Mainova electricity bill seems ridiculously high

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So the Mainova bill arrived today after the 6 month adjustment. Previous tenants were paying 26 euros a month and they seem to think we should be paying 98 euros or more a month and that we used 115 euros per month for two people in a 61 sq meter apartment. Is this at all probable? We have all new, energy efficient appliances - and not many of them, a small fridge, bought this year, an electric stove and oven which I do use a bit, a washer dryer combo - maybe 3 loads a week and we've been drying outside since spring and the regular number of lights and we only got a tv this past April along with a dvd player.

 

I am home most of the time, but I use a laptop, a new mac laptop even and not a lot of lights. Heat is paid separately and although hot water is electric, I'm still amazed and trying to figure out if this could possibly be right. Does anyone have any idea if this is possible? The really weird thing is that it averages out to 13.9 kwh per day - but during our first month in the apartment it claims we used 12 kwh per day and that seems impossible because we didn't have a kitchen installed then so *no* appliances other than the brand new fridge and a single rice cooker which was used once a week, a single lamp and I was in the US and my partner was at work all day and we didn't even have an internet connection. It seems impossible that the empty apartment used 12kwh per day and now with all this other stuff it only uses 1 kwh per day more.

 

I'd really appreciate any tips or ideas since I'm stumped. I'm planning to call Mainova on Monday and try and figure it out.

 

Thanks!

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welcome to the wonderful world of electric bills in Frankfurt! I still can not get my head round this average billing and coughing up at the end, I do miss Tampa Electric sending an exact bill each month of how much I used (a lot)

 

So if you heat your water with electric and have a combo washer/dryer, along with a bit of oven use, I suppose it's possible (did you manage to get the most expensive offer, or are you on something slightly reasonable like Mainiva Classic?)... Remember also the refrigerator is the biggest consumer of electric, hands down, and the colder you run it, the more it uses. and as to the 12kw per day the first month, again, it's just averaged (unless you got a bill at the end of the first month?)... I suppose you ruled out the obvious, such as power cords running next door or to the Aufzug? ;-)

 

do post what you find out, so we can all benefit, after over 2 years here, I find it still a bit of a mystery how this should work...

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That could be right. With electricity, it's not so much about the size of your place, but the amount you're using. Like other posters have said, heating water with electricity is expensive. Have you tried washing your laundry on cold? I do with everything except towels, socks, and underwear (which go into one big load once or twice a month). I've found that helps. Also, don't leave your laptop plugged in. Let it charge, unplug it, and let the battery drain. It's better for both the battery and your wallet.

 

I'm in about the same boat as you; lights are rarely on, we rarely watch TV (we unplug it when we're not using it), use the oven and stove a couple times per day, run our dishwasher almost daily, and our hot water is electric. We pay about 80-90 euro/month. The biggest difference is that we do most of our laundry on cold, and not as often as you.

 

Even though I'm in Stuttgart and you're FFM, I'd say your bill is definitely probable.

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I'm also with Mainova in Frankfurt, my yearly consumption is 2,600 kWh = 7,1 kWh/day (single, with electric heating for water). Mainova sends a table with the bill which shows average numbers. I'm in the lower average range with this consumption. My rate is 50 € per month. So your predecessors in the apartment must have been very economical or practically never at home.

 

In the Mainova table, there are the following numbers for 2 persons, apartment with electric heating for water:

 

– up to 3,300 kWh/year: very economical

– 3,300 to 3,600: economical

– 3,600 to 4,100: average

– 4,100 to 5,100: high

– more than 5,100: very high

 

So your consumption is in the "high" range (13.9 kWh x 365 = 5073.5 kWh). Since from your description, there are no very obvious causes, I would also call Mainova and try to find out if it's possibly a data mistake (although I've never had a totally inconsistent bill, mistakes can happen).

 

Another interesting statistics in the Mainova bill: average share of power consumption for household appliances:

 

  • stove/oven: 12%
  • freezer: 11%
  • fridge: 9.5%
  • dryer: 9,0%
  • light: 9,0%
  • dishwasher: 7,0%
  • washing machine: 5,0%
  • PC, audio, TV: 7,5%
  • other appliances (air cond., pumps, small appliances): 30%

 

My tips for using less energy:

– When cooking, careful dosation of heat (overcooking isn't good anyway), using a lid on pots (sounds simple, I know)

– Set fridge at level 3 (out of 7)

– don't use a dryer

– energy saving lights

– turn off stand-by

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You may also want to take a better look at your appliances. Some things need to be unplugged from the wall, or put on a surge protector that you can swtich off. In some instances, just because an appliance is turned off, does not mean that it is not still drawing electricity. Look at your light bulbs, incandescent all the way?? Or the more ennergy efficient ones? Another thing is you can get these gizzmos that you plug your appliance into and then the gizzmo into the wall. With that you can see exactly how much everything in your house is using.. one by one, and see what is killing your electric bill.

 

Ohh and maybe your energy efficent appliances are not giving you the energy savings that they claim to have. You might have a lemon in the lot? You can check those out also and see if they are indeed giving you the savings they claimed.

 

Good luck!

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And now the good news: You can borrow such a "gizzmo" from Mainova without additional cost!

http://www.mainova.de/privatkunden/2068.jsp

 

 

Übrigens: Den Stromfressern bei Ihnen zu Hause kommen Sie ganz einfach auf die Spur, wenn Sie sich kostenfrei eines der Mainova Strommessgeräte ausleihen. Weitere Informationen erhalten Sie im Mainova ServiceCenter in der Frankfurter Innenstadt (Stiftstraße 30).

So prepare for a visit to the Mainova ServiceCenter in Stiftstraße 30 (whcih means: prepare to wait there quite long until someone from their staff is available).

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We are with Mainova (yep, when I'm in Frankfurt) and we get power + heat from Mainova for about €190 in a modern (but not passiv) 4 person household. The estimates for this year were based on when I was at home last year so the fact I'm away during the week at the moment, shouldn't come into it. If you are overpaying though, you will get it back at the year's end.

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Thanks everyone, I called Mainova just now and the guy on the phone also thought the power consumption was incredible. He suggested calling an electician to have the power in the apartment tested and to see if some of it is er, running next door as the apartment next to us used to be attached to this one.

 

While I think it may be possible that we do use a lot of power what was odd was the November bill which was broken out separately - it said that we used 380 kwh in November, from the moment we moved in, which seems impossible since there was only one person in the apartment (my husband) and he worked from 8-8 and there was literally nothing electric in the apartment except our mini refrigerator, one overhead lamp and his MacBook.

 

Once I moved in in December and the kitchen, washer/dryer were installed there was only a 2 kwh per day difference and even when the TV arrived this past May there was no difference in the bill. That seems pretty odd, especially since we had 4 houseguests in December and were running the washer and hot water all the time for one week.

 

At any rate, thanks for all your tips and I'll let you know what happens. Mainova has put the bill on hold for 3 weeks to let me try and figure it out.

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While I think it may be possible that we do use a lot of power what was odd was the November bill which was broken out separately - it said that we used 380 kwh in November

Did you move in right after the previous tenant? Because if not, this may include charges from when the place was empty (being renovated?). That's not how it should be done obviously, but it's possible.

 

Keep in mind that tankless water heaters can easily draw ~20kW, so having hot water running for 20 minutes a day between the two of you would already put you at just under 7kWh/day. A big TV can draw 1-2kWh/day, the washing machine takes ~1kWh per load, the dryer about 3-4kWh/load, the fridge 0.5-1kWh, another 0.5-1kWh for random wall warts and devices on standby plus stove, lights, computer, hair dryer, vacuum...

 

If your bill is off, it's definitely not off by much.

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I have a few questions about the tankless water heaters. Does it save a significant amount of energy to turn them to "off" when you're not showering / washing dishes? The reason I ask is that this year when we got our electricity bill this year for the first time it included a chart showing typical usage of a two-family household in Germany, and we were off the chart! I'm trying to figure out what we're doing that's so abnormal, and some of the German women at my office told me that it's probably that I don't turn off my tankless water heaters when I'm not using them. They say they always turn theirs off. But isn't the point of a tankless water heater that it's not supposed to be using energy to just store hot water? Obviously there is a small tank, but can turning it off save that much money? Our water heater in the bathroom is behind the washing machine, and really difficult to get to. So it really doesn't seem feasible to turn it on and off each day.

 

To try to figure out why our electricity bill is so high, I'm going to buy an electric meter and start seeing what various appliances are using (fridge, freezer, laptop, amplifier, washing machine, dryer...) But I guess I can't use it to test the hot water heaters, as they have no plug. I see that somewhere on this thread people suggest buying a lower-flow shower head to reduce the electricity bill. I tried to do this a while ago, but after I installed it the hot water cycled from boiling to freezing, and couldn't maintain a constant temperature. My Hausmeister said that the tankless water heater doesn't work properly if there's not enough flow, and it will shut itself off as a safety measure, hence the strange cycling. Is there any way around this? How do other people use the low-flow showerheads? Is it just that my water heater is too old?

 

Any advice would be appreciated! I'm really in hot water until I get this craziness figured out. (Sorry, couldn't resist the awful pun.)

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Hi captious,

I'm really not sure about your tankless water heaters, but what other appliances are you (permanently) using?

Could it be that there's a problem with your fridge? Either the door not closing properly, a broken seal or an overly iced-up freezer?

I know from experience that this can provoke high electricity usage.

 

Your dryer will also probably be a high-energy user, how often do you use it?

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I have a few questions about the tankless water heaters. Does it save a significant amount of energy to turn them to "off" when you're not showering / washing dishes

Unless you have some old screwed up model, Tankless water heaters are designed to only turn on when the water flow reaches a certain point.

When the water flow falls below that limit, it shuts off. This is why you should never trickle the hot water when you use it. Most heaters require

a min. flow rate of 3-5L a minute before they kick on. So by design they are very efficient.

 

If you want to find out whats using all the power, goto the local electronics store and get a pack of socket power meters.

Plug them into your sockets then your appliances into the meter. See how much power they use.

 

I'm guessing its prob. going to be something that runs a lot.. Heater, Fans, Refrigerator, etc.

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Okay, I'm going to go get one of those socket power meters and test out my fridge and freezer and washer and dryer and amplifier and any other appliances I can think of. That won't work for the water heaters, but I read that I can find my electricity meter and read it before and after a shower to see how much power it's using. I'll report back.

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hi, I have a very high bill ruining for  a few years now. I finally got down to reading the details. We are 2 adults with a 10 years old child household but do have large house.  It seems that we are using 10 peoples electricity consumption !!  see part of my bill!! 

We are not doing much out of the ordinary part from running a data back up nass box for 24 hours a day as a out of the ordinary otherwise, all normal thing here. Is it possible that it been used by next house ( once the houses were own by same family) I switched off the electric mains and nothing much seems to be running, but I guess, if a person wants to cheat there must be other ways.. so how can I investigate? I asked Mainova, they game me the single plug to look at running costs but that doesn't really serve my purpose here. all ideas greatly welcomed. 

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Numbers have already been invented. It would be good to know what high means in numbers. Not the €'s but kWH/a.

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There could be a broken appliance that is using a lot. You can buy a thing you plug into the outlet and the appliance into that to find out how much it uses.

 

Or the counter could be off but if you make them check it and it's good, you'll pay 2-300€ for their trouble.

 

Another thing you can do is get an electrician to check the mains and everything else and see if they find something.

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