August 2011


Stuck At Home

Ah, it’s that day of the year, again, when the meter reader for the water and heaters stops by to determine how much water and heat I’ve used in the last 12 months.

Last year I got lucky and the guy stopped by my apartment almost immediately—thus releasing me from hours of sitting on the couch wondering when he would stop by.

This year, not so lucky.

Unlike the electricity meter that I can self-report online, I’m not really able to leave the house because each heater has two vials of liquid that some how measure how much heat I’ve used, and the vials of liquid are replaced. At my old apartment in Weimar, there wasn’t liquid vials but digital things attached to each heater.

I have high hopes that my heat consumption is low, but I’m nervous about my water consumption: I like to take long showers and I’m doing 3-4 loads of laundry a week.

Meanwhile, the skies are darkening again—a brief period of sunshine about an hour ago is going to be followed by a downpour in 10… 9… 8…

2 comments to Stuck At Home

  • Michele J

    Is that not just like something from the Dark Ages? Little vials of viscous liquid that evaporate on your radiators that you *eyeball* to tell how much heat you’ve used? It just blows my mind. But think of all the poor vial exchangers who would be out of work if Germany ever entered the 21st century. The vials are reasonably tamper-proof but I’ve always wondered what would stop you from encapsulating them in saran wrap or similar so nothing could escape.

    Check the Betriebskostenspiegel for your area. Here is one for Germany in general: http://www.mieterbund.de/fileadmin/pdf/bks/2010/BKS_ost-west_2010.pdf You should be around EUR 0.37 water/sewer + EUR 0.24 warm water per square meter of apartment per month. The total of everything without your electricity should be somewhere around EUR 2.20/square meter/month, although ours is closer to 2.50.

  • Why is it you need to take a day off work so someone can call around “sometime” between 8am and 6pm? We had the same crap waiting for a phone connection. Of course then he never showed up and then they wanted me to do it all over again…