What's causing my outrageous electricity bills in French property


Postby giftedmidfielder » Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:40 am

Hi all,

This is my first post driven out of frustration.

In a nutshell:

Is it possible for a house to use ten times more electricity than it should due to faulty wiring/appliances? Or could something else be causing outrageous electricity bills?

The background:

I have a house in Brittany, France that I like to spend a few weeks a year in. It's nothing fancy, just a old basic detached 4 bed farmhouse that I've owned for 6 years now in rural Brittany. It was modernised 12 years ago with new plumbing, wiring and renovated throughout.

The house has always produced very high electricity bills. In the region of €1200 per year for a house that only sees 7 or 8 weeks occupancy, mostly in the summer warmer months.

I've been in constant communication with France EDF on this matter and they consistently insist their equipment is in good working order and that the problem is that I'm simply using too much power.

I've had a couple of local electricians round at considerable cost and they both failed to discover anything that would be using more power than it should be using.

The house is detached with the nearest neighbour being 50 metres away and on the other side of the road. I know the neighbour, he's an old man in his late sixties so it's unlikely to be a case of theft.

We did have a water leak in our garage (over the meter/mains switch) in Jan2016 which meant that France EDF had to replace our mains switch but their engineer insisted that this couldn't be related to the high power usage. Installing a new mains switch hasn't had any effect on the high bills.

We're at our wits end having just received another bill for €840 for the last 8 months with only 6 weeks occupancy with the power turned off when empty.

Does anybody have any theories on what cold be causing the crazy high bills?

Many thanks in advance.
giftedmidfielder
Rank: Labourer
Progress to next rank:
75%
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2016 8:46 am

Sponsor

Simply Build It

Postby kbrownie » Sun Oct 23, 2016 2:08 pm

What electrical equipment is in the property?
Have tried turn everything off and checked to see if the meter is still showing usage or even tried a clamp meter on the live tails to measure for current?
kbrownie
Rank: Project Manager
Posts: 1900
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 9:36 pm

Postby giftedmidfielder » Sun Oct 23, 2016 2:32 pm

Hi,

Thanks for responding. I couldn't tell you what the electrical equipment is on the property. I possess zero knowledge when it comes to electrics. There is s fuse box in the garage by the meter/mains switch and another one in the part of the house that was the last bit to be renovated which is the kitchen/shower room and guestroom.

I've tried turning the mains switch off and leaving the house for a few days and the meter shows no sign of moving which leaves me to believe that the problem is either that it moves to fast when the power is on or I have a problem with my electrics/appliances.

The caveat is that I'm fully aware of how little I know and so am fully aware of how little weight my opinion carries.

Do you know of a problem that can cause this that isn't related to the meter?

Cheers,
giftedmidfielder
Rank: Labourer
Progress to next rank:
75%
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2016 8:46 am

Postby Wincester46600 » Sun Oct 23, 2016 3:45 pm

I am in France and used to have an old farmhouse where the electricity was on an old meter that run by the old white red and blue days system .... if you are still on this system then its possibly that as red days can cost you twice as much sometimes more.

In addition as it is a farmhouse property are you on 3 phase electricity as if you are then your standing charge will be three times as much !

John
Wincester46600
Rank: Labourer
Progress to next rank:
25%
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2016 11:05 am

Postby giftedmidfielder » Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:56 pm

Hi John,

Yep, our meter does look very old, pretty much antique. The Red, blue and white days system is new to me though. Is this something we should be on or should we ask to be taken off it?

We are on three phase according to the last electrician to come by and investigate the problem for us. He did say that this shouldn't effect our bills too much and that the cost of fixing this wasn't economically worth it.

Will being on three phase cause our bill to be over €125 per week in the summer months when the electric heating is turned off and the lights aren't used much? We also BBQ allot so the oven is used allot less too.

Thanks in advance.
giftedmidfielder
Rank: Labourer
Progress to next rank:
75%
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2016 8:46 am

Postby ericmark » Sat Oct 29, 2016 10:08 pm

I remember in the UK my daughters electric bill went silly when she tried to reduce her gas bill by turning down the water temperature.

What she did was to turn the gas temperature to below the temperature set for the electric immersion heater so the electric took over the water heating.

This is so easy to do, be it an anti-frost device or simple hot water because they only cut in when the temperature drops you can miss it's even turned on.
ericmark
Rank: Project Manager
Posts: 1738
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:49 pm
Location: Mold, North Wales.

Postby giftedmidfielder » Mon Oct 31, 2016 9:18 pm

Thanks Eric, we don;t have gas (except for a bottle feeding the hob) so our heating and hot water are all electric.
giftedmidfielder
Rank: Labourer
Progress to next rank:
75%
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2016 8:46 am

Display posts from previous
Sort by
Order by



  • DIY How to Project Guides

  • DIY how to tutorial projects and guides - Did you know we have a DIY Projects section? Well, if no, then we certainly do! Within this area of our site have literally hundreds of how-to guides and tutorials that cover a huge range of home improvement tasks. Each page also comes with pictures and a video to make completing those jobs even easier!



 


  • Related Topics