Gas, Water and Electric Bills

52 posts in this topic

In our nebenkosten for 2009, it turned out our water bill was being doubled by a middle man firm that is an 'Energiedienstleister für die verbrauchsgerechte Erfassung und Abrechnung von Energie, Wasser und Hausnebenkosten'. The water company charges 4 cents per unit, this firm doubled it to 8 cents. Give the water company a call and check how much they are charging and compare that to the rate that you are being charged by your landlord. Through the Mieterbund we got our water charges down.

 

I also suspect this is what is happening to our heating costs as well, the 2010 nebenkosten heating costs work out to be just under €400 extra a MONTH!!!. Unfortunately, the local Stadtwerke won't share what they orginally charge per unit of gas, as they told us: the middle man firma increases the heating costs, so they don't give out that info. We and the Mieterbund are still working out the details, needless to say in almost 20 yrs renting, I have never had a heating bill so high. Our optimal temp is 20.8, always has been. Our landlord is truely having a laugh and I now live to smack it off his face.

 

If anyone is interested in comparing their heating costs, here is a link to a 'Bundeswet Heizspiegel'. It's in german though.

http://www.heizspiegel.de/fileadmin/heizspiegelkampagne/Flyer_BWHSP/BWHP_2009/Heizspiegel_Bundesweit_web.pdf

 

Edit: the link above is for the 2009 costs. Here is the link for all years, just scroll to the bottom for the pdf link:

http://www.heizspiegel.de/verbraucher/heizspiegel/bundesweiter-heizspiegel/index.html

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Yeh, this practice is starting to be reported in the German media, read a long article about it in Berlin in one of the news weeklies recently (sorry, can't remember which). Lots of tenants complaining about it. It made me think of some of the threads here, presumably the cause is probably the same.

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This is why joining the Mieterbund is really important, if you are new to Germany, not familiar with the rules of renting and it's costs and your german isn't up to much, it's a really sound investment. With the help of the Mieterbund, we got much of our 2009 nebenkosten reduced that it will pay for a few year's worth of membership!

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My flat was seized by the receiver's office last year and auctioned off, my former landlord was apparently not totally honest. <_<

 

I just received, from my new landlord, the breakdown of my nebenkosten for the last 12 months and received a €120 refund, also my monthly payment has been reduced by €10.

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@tofukitty: Thank you for the advice about Mieterbund. Will definitively look into this. :-)

 

@AnswerToLife42: I don't have a bath every day; maybe 3-5x a year if I'm suffering from a cold. I don't own a washing machine, either. I use water from the tab to wash the dishes, water my plants, flush the toilet, wash my hands, brush my teeth and to have a shower once a day. Theses activities seem fairly normal to me...

 

water = 50m3 hot, 50m3 cold = €813

--> I used 50m3 of hot water and 50m3 of cold water; so 100m3/ year.

 

In my case the bill was calculated in the following way:

- hot water = 50m3 = €401

- cold water and waste water = sum of hot and cold = 100m3 = €383

- plus rent for the meters = €29

---

total = €813

 

Whereas Stadtwerke München (SWM) provide different pricing information than on my bill.

- water = €1,5836/m3

- waste water = €1,56/m3

--> €3,14/m3

 

- hot water = 50m3 = €401

- cold water and waste water = sum of hot and cold = 100m3 = €314

- plus rent for the meters = €29

---

total = €744 instead of €813 if I use SWM's values

 

I reckon the wrong price/ m3 was used to calculate my bill.

And there is something wrong with meters; since I don't own a swimming pool. :-(

 

Talked to my landlord and he'll investigate the matter.

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We are also with Entega and our bill has gone up by an amazing €100 per month!!! we were totally shocked. It is getting extremely expensive indeed. My parents in the UK have a bigger house, use more electric and pay only half of what we have to.

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@AnswerToLife42: I don't have a bath every day; maybe 3-5x a year if I'm suffering from a cold. I don't own a washing machine, either. I use water from the tab to wash the dishes, water my plants, flush the toilet, wash my hands, brush my teeth and to have a shower once a day. Theses activities seem fairly normal to me...

Well the fact of the matter is you're using 140 liters of hot water per day. A (non-low-flow) shower head flows something like 12-16 liters per minute, and water from central hot water systems tends to be rather hot, so chances are you're mixing in some cold water as well. Basically you need to have the warm water running for 10-15 min each day to go through 140 liters.

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Compared my consumption to the whole house's consumption.

 

heating:

- house = 49193 WME (1090m2)

- my flat = 1484 WME (37m2)

--> 3%

 

hot water:

- house = 295m3

- my flat = 50m3

--> 17%

 

cold & waste water:

- house = 855m3

- my flat = 100m3

--> 12%

 

There are 15 flats and a doctor's surgery in my house.

How can families with up to two children consume less than I do?!?

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Take a 10l bucket and a (preferably waterproof) watch.

In the shower measure how long it takes to fill the bucket.

Take a shower and check with the watch how long you are showering.

Calculate, how much water you used. The hot water from the tap should have a temperaure of 60°C.

You are probably showering with 40°C hot water. To calculate the amount of 60°C water multiply you result by 2/3.

 

If you find you need 140l per day than you use 50m² of hot water per year.

 

If not, you should consider to ask you landlord to check the meters.

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I started to cut down on my household usage. The first thing I did was to go out and buy a bunch of power socket extension cables WITH those little red/green switches on them. That way I avoid leaving things on power standby, and instead just switch everything off in one fell swoop.

 

I also take most of my re-chargeable handheld appliances onto the train and use the train's electricity instead. Sneaky... :-)

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@AnswerToLife42: many thanks for your advice. :-)

 

It took me 20 seconds to fill a 5l bucket.

So my shower uses 15l/min.

Having a shower for 10 minutes sums up to 150l.

 

Phew, I didn't expect such a high number...

Better go and buy a water conserving shower head off Amazon.de.

 

150l * 2/3 = 100l of hot water per day

100l * 365 = 36500l per year

--> 36,5m3 of hot water a year

 

50m3 = 50,000l of hot water.

Maybe I should send male visitors home without allowing them to use my shower in the future? ;-)

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You should limit your guests to cold showers only. That will also make them spend less time under it :)

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@CandyQuackenbush

 

don't you have hot & cold water meters?

 

If you do, the last 3 figures, in red, are equivalent to 100's, 10's & units of litres used (there are 1000 litres in 1 cubic metre)

 

So note these figures down before & after taking a shower and you'll get a more accurate figure for your consumption.

 

I just took a shower and did this, the figures were H 021 & C 830 before, and H 039 & C 840½ after - so I used 18 litres of hot & 10½ litres of cold, which is a lot less than your 150 litres.

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I tried BobUK's suggestion out.

 

Measured my consumption of hot and cold water over a few days:

AVG H = 58l

AVG C = 30l

 

Phew! Less than the test with the bucket, but still shocking.

Therefore I bought one of the water conserving shower heads on Amazon.de.

 

Water consumption with the new shower head:

AVG H = 23l

AVG C = 14l

 

Didn't change anything about my shower routine.

So I'm quite pleased with the new shower head, although the water pressure is a bit low...

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Glad you solved the mystery CandyQuackenbush. My mom and parents-in-law both have low flow, and well, I hate it. I end up spending twice as much time in the shower trying to get the conditioner out of my hair. End up using just as much water.

 

Fav Seinfled episode with the low flow:

 

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You used 50³m of warm water last year. That equates to 140l per day. Now you found out that you only use 58l per day. Where do the other 82l per day go? Do you have "guests" who take extensive showers when your are not in?

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Wow! Quite a difference! Hopefully you'll see a difference in your bill as well !Thanks for sharing...it is something I never considered.

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The figures seem rather arbitrary to me, no one uses exactly 50³m or 100³m... I think you're subsidising the other residents ;)

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