Electricity consumption query

Not long after moving into my new home in France I became ill with the early stages of hypothermia, largely due to the fact that the supposedly renovated house I’d bought had no insulation and a log burner that threw out no more heat than a tea-light, the temperature of the rooms never rising above 8 degrees (even with the loan of a gas heater and an oil-filled radiator). A friend offered me her house for the winter where, for the past nine weeks, I’ve been staying. It, too, was cold but with individual heaters in each room plus hot water (which my house didn’t have). The ballon was in the loft so inaccessible and with, presumably, given how incredibly hot the water was, no timer attached. There was a hot plate in the kitchen, a very occasionally used microwave, my kettle and toaster but no oven, washing machine or television. We only used two of the heaters and these were not left on overnight. The only other appliances were my laptop and MiFi. The metre reading when we arrived was 29113 and nine weeks later, when we left 41241 and I’m concerned that this seems like a massive amount (bearing in mind that I have no idea how a French meter works - I have a LINKY in my own place). How is it possible that I’ve sued 12128 units or am I reading it wrong? TIA.

Perhaps this may help Jacqueline Electricity Meters in France: types, usage and readings | Moving To France

Could be that the thermostat on boiler may not be working - so its permanently on… hence the mad hot water. Jacqueline… what type of meter is it?

Say 1350 a week…a 2000 watt heater will use maybe 150 - 200 a week, so two of them maybe 400 at most…still leaves a lot of electricity going somewhere else. I hope you have misplaced a decimal point!

Perhaps confusing 2 counters Plein and Creuse?


My meter seems to be the electronic type. It’s in the garage and in 17 years nobody has been to read it. I’ve assumed it’s read remotely somewhere. Is there an earlier form of Linky possibly?

Thats a massive amount. Even if the water heater is on all the time it should only use maybe 50 kw/week. As @Graham_Lees says, check the plein and creuse numbers


Depends how much of the time it is on.

A 2kW heater will use 2 units per hour, so 168x2 = 336kWh per week, if used only during the daytime say ⅔ of that or 224kWh - times 2 is 448. Jacqueline says the house was cold so I’m assuming poorly insulated and the heaters probably were  on continually.

If the thermostat wasn’t working the water would boil, which probably would not end well. and even without a timer most ballons have insulation and would not use power 24/7 so the hot water will have used some but how much is hard to say.

41241-29113 is 12128 units - 1347 a week or an 8kW load all day, every day. It’s not an impossible amount of electricity, but it is a very large amount of electricity (nearly 2k€ worth over the 9 weeks) and not entirely consistent with the electrical items you have described which should have been roughly 5-600 kWh per week.

The owner doesn’t have a bitcoin mining rig stashed somewhere by any chance? :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


Our gites are individually metered, and during the summer the main electric consumption is the water heaters, and these are on constantly - no timers, no stupid heures creuse. Its rare that over 70kw is used in a week.

As I said I’d guess the room heaters were heating all the time that they were on given the “always cold” description which gives maybe 450 units/week - upping Mark’s estimate for water to 100 units a week and we get to 550 - still pretty steep but then 'leccy is a very expensive way to heat a house - but it’s still well short of 1350.

I am getting more convinced that it’s 121.8 and the little dot that separates the decimal places has faded…

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Except that 121.8 units is massively too low for nine weeks in a not that well insulated property with electric heating.

If the house is on the tempo tariff then using electric things on red days means it is MUCH more expensive - could it be that?

No, the tariff would not affect the meter reading, that remains the same and the charge is applied later. Nice thinking though.

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Quite an old one so no Linky. I did wonder about the thermostat.

My son had a 200 litre water heater that we left on all the time but the bill never came to more than 60 Euros a month. I think I may have misinterpreted the numbers (I didn’t write them down - the person who opened the house for us did).

Yes! I think you could be right. Thank you.

Yes, I’ve read this so possibly the thermostat.

No - the heaters were NOT on all the time. As a pensioner on a fixed income I’m frugal to the point of being mean and only used the heaters in the kitchen (fixed) and my bedroom (portable, radiant), which effectively became a bedsit and then only during the daytime when we were at home. The bedroom only had one socket and was also used for charging a small laptop so the heater was on for no more than four hours a day, if that. I wondered about the hotplate as we discovered that it remained warm while still plugged in.

It’s on Heures Creuses and Heures Pleines so presumably Tarif Bleu?

So… looks like you’ve not broke the bank after all :slightly_smiling_face:. Hope that’s the case and, with warmer weather just around the corner, you’ll have time to get things organised for next winter. Good luck.

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