02/05/2010 - 13:31


 Hi all. You may be interested in the following which I've copy-pasted from an e-mail received from ENEL. On Monday February 8th the first Sustainability Day will take place, aimed at promoting a culture of responsibility through a global discussion with top international sustainability experts. You will be able to follow the event in real time on the enelsustainabilityday.com website (from 09.00 am GMT+1). On the same website you may also take part to the debate using our on-line service or participating in our extended twitter conversations. Thank you for your attention, we look forward to your visiting our website. Hope it's useful. #1  

 I've no axe to grind. Reasonable size house, 14m. pool, land.....Enel bill for last year €4,700. It is what it is (as my old boss used to say). Friends of ours, 20km away; maybe half size house and garden (with pool), €3,000 utility bills for the previous year. Can't take it, I don't have an answer. But would we live elsewhere? No.

 Capo Boi, Wowza ! €4,700 in ONE year ??!!.......Do the charges fluctuate dramatically month by month ?! We also have a 'reasonably' sized house (4 beds/3 bathrooms), (only) a 10m pool etc etc, our total Enel bill last year was circa €2,500. We only use Enel mainly for lights & pool pump (latter very expensive), the rest being gas (another €600), and wood (circa €1,000). Why is yours so much ? S

  Gosh, all amounts quoted seem HUGE (apart from Badger). We do not have a pool and live in a smaller 2 bedroomed open planned house.  We pay Enel approx 500 euros, 300 gas and 500 wood.  Have noticed Enel prices were higher last year than the previous three years.....Do wear alot of clothes tho' !!!!!!!

 When I read Badgers first reply to the post, I thought to myself "what's he taking about".  Now, having read the other replies, I think I owe an apology to Badger.... :( Gosh, it's been an eye-opener, didn't ever think the costs would be that ridiculously high. At least now I know what to expect when we finish renovating our place, hopefully by summer this year. Its 4 bedrooms and  3.5 bathrooms, total 250sqm. It's back to the drawing board to have a rethink about using alternative systems like  combo solar panels & geothermal heat source. We've been advised by our builders we should consider using cork linning on the internal perimeter walls in the older sections of the house before plastering/skimming. Has anyone used this method of insulation and has it made any difference to the heating costs? Thanks. #1

In reply to by numerouno

 "We've been advised by our builders we should consider using cork linning on the internal perimeter walls in the older sections of the house before plastering/skimming. Has anyone used this method of insulation and has it made any difference to the heating costs?" Don't know about cork - but I lined a very cold bedroom's walls with rolls of expanded polystyrene [in the 1970s] - had to turn off the radiator - boiling hot in the room!!!

Put as much insulation in as you can in the outside walls, it will make quite a difference. Stone has the highest heat loss compared to brick. Suggest you get your geometra/architect to get the thermal losses with different thicknesses of insulation. That will give you an idea of what level of heating you need in Kw. On the other point of Enel billing, these are actuals from the house here for 2007/2008/2009 for the Kw used and the cost. Bi=monthly breakdown is available if you need further info. 2007............... Kw 10573 ............. cost 2440.44 2008 ...............Kw 9990 ............... cost 2540.78 2009 .............. Kw 9886 ............... cost 2754.82

  So, even though you have (slightly) reduced consumption, energy costs have still increased overall by more than 25% a year?  That's massive if my math is anywhere near right!

... over there after reading this post.... Are we really looking at such high fuel bills? Anyone out there know if 12v lighting can be installed and would it make any difference at all? More to the point, if I read it correctly, heating being the largest portion of the cost of fuel, would having an ample supply of wood (1-2HA) be enough to reduce the costs drastically. If so what would be the best system to employ on say a 150SQM 1950's house with the best insulation possible - no heating at present?

The cost in 2007, was related to the house being held at a temperature of 21C, now it is 19C and still very comfortable. It is all a matter of getting everything set to your own level. With underfloor heating, it is best set at 19C, as it gives an overall heat distribution unlike radiators. 80% of energy cost in a heat pump relate to house heating and the other 20% to domestic hot water. This would also apply to any other heating source. Estimates that I have had for people using normal electricity consumption have been around E1200 p.a., with washing machines etc, so it is all a matter of how you want to live.

  Hello Badger, no underfloor heating. House heating is by invertor air con units which use around 2kw per hour. At the moment, maybe on four hours a day and in summer about the same for air con. Hot water is by scalda'bagno (6 of these in total, all on in the summer). Two pool pumps, three pumps in the garden for watering., washing machine, tumbler dryer etc...I'm sure we could cut back but our lifestyle is good. If I took the running costs of a typical 200m2 house here, then total running costs are probably now just over €3,000 per year (whether electricity, gas or combination with wood fires). Thats why I said "it is what it is". I checked back on the previous year and our energy costs were 22% higher this year. Maybe I was just trying to make the point that utilities in Italy are a lot more expensive than in the UK. Water is very expensive here as well. (Last year our bill was €1,600). Anyone starting out on a new build or renovation project should definitely check out alternative energy sources. When you have an existing house, I would argue that it becomes more difficult/expensive to make changes. I'm afraid, and please do not take offence, but in my opinion payback times can be really hit and miss.

I tend to agree with costs here (in the main), we have a circa 300m2 house here, total running costs are for us some €4,000/€4,500 per year (electricity, gas, wood fires AND water AND Rubbish Tax). I feel that these costs are not very different to the UK costs (and in the UK we had a £2,400 annual Council Tax bill on top!). I wouldn't change things here! S

  As capo boi says a bit of forward plannng on how you will heat/cool/wash/light in your new home will pay dividends in the end. Wood is fine but you have to cut your own at least a year or two before you can use it, pellets are going up every year, and lets not talk about the price of electricity.... so if you absolutely need a Tumble dryer then be prepared to pay for it. Although I would look at your water bill capo as ours is nearer €200, you might have a leak; like a neighbour of ours did and his water bill is now halved..

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

  I agree re the water costs, just got ours in for the last 6 months and the last two (covering a total of 12 months) comes to €240........... obviously it goes up when we have/need to change the water in the pool ! Check for a leak ! S

 No, I'm afraid that really is the water bill here. There are just over 40 houses in our area and we are all more or less the same. One of the things about not living on the mainland. Friends of ours did have a leak a few years ago which they didn't notice for 10 months and their bill topped over €6,000. Needless to say, I check on a regular basis. Don't want to be the merchant of doom and gloom though....(Its raining hard here at the moment by the way, so no need to water the l'orto).

 I know we're going off post here, but have you looked at water storage i.e. water buts,underground tank etc to store rain water for use later and do your watering that way? If it's raining now I'd get outside with a bucket or two for later...;)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

We are looking at every 3 years IF NEEDED............If not needed, it stays as it is and the chemicals do their job (very well so far !) Cheers, S

 I pay 55 euro every 2 months with e-light bill. This runs hot water, 2 radiators during the winter and I cook with woodburnig stufa in the winter and electric oven in the summer, have a large wood burner and a pellet fire. Pellets 250euro, wood 300 euro. The house costs about the same as we paid in UK. How can someone's bill be over 4,000 euro?

"Times New Roman";mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-ansi-language:EN-GB;mso-fareast-language:EN-US;mso-bidi-language:AR-SA">I would guess it is down to the size of the house and your comfort level. My wife would prefer a room temperature of 25c , where as I would be happy at under 20c. Still this gives us a little hope that within the range of say between just under €1000 to €4000 a year for fuel in Italy, we may be able to get down to at least near the lower end. If all the talk in the press here in the UK is to be believed, then the amount we will be paying in a few years time could possibly double. I doubt this will be any different in Italy, indeed if not worse over there.

Don't forget, the higher figures include the cost of ALL items (wood/gas/electric/water/rubbish tax - no ICI tax). The biggest item for us is the Electricity and a big factor in the high electricity is the pool pump, it almost doubles the monthly electricity costs when in use.