the grey areas (impuestos, recargos y otros conceptos)?
Hi,
No - the first picture "potencia facturada" this part of the bill is the standing charge - in other words you pay this bit even if you use no electricity.
Cheers
Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,639 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Sadly for you, AllHeart, I agree with Kalohi. We have gas for cooking, although we do heat our water by electricity. With a 3.45kw potencia, my bills are around €90 for two months, and I think the fact that your cooking facilities are all electric accounts for the difference - both because you will use more electricity, obviously, but also because your potencia is almost certainly higher than mine as it has to be to run an electric hob and oven, therefore your standing charges will be higher too. The only things you could try are using a timer for your water heater (ours is on for 1.5 hours twice a day) and if you have a washing machine with a cold wash facility use that all the time, as we do, so the machine is not heating up the water. It works fine so long as you use liquid detergent not powder, as powder doesn't dissolve properly in cold water. But those small adjustments aren't likely to save you very much, unfortunately.
Hi Lynn. :) Yes, I forgot to mention that I have a washer and dryer. I don't use the dryer as I hang all my clothes outside. I only use cold water in the washer and do use liquid soap.

I can manually change the heating on my water heater. So based on everyone saying my water heater is a large culprit, I've just turned it off. I had it set at 1.5 out of 5, but I really don't need hot water other than to shower. So that will save on my next bill.

I also forgot to say that I have a heater on the wall, and see that my bill goes back to Valentine's Day (Feb 14), and I think I was using my heater then. No need for that any more with 25-30 degree weather, so that will reduce the next bill.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,639 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Hi Steve. :) I'm not sure what you mean by "standing charge." Are you referring to the second picture with the grey areas (impuestos, recargos y otros conceptos)?
OK, gotcha. Thank you. I didn't know that. I also like your idea of the halogen lights. Next time I'm at Ikea, I'll buy them. Yesterday I started my new habit of turning off all the lights during the day, as there is plenty of day light in my apartment to do without lights.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,639 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I'm all electric here. Cooking is by electric as is water heating, with at least one shower a day, plus clothes washing. I paid my two month bill the other day €58.27. If you have not got a bad meter (it happens) you may be paying someone else's electricity. Turn your electric off for as long as reasonably possible and see if a neighbour complains. In Britain a few years ago, someone did this and found the nearby traffic lights went out.

If you have access to your meter, turn everything off and see if it is still moving.

You could buy one of the small ovens which also works as a grill. They are not expensive. I have had chickens in mine without any problems.

PS. You don't have outside lights left on all night, do you?
Hi Cyberia. That's an incredibly low bill! Thank you for your suggestions. No, I don't have access to my meter. No outside lights, unless I'm paying for the street light outside of my patio window. I use my microwave for small things to heat up - not my oven - so that's already as cheap as possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,639 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Try cooking in batches, freezing the surplus and using the microwave to defrost/reheat. If you do turn the oven on, cook several things at once and reheat them later.

Get a pressure cooker which takes less than half the time to cook things (though they are expensive to buy).

Use cold-water detergent (30ºC) in the washing machine.

Make sure the temperature on the fridge and freezer isn't turned up too high. 4ºC for the fridge and -18ºC for the freezer is the optimum.

Don't leave your monitor on when you're not using it. They are surprisingly greedy.
Hi Alcalaina. Thank you for your suggestions. Yes, I cook in batches and freeze for later. I use the fridge to defrost and the microwave/stove to heat up. I recently turned up the fridge-freezer knob from 2 to 3, because it was so low that things were moulding in the fridge prematurely.

Re the pressure cooker, my parents used to use that. I never have because I can't see or taste the food as it's cooking - I have no idea what's going on inside the pot. I don't really time things that I cook - just test as it's cooking. So I don't use a pressure cooker.

I'm in the new habit of turning off my monitor when not using it. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,611 Posts
Re the pressure cooker, my parents used to use that. I never have because I can't see or taste the food as it's cooking - I have no idea what's going on inside the pot. I don't really time things that I cook - just test as it's cooking. So I don't use a pressure cooker.
I was terrified of it at first, but my Spanish friends converted me. Now I use it for things like soup, garbanzos, dried beans, lentejas, vegetable stews etc and then adjust the seasoning at the end. It is so much faster and you get used to how long things take, after a while.
 

·
Super Moderator
Originally from UK but lived in many countries
Joined
·
6,931 Posts
I was terrified of it at first, but my Spanish friends converted me. Now I use it for things like soup, garbanzos, dried beans, lentejas, vegetable stews etc and then adjust the seasoning at the end. It is so much faster and you get used to how long things take, after a while.
Hi,
Agreed, my wife uses our pressure cookers (we have three sizes!!) for curries, rice pudding, soups, lentils, stews etc.
Food is cooked in a fraction of the time (especially mutton curry - quickly becomes tender) - the cookers come with full instructions and recipe books and there are plenty of recipes and details on the Internet.
Cheers
Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,639 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
I was terrified of it at first, but my Spanish friends converted me. Now I use it for things like soup, garbanzos, dried beans, lentejas, vegetable stews etc and then adjust the seasoning at the end. It is so much faster and you get used to how long things take, after a while.
My parents also cooked almost everything in the pressure cooker. Next to eating my home-cooked meals, my favourite thing about cooking is cooking for the aromatherapy and the tasting and the watching as the food changes to the perfect consumption colour, texture and taste. I'm retired now, so I enjoy the cooking even more now - slow motion. No pressure. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
I'm not saying you're wrong but that seems very low - was it estimated or real?

My standing charge on a flat I own is 33€ for two months (59 days in this case) with zero usage.

You must be living in the dark and only eat raw fish and salad :p

I have normal usage, as I said before. This is the same kind of bills I had at my previous house near Alicante, and a house outside Nerja before that. All of them all electric (I can't stand gas cylinders after having one catch light while I was standing next to it.)
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top