September 2020


Shocking News (and in a good way!)

A couple weeks ago (and 6 posts ago), I talked about my electricity consumption here in Berlin and how I was expected to use 1,523 kWh – 23 more than predicted a year ago:

So this week I updated my meter reading, at their request, and was rewarded with the news that they now expect me to use 1,523 kWh, so a few kWh more than predicted. (link)

Bar Graphs showing my power consumption.

The light purple bar is "Verbrauchsprognose" (forcasted consumption), while dark purple is "Aktueller Verbrauch" (current consumption)

Apparently I did not fully understand either the updated predicted usage (perhaps it hadn’t taken into account my updated meter reading immediately) or fully comprehend the chart that seemed to imply that I was on track to use 11% less electricity than anticipated.

I can say this with 20/20 hindsight because today I got my bill for the August 2011 to July 2012 time period, and after having been predicted to use 1,500 kWh over the course of this 12 month period, in fact I used 807 kWh—and I was only billed for 797 kWh because they gave me an “Easter Egg” present of 10 kWh back in April.

That gift, by the way, was worth 1.68€, pre-tax.

In other words, I used 53.8% of the power that I was predicted to use.

Now because meters are only officially read once a year, the only way my power consumption is known is because I voluntarily reported it at the beginning of July – when I blogged about it. My first thought was that I must have made some kind of massive mistake in my reporting.

Nope: I reported the digits correctly.

The thing is, I’ve been paying as if I were going to use 1,500 kWh: 35€/month straight from my bank account.

I never questioned the 1,500 kWh number because that number seemed to pretty accurately reflect my electricity usage in Weimar – which ran about 1,300 kWh per year – and as I noted earlier, I am travelling less (thus home more), and I now use a dryer roughly once a week – factors that should drive up my electricity usage.

Now I’m getting back 201.57€ from my electricity company – which includes a 50€ new customer bonus for staying with the company for 12 months – and my billing has been adjusted downward: Now I will have 22€ taken out each month instead of 35€.

If all goes according to plan, I am predicted to use 879 kWh over the next year – roughly 72 kWh more than I did over the last year.

Let me turn off the lights now…

2 comments to Shocking News (and in a good way!)

  • Just to compare, our restaurants use between 40000 and 50000 kWh. Per month.

    • In other words, if I were to plug in an extension cord to the next door McDonald’s, the owners would probably never noticed my extra 100ish kWh per month?