So, I was whining about how high the electricity bill was

And that led to thinking about what is it that actually runs off it?

Fridge, dishwasher, clothes washer, lights, hmm, nothing there to explain the 1500 kWhrs a month.

Phoned the electric company, surely this bill is wrong?

Thought a bit more, looked around – ah, that 2000W electric oil heater’s been getting a bit of use hasn’t it? Think it through, look up energy consumption numbers, prices, umm – yes, that probably is it.

Sigh. Only took 3 months to work it out. Sigh.

26 comments on “So, I was whining about how high the electricity bill was

  1. Might be worth investing in a heat pump? They’re usually reversible, so it’ll work as air-con in summer too.

  2. I had builders in last year, gutted and re-did most of my house.
    For about two months the central heating was out, and the builders had a electric oil heater in place set at about 5 degrees to stop stuff freezing etc.

    In those two months that heater cost the equivalent of my usual combined gas and electricity bill for 6 months…

  3. Using electricity for heating should be make a crmininal with unlimited fines because it trebles the pollution/global warming impact compared to gas-fired central heating or an old-fashioned fire.
    Oh wait! Tim says that there are unlimited fines.
    Footnote for those who want my sums – the extra electricity generated will use the marginal power station i.e. the coal one that we want to close down where the thermal efficiency for coverting heat into electricity is one-third or less and themn we have transmission losses (typically 10% but over 25% between Colorado and Los Angeles where the greenies want electricity but not nuclear power nor any power station in their backyard)

  4. Portugal. New place, it has a much more efficient system in it which needs a thorough overhaul as part of the moving in and spiffing up process.

  5. THIS! This is exactly why I tear my hair out at Greenies’ insistance that our entire energy-use infrastructure must be transfered over to supplies that can only supply electricity. Plus the problems of transfering the energy capacity of the gas mains over to the electricity mains on top of its existing use.

  6. @jgh
    But magic Greenie electricity is produced entirely from unicorn farts and contributes none of that evil carbon-stuff.

  7. Have just refilled my LPG tank which fuels boiler providing hot water and background heat. £950!

  8. @ jgh
    When we carpet most of the Sahara with PV panels and Norway with pumped storage schemes we shall be able to manage our much reduced (thanks to decreased population and austerity) energy consumption without fossil fuels.
    The re-greening of the Sahara will be an additional benefit

  9. Tim, I do hope when you spoke to the Portuguese power company officer, you used the Queen’s English. (Loudly if required to assist communication)

    Not some dago abomination.

  10. I wouldn’t mind having power sockets that reported usage, it would make it easier to track this stuff down. For my benefit, not the power company, of course.

  11. In the summer my bill for natural gas, which is used for cooking and water heating, is about $25/month. When, in winter, space heating is required, the bill more than triples, to $83/month! The outrage!

  12. I have an electric oil heater, on wheels, that I use on those days in winter when the temperature is particularly unpleasant. It is a beast and can raise the room temperature from around 12 degrees to 21 in about two hours. Fantastic purchase.

  13. How many cups of tea per day do you have ?

    I reckon about 98% of my leccie bill derives from using the kettle.

  14. “Housing here is built to deal with the summer warmth”
    Ditto Spain. The stone built villa is almost impossible to heat in mid winter. Single glazed so it leaks heat. Zero insulation. Winter of ’17/’18 we were still on the original electricity plan. 6 1/2 kW. For an 8 bed house with pool & sauna! Fucking dagos! In UK we put in 10kW for a 2 bed flat. Couple of electric heaters, hot water heater, try cooking or running the washing machine & the entire house would disconnect. Place does have a log burning fire. Except the hopeless local design sends 90% of the heat up the chimney. Fed 5 metres of wood through it in two months & just about kept the salon warm. Ended up relying on bottle gas fires everywhere.
    This winter we’d had the supply uprated with a dual phase feed. Cost about 350€ a month and still hardly comfortable.
    Thank heavens winter ended for good last week & won’t be back until late december.
    But that’s Spain. The houses are no better in the north where they have serious snow. The Spanish just don’t seem to understand heating.or insulation.

  15. Just a thought, Tim. Where’s your meter, relative to the house? The place we had in the Sierra Nevadas, the meter was on the line pole by the road with the supply running to the house 200 meters away. Checked the cable for that one cold day when we using a lot of juice & it was hot. Resistance of the cable. The cable strands were ridiculously undersized for the current demand. So a fair proportion of our electricity consumption was going to heat rural Andalucia.
    The understanding of leading edge modern tech like domestic electricity supplies is largely absent south of the Pyrennees. As is honesty amongst contractors. Cable’s expensive, so they try & get by on the absolute minimum spec. Like trying to service our large house on the coast with a supply would suit one bed studio. The fix for the house in the Sierras was to parallel the original cable with a heavy 4mm caravan extension, meter to house. The circuit breaker ceased dropping every couple days, as well

  16. We’re on a flat, the meter’s in the communal hallway. So, good idea, but no, it’s not that.

  17. Doesn’t sound like electric motoring has a big future in Southern Europe. Which is why the EU will almost certainly push it, it’ll leave the roads free for the important Eurocrats, whilst the plebs get around as best they can.

  18. As Andrew M said, consider a heat pump. I put one in my apartment and it transformed the place. Cost about 500 quid plus my time to install and pumps out 3x as much heat as the ‘leccie it uses.

  19. @Gareth Genuine question. Apartments are in communal buildings. How did you manage to install a heat pump, without disturbing everyone else in the building?

  20. I’m all-electric and my bill runs around £45–50 a month. The good thing is a cold day here is 22°C and a hot one 28°C so it’s dead easy building housing that doesn’t need HVAC. Offices need AC, but that’s more for the benefit of the computers than the staff.

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