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Old 07.02.2013, 16:16
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New Place - Shocking Gas Bill

I've just moved into a new place. It is a 4.5 room Terassenhaus heated by Erdgas. The first MONTH's bill was CHF 473. I was away for 2 weeks of that month and set the heating to freeze protection temperature.

Does anyone else have bills like that? I'm having a bit of a panic attack about it now.

I've checked with the provider that the bill is correct. I only heat the place for the hours that I am there (e.g outside normal working hours and not during the night)

Does anyone have any advice or experience?
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Old 07.02.2013, 16:21
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Re: New Place - Shocking Gas Bill

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I've just moved into a new place. It is a 4.5 room Terassenhaus heated by Erdgas. The first MONTH's bill was CHF 473. I was away for 2 weeks of that month and set the heating to freeze protection temperature.

Does anyone else have bills like that? I'm having a bit of a panic attack about it now.

I've checked with the provider that the bill is correct. I only heat the place for the hours that I am there (e.g outside normal working hours and not during the night)

Does anyone have any advice or experience?
Make sure your radiators are actually turning off? I just discovered I had one in the house with a stuck valve, so it was always in the full-on position no matter how I turned the knob.

Also, do providers here offer energy audits? Maybe you have a leaky window/door, etc?
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Old 07.02.2013, 16:40
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Re: New Place - Shocking Gas Bill

If the water pressure is low in the system, then not enough water is circulated in the radiators. The heater works but only boils the water for itself - it does not go far. In our heater the system can be loaded with water so that it can go up to 1,5 -2 bar.
Such systems must be cleaned regularly (appr. once in 5 year). There is debris coming off of the walls of the radiator and this can block the circulation. The system can even have a heart attack!
It's a big one day expensive job.
If there is air in the radiators, again, not enough water -> not enough warmth.
They must be unaired. Deaerate. Or what. This can be usually done on each radiator individually.
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Old 07.02.2013, 16:44
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Re: New Place - Shocking Gas Bill

Are you sure that is the invoice only for Heating not other things are included?
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Old 07.02.2013, 16:52
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Re: New Place - Shocking Gas Bill

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Are you sure that is the invoice only for Heating not other things are included?
...... like the neighbours' houses.

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I only heat the place for the hours that I am there (e.g outside normal working hours and not during the night)
Sometimes this approach can be a false economy, and may require more energy to always reheat up to temperature, when required, than to have it gently ticking over to maintain a constant temperature throughout a 24hr. period. This can be set a degree, or two, lower than normal, and just adjust the thermostat up a notch as required.

How's the insulation of the property?; are you at the end of the row?

Last edited by TiMow; 07.02.2013 at 17:08.
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Old 07.02.2013, 17:09
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Re: New Place - Shocking Gas Bill

Or was it an estimate, based on the previous owner's usage?

I don't know if you can get estimates for Erdgas, but I've certainly had estimated bills for electricity.
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Old 07.02.2013, 17:26
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Re: New Place - Shocking Gas Bill

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I've just moved into a new place. It is a 4.5 room Terassenhaus heated by Erdgas. The first MONTH's bill was CHF 473. I was away for 2 weeks of that month and set the heating to freeze protection temperature.

Does anyone have any advice or experience?
Are you sure it is for January only?
Are you sure you did not get billed for the previous owners consumption?
Are you sure it is not an Akonto-Rechnung (Prepayment) for the next half year?

Here is an example bill from the Stadtwerke Baden. It shows an previous "Akonto" payment of CHF 350.
http://www.regionalwerke.ch/index.php?id=118
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Old 07.02.2013, 21:24
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Re: New Place - Shocking Gas Bill

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I've just moved into a new place. It is a 4.5 room Terassenhaus heated by Erdgas. The first MONTH's bill was CHF 473. I was away for 2 weeks of that month and set the heating to freeze protection temperature.

Does anyone else have bills like that? I'm having a bit of a panic attack about it now.

I've checked with the provider that the bill is correct. I only heat the place for the hours that I am there (e.g outside normal working hours and not during the night)

Does anyone have any advice or experience?
Gas meters, like electricity ones, are normally only read once a year and estimates sent for the rest of the year - usually every 2 months. If it is a round number (no rappen) it would seem to be an estimate.

As a guide, we used to pay about CHF1100 a year for gas central heating and hot water in a 5 room end of terrace house built in 1998, thus well insulated...
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Old 16.02.2013, 17:40
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Re: New Place - Shocking Gas Bill

Thanks all for your help. I'm checking for leaks, etc, will review subsequent bills, turned the heating down, water pretty much off, and invested in a big jumper.
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Old 16.02.2013, 17:45
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Re: New Place - Shocking Gas Bill

That amount is far too much. You should set the thermostat at 17 when not there and 21 when you are there. A cold house brings many new problems! Show the bill to a neighbour, there MUST be a mistake, or you are being charged on account for the next 2 months.
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Old 16.02.2013, 17:59
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Re: New Place - Shocking Gas Bill

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That amount is far too much. You should set the thermostat at 17 when not there and 21 when you are there. A cold house brings many new problems! Show the bill to a neighbour, there MUST be a mistake, or you are being charged on account for the next 2 months.
Fantastic advice thank you. I'll do all those things
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Old 16.02.2013, 18:00
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Re: New Place - Shocking Gas Bill

I called the company. It really was for December only (I was away 2 weeks) and not on account. I will ask the neighbours who have the same boiler.
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Old 16.02.2013, 18:09
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Re: New Place - Shocking Gas Bill

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...... like the neighbours' houses.



Sometimes this approach can be a false economy, and may require more energy to always reheat up to temperature, when required, than to have it gently ticking over to maintain a constant temperature throughout a 24hr. period.
This is rubbish. Houses let more energy out when they're warm (ie heat transfer is faster when there is a large temperature differential), so letting them cool down when they don't need to be warm will save energy.
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Old 18.02.2013, 11:07
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Re: New Place - Shocking Gas Bill

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This is rubbish. Houses let more energy out when they're warm (ie heat transfer is faster when there is a large temperature differential), so letting them cool down when they don't need to be warm will save energy.
You are forgetting that you have to cool down the house from 21°C down to 17°C. For a heavy stone house this 4 Kelvin difference in temperature can be a lot of energy. Actually, a lot more than you saved by lowering the temperature for a short period in a well insulated house. To answer the question you have to look at: How long you will lower the temperature, how well insulated the house is, and how much heat the house can store.
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Old 18.02.2013, 11:37
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Re: New Place - Shocking Gas Bill

I seem to remember my 5-bed house costing an average of about 200 francs per month for gas heating and hob. So 473 for the month is high.

Call or email the gas company, I'm sure they will be helpful. Also the agency might be able to help.

Was the meter read and if so, when?
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Old 18.02.2013, 22:30
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Re: New Place - Shocking Gas Bill

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Does anyone have any advice or experience?
It's a bit late now, but before you move into a place, it is best to call the providers to ask about consumption and billing.

I have never had a problem obtaining these figures when I have a legitimate reason for asking. It goes without saying that previous usage is only a guideline, and cannot be taken as 100% accurate.
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Old 18.02.2013, 22:36
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Re: New Place - Shocking Gas Bill

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It's a bit late now, but before you move into a place, it is best to call the providers to ask about consumption and billing.

I have never had a problem obtaining these figures when I have a legitimate reason for asking. It goes without saying that previous usage is only a guideline, and cannot be taken as 100% accurate.
Before I moved in I asked this question, as well as a number of others to the agent, who was my only source of information. She said in answer to this question that gas was part covered by the Nebenkosten and part separately, but would not be much more.

When I came to the handover, collect keys, etc, the landlord fired her for being useless and not doing anything properly!!
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Old 18.02.2013, 23:05
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Re: New Place - Shocking Gas Bill

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Before I moved in I asked this question, as well as a number of others to the agent, who was my only source of information. She said in answer to this question that gas was part covered by the Nebenkosten and part separately, but would not be much more.

When I came to the handover, collect keys, etc, the landlord fired her for being useless and not doing anything properly!!
Sounds like she gave you inaccurate information which is unfortunate. I never trust agents, that's why I call myself. The agents/owners can get quite agitated but I want to have the facts, and not rely on someone else.

You could try sitting down with the landlord to discuss the gas costs. Take your December bill with you. First have a look at your rental contract and see what is actually covered by the NK. Ask the landlord if they are higher than they need to be. Maybe they can be lowered.
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Old 19.02.2013, 06:19
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Re: New Place - Shocking Gas Bill

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I called the company. It really was for December only (I was away 2 weeks) and not on account. I will ask the neighbours who have the same boiler.
Odd! Meters are usually read once a year, unless you moved in in November and December 31 was their annual bill time. Ours is in May. I suggest you make a note of your meter reading and you will soon see how consumption is going.

On the subject of knowing energy costs before renting/buying; when we sold our house we provided copied of the last 5 years' gas an electricity annual total bills as part of the folder of info on the house...
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Old 19.02.2013, 06:30
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Re: New Place - Shocking Gas Bill

Can you not start taking daily readings ? Say for a week, then see how much you are really using. Take the amount used with the volume rate to work out the bill. Either they are billing incorrectly, or you really are using that much. Once you figure out where the problem lies, you can investigate further.
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