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Electricite tarif - which one is best? And hot water


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Not sure if this is the right place to post this.

We've had our first year as french property owners, and have had our electricity bill for the period, which comes to 227euros.  We've been there for about 4 weeks in total, much of it in the cooler months, admittedly, and we have had some workmen in too for about 3 months. 

I'm trying to make sense of the bill, and trawl the edf website to work out whether we are on the best deal, but could do with some help.

 

We are on "heures creuses code 024", and I know our cheap rate (creuses) is overnight and at lunchtime - but I can't find anything on the edf site that tells me what code 024 is.  Am I right in thinking that this tariff runs 365 days with no red, blue days etc.? Where does it tell me about the tariffs on edf?

Next, we have a huge hot water tank that I cannot fathom.  It is modern, no more than 4 or 5 years old at most, I would say. There is no switch, like our UK immersion heater, so it seems to be permanently on as soon as we turn on the electriciy.  However, it only seems to heat the water now and again, but I can't worl out the times.  Last time we were there, it didn't heat up for about 24 hours.  But once it does heat up it is boiling hot, and I can't seem to find the thermostat to turn it down - Im sure it must be somewhere on the tank.

Is it common for the hot water tanks not to have an on\off switch, or do you think I jst haven't found it yet?

thanks

louise

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The heures creuses/heures pleines tariff runs through the year.

To make the most efficient use of the tariff, your electric water tank should only heat up during the heures creuses parts of the day.

There should be a special fuse (contacteur heures creuses, about €50) on your main electric board, which receives a signal from EDF and switches the tank on and off automatically.

The fuse itself has an on/off/auto switch.

The EDF page on heures creuses is here: http://www.edf.fr/accueil/j-ai-besoin-d-energies/electricite/les-tarifs-electricite-141626.html

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[quote user="lancashirelass11"]

 We've been there for about 4 weeks in total, much of it in the cooler months, admittedly, and we have had some workmen in too for about 3 months. 

We are on "heures creuses code 024", and I know our cheap rate (creuses) is overnight and at lunchtime - but I can't find anything on the edf site that tells me what code 024 is.  [/quote]

Code 024 as shown here seems to say you have 6 KW of energy available and have 8 hours of off peak per day - does that seem right?

Edit: This is v slow to load as it is an adobe document.

Your ballon - or electric water tank - should only heat up during the off peak period. The water temp is usually quite hot especially if, like us, there are only usually 2 of you and you don't use much hot water.

With our first elec bill there was also a one-off charge for connection - about 50 euros or so.

Does it say on your bill - usually on the reverse of the main page - that your bill has been estimated? If it does then you can ring one of the numbers on the front of the bill and give them the correct reading and, magically, your bill should be reduced.

Sue

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 In the EDF link that Claire gave there is a column for " réglage disjoncteur" with values like 30, 45, 60 etc.  A rough translation of this seems to be "adjustable circuit breaker". As it has "(A)" at the top of the column I presume this means Amps.

As you get upto 24KVA the value thens drops down???

What does this column and figures mean in practice?

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AFAIK, the réglage disjoncteur is the main house fuse. It is under cover and seal by the meter.

Shortly after we moved in afew yeras ago, the electricity went off late on a Saturday afternoon. I called EDF and the guy who answered had me try the reset button (on the main board) several times.

He started getting cross with me when I told him repeatedly it wouldn't reset. He warned me that if an engineer made the trip over to the house for no good reason, I would have to pay for the call-out.

An hour of so later, the engineer arrived and dismantled the meter cover to find that the main fuse had blown. He replaced it with a brand new one, et voilà! [:)]

He also made a call to his mate and had to tell him the fault had nothing to do with us... [Www]

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The thermostat is usually under the cover screwed on under the base of the chauffe-eau. Turn off power before removing cover. You then have to stand on your head and twiddle the thermostat with a smally screwdriver. They always seem to be set to "boil" when you get them.
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[quote user="Clair"]AFAIK, the réglage disjoncteur is the main house fuse. It is under cover and seal by the meter.

Shortly after we moved in afew yeras ago, the electricity went off late on a Saturday afternoon. I called EDF and the guy who answered had me try the reset button (on the main board) several times.

He started getting cross with me when I told him repeatedly it wouldn't reset. He warned me that if an engineer made the trip over to the house for no good reason, I would have to pay for the call-out.

An hour of so later, the engineer arrived and dismantled the meter cover to find that the main fuse had blown. He replaced it with a brand new one, et voilà! [:)]

He also made a call to his mate and had to tell him the fault had nothing to do with us... [Www]

[/quote]

Thanks Clair (and sorry for spelling your name wrongly earlier).

I was trying to work out the technicalities as :

puissance souscrite = 18KVa and réglage disjoncteur = 90A

but

puissance souscrite = 24KVa and réglage disjoncteur = 40A

It seems at the 24KVa point it drops... dunno, beats the hell out of me [:(][8-)][:)]

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In fact  kVA are Kwh!

So for most tariff bands you have the old volts times amps = watts business.

 However to make things interesting the settings for all but the highest band add about an 10% extra  capacity over and above a straight mathematical calculation. So you get a bit more capacity than the theoretical amperage.

Then just to confuse you a bit more, the formatting of the Edf tariff table is incorrect, so that when the Amps go above 100 the "1"  is dropped from the front of the number shown!!!!

Returning to your original question, if you are only using the property very infrequently, and I assume largely in the summer, it will probably be more economical to drop the off peak tariff, as you will not be using enough night time rate to recover the additional monthly rental charge.

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[quote user="BJSLIV"]

Returning to your original question, if you are only using the property very infrequently, and I assume largely in the summer, it will probably be more economical to drop the off peak tariff, as you will not be using enough night time rate to recover the additional monthly rental charge.  [/quote]

I think you've cracked the nub of the problem BJSLIV and your advice is sound; there are 2 of us most of the time in our house and we just about break even re the heures creuses and we live here all year round.

Sue [:)]

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Somewhere on EDF's site there is, or was, a sort of graphic calculator where you could get an idea of what tarif would be most economical for your circumstances. You dragged pictures of various appliances you had onto a template.

I used it and it said even with a baloon heater (which we don't have yet but plan to fit) we were better off on a standard tarif. There are only 1.6 of us (I'm away 2 weeks out of 5 !) and apart from the washing machine which only goes on once or possibly twice a week the only other high consumption appliance we have is an electric oven, the hob is gas.

Our neighbours (only 2 of them) are on the off peak tarif and do admittedly have a dishwasher and do a lot more cooking and washing than us but their bills are about 3x ours !

 

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We have the twin tarif setup, hot water, dishwasher, washing machine, and electric radiators, come on every night when the cheap rate kicks in.

our annual bill is between 5 & 600 euros, not bad I think!

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For hot water go solar - period.

For electricity reduction use a plug in electricity saver.

The stats on ballons are always set too high but most can be adjusted to a sensible figure.

The 'A' you refer to is not always amps - RCD's for example are rated A, B, C which refer to sensitivity not current.

As an aside it was proved some time ago that it was more efficient to leave an immersion on permanently providing the stat was set sensibly. This was a controversial view but we have tried various methods and for us at least it is better.

It does depend on your water usage habits though as well as a number of other factors such as tank insulation etc.

Marc

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Solar is great, we had solar panels on our UK house when we bought last year and often get enough hot water without putting the boiler on.  But the previous owner could never have saved enough to cover the cost.

No idea how to do it in France (moving over in a few weeks) as we have small house and not allowed veluxes so presumably no solar panels.  Shame because we are south facing and get sun all day.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Nick,

             I was too lazy to respond to the incorrect units earlier but now you have woken me up. We should use kW (not kw or Kw) and it approximates to kVA. This would rarely affect anyone outside engineering and/or education. I consider it to be rather like spelling; sometimes it is important and needs care, othertimes it probably doesn't matter. For my final year students it means marks.

It's still raining here in Surrey and I won't go to work!! I have checked the Meteo and it is hot and sunny where we are in France. Only one more week and we will be there again.

Alistair

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