Friday, 6 January 2012

EDF woes


It came as a bit of a shock on New Year's Eve late afternoon to suddenly have all of the electricity go off! It was our own fault as we found out later, we were expecting friends around for the evening, who were staying overnight so not only did we have the oven on cooking food but heaters on in the bedrooms, bathrooms, hall and living room all of which are electric.

I went down into the cellar and found that the main trip switch had been tripped so guessing that we had overloaded the system I turned off a couple of heaters and put it back on again.
That lasted for all of a minute when everything went off again, however this time when I looked the main switch hadn't been tripped!

Everything in our house runs off of electric so with friends due to arrive in a couple of hours I was beginning to get concerned especially as It was the New Year weekend and it was unlikely that I could get anyone around to look at it before the following Tuesday!
Luckily I eventually found another trip switch on the electric box on the pole out in the road so all was well in the end.

For information for anyone coming to France from the UK where we have, in the past, taken what seems like unlimited supplies for granted, over here in France you have to agree  maximum level with the electricity Company.
This can be from as low as 3KVA only suitable I would say for a small house that uses electric just for lighting and a few appliances right up to 36KVA.
It gets more complicated in that each level has a different yearly charge attached to it in addition to the amount that you use and you can have either a basic plan with a set amount per kw hour or a plan that has a cheap rate through the night, normally 11.30pm to 7.30 am

I would say that a house not using electricity for space heating would probably be OK on 6KVA
we are on 9KVA which has an annual charge of 92.52euros and rates of 0.0916cts and 0.0567cts for peak and off-peak times.

However the annual charges and consumption charges also have varying VAT rates added to them so It is not an easy to work out. I have now put together a fairly basic spreadsheet to work out my costings.