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Smithy

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I have been trying to make sense of electricity consumption and originally thought that my modest woodwork machines were using to much electricity. A weekend without use has shown no difference. We, that is just two of us, are consuming 18kw a day. We have the usual electric appliances plus an immersion heater. I would be interested to know what people think is a reasonable average. I am inclined to think that our meter is faulty. Any comments would be appreciated.

Mike
 

OLD

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Switch every thing off and see if you are still spinning the meter then check the consumption of high users, immersion ,cooker etc you can get consumption meters that go between the plug and socket for the other appliances then you can determine if its your or the electric company's problem.
 

soulboy

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OLD":3c7dyph3 said:
then you can determine if its your or the electric company's problem.
Nagden's in france, it won't be the electric company's fault :twisted:
 

RogerS

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It's the bloke next door shinng all those bright lights on those funny looking plants that smell a bit strange :wink:

Seriously, do as the others have suggested. Switch everything off...and I mean everything..easiest is to turn off at the fusebox. The meter should not be going round.

Then just turn on an electric fan heater or convector heater..ideally something chunky like a 2kW heater and run it for an hour. Check the meter reading before and after you do this. It should go up by 2 units (assuming that French meters measure in kW and not some funny French unit)
 

Eric The Viking

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[@mods: this may belong in General Topics, possibly]

Coupla things:

kW is a rate of electricity use. kWh (kilowatts x hours) is the amount of electricity used (the same as the energy used).

So, to check, you take the rating of each thing in watts or kilowatts (1kW = 1000 x 1W), and multiply by the time it has been on. Then add everything up over a given time period.

Heating devices are usually huge users of electricity. Kettles are 2 or 3kW, immersion heaters are 3kW (usuallly). Fan heaters are the same, and instant electric showers are often 6kW, as are electric cookers. Microwave ovens are a bit less, as they heat the food not the surroundings, but semi-commercial ones are often 2 or 3kW. Modern big TVs range from 100W to 500W+ (ours is 300W I think).
Computers with monitors are about 300-500W, possibly more if the monitor is a cathode ray tube or the system is powerful.

Your meter, if it is an old-style spinning disc sort, is unlikely to over-read (it would have to spin faster, rather than slower!). The modern electronic ones are supposed to be bang-on accurate (so your bill may go up if you've had it changed recently).

I'm guessing you've only recently taken notice of how much you're using, as it's now getting really pricey. Otherwise, the only way you can find the 'culprit,' if there is one, is to switch things off one at a time and see which causes the biggest change in the speed the meter clocks up.

This next bit applies to the UK. I don't know about France:

Gas and Electricity costs should now quoted on your bill in the same terms - cost per unit of energy (per kWh, usually, or something involving Joules, which is a different way of measuring energy). It shows that the cost of heating anything by electricity is around four times as expensive as using gas. Personally, I fill the kettle from the hot tap whenever possible, as it saves money (don't do this if your system has a header tank in the attic, as the water may not be sterile).

Hope that helps.
 

Smithy

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Soulboy I think you are probably right. The French electricity company is EDF who now operate on a huge scale in the UK. I suspect not too many people realise they have a French electricity company.

Thanks for your replies. I have done a lot of the measures suggested and am still confused. Our immersion heater I would think is our biggest user and I reckon that uses 3kw a night the washing machine is timed to work at night and that is another 3kw. We have a modern fridge and freezers and ultra efficient kettle. The oven is a bit meaty but is not used excessively. When I have talked to friends they are using half what we are.


Mike :?:
 

9fingers

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You must understand the difference between kW which is the power drawn by the appliance usually the peak draw) and kWh which is the quantity of power you pay for.

I would expect your water heater to use 3kW for several hours per night whereas your washing machine would only draw 3kW for say 20 mins per wash and maybe a few hundred watts for the rest of the wash cycle.
All kettles are 100% efficient, the only saving is by only boiling the water you need each time.
Are you leaving lights on when not needed? Have you got computers/servers on 24/7
Older TVs and satellite receivers left on standby can consume surprising amounts of power.

Bob
 

No skills

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Is the imersion heater on for more than an hour? back in our old flat I put the override on once and forgot to turn it off for 3 days (ouch £) #-o do you have any large exterior lights (500w halogen etc) that are on a lot at night?
 

9fingers

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Back of envelope calculations suggest that to heat 1 litre of water from 20C to 80C will take about 1.5 minutes with a 3kw heater.

Put another way your immersion switched on for 1 hour will heat 40 litres of water through 60 degrees (approx). your tank is possibly 120 to 150 litres at a guess so could be on for 3hours or more so that will be 9-10kWh or half your measured consumption.

Bob
 

angelboy

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My folks have a place in France - they have been once this year - their electricity bill was £1000.................they contested it and the French electicity company refused and said they want paying........my folks have had to pay.............they've now decided that they're getting rid of the house in France!
 

devonwoody

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Nagden, our consumption is also 18 units a day over the 12 months.

Eon gave us a digital calculator which measures current passing through the positive wire so you can look at the screen and see your cost and consumption figures as you turn appliances on.

But 18 seems to be the figure and I cant get it down without cutting off my nose.
 

gus3049

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We pay €89 per month at present. This was assessed from when all the machines were in regular use, plus our household stuff, immersion heater, kettle, computers and hi-fi on all the time etc. We have a maximum of 6kW - you choose your tariff over here based on what you think you will need and they fit a main fuse accordingly. You pay according to the supply.

Hopefully, it will reduce after the last few months of non use of machinery.

We know people who have had a bill for €5000 (OK they live in a chateau) more than their usual. EDF, of course, are refusing to believe it could be a mistake. Poor souls might have to sell one of their twenty or so houses if it carries on.

Cost of living over here is not a joy. Our weekly shopping bill has never been big as we are largely self sufficient but we have seen the weekly shop almost treble in the last couple of years (its as high as €30 some weeks :shock: ) When we were commuting everything seemed so cheap compared with the UK - no longer.
 

devonwoody

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And if the euro crisis deepens, France will be into serious trouble imo. But then again the EU is a slippery customer.
 

Jonzjob

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Mike, which system are you on? Red/white/blue or heures creuse?

For those in the U.K. there are 2 systems here.

One where you have red days, where the power cost is very expensive :shock: White days where it is the same cost as 'normal' and blue where it is cheaper. We hear friends saying that they don't have anything switched on, especialy the heating, on red days! There are 22 days of red and you are informed the evening before when they are and they are normally on very cold days. 43 white days and 300 blue.

The second is the one what we are on. Cheap hours (heures creuse) and normal. Because of the age of our house, 29years, we have 2 periods of cheap. About 5 hours in the afternoon and the same overnight. New houses can only get the overnight period because they changed the system.

So apart from anything else Mke it depends on what you have on when. Our imersion heater is on an auto setting where it only comes on during heures creuse as does the swimming pool pump!
 

9fingers

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Distribution cost are dearer in France. Roughly the same population as UK but many time the area to cover and far flung communes with few customers that all need small amounts of power. The red white & blue is a strange scheme as I can't see it saves EDF much generating capacity but I've always said the French are a funny lot!

However once Smart metering is rolled out in UK I can see we will have differing tariffs for differing times of day/weather conditions/phases of the moon/any thing else they can think of etc and they will have the ability to switch individual consumers off if they so decide. Smart technology forced onto the defenceless consumer!

Bob
 

Jonzjob

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Electricitie de France or EDF have a lot of customers in the U.K. too and a bit like HSBC Hongkong and Shanghi Banking Corporation loads of people just don't know they are dealing with?

I think it was Gordon who said about the different tarrifs? We too are on 6Kw and if we exceed that it trips out smart like. If we wanted we could have a 3ø supply, but at a price :shock: Before the advent of main CBs the tarrif was set by a fuse and if you blew that you had to call EDF out to change it in their sealed box and they charged loads to do it!

You still got a fuse Gordon?

The electrifical house wiring here is very different too. No ring mains allowed. No flat twin/earth and stupid 2 pin sockets that you can put a 3 pin plug into and have no earth connection. Line/neutral switched all over the place. That's just a start. It has been know for clowns come move over to renovate houses and wire them to the U.K. norm even down to U.K. sockets. When the EDF bloke comes to check it he just walks away laughing!
 

Smithy

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Many thanks for all your replies, they have been very helpful. I am now going to get a seperate meter and monitor our appliances one by one. We are on a 6KW tarrif with cheap rate at night. I agree with the other French residents that life has become very expensive here. I am staggered at the number of people who are on the SMIC (minimum wage). I do not know how they cope.

Mike
 

Digit

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and save the Moroccan sea squirrels!
Damn! I hadn't realised there were endangered.

The fact that EDF is French is rather a moot point as quite a bit of our electricity is generated in France regardless of
who ever puts their name on the top of your bill.

Roy.
 

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