Gas Prices

Lucy and Gerry Image
02/04/2013 - 08:58

I've seen on here many times people complaining about their gas bills, would that be mains or bottle or are they both as expensive?



IF you live in a town/village generally they are connected to mains gas which is what i think you would call natural gas (methane -metano) this is paid for by consumption and is not too bad (price wise) always assuming intelligent use anyway. If on the other hand you are more distant from a town mains gas is unlikely to be an option for you in which case you would need G.P.L (LPG) from a large cistern usually now placed underground near your home.The cost of installation is usually absorbed by your chosen gas company provided that you sign a contract for exclusive supply by them for a few years.Personally in this area (amandola-servigliano) i could recommend Eurogas and advise against Total.The first,at least allow you to pay by consumption (as opposed to how much is put in the tank at any given time).However bear in mind two important things1. Gas (gpl) prices are free market so there is no fixed price so you have to shop around and negotiate a price(which is not permanent but can fluctuate) 2. gas (gpl) is expensive  so i think most people would advise integrating your heating source/s thru wood burners/pellet stoves/photovoltaic panels or almost anything else to avoid total dependancy on this kind of gas.

In reply to by sebastiano

sorry forgot to mention that using small cylinders 10kg- 15kg. - 20/25kg. is the most expensive way of all of buying gas so unless you only require a tiny amount for say some small appliance would strongly advise against this (been there got the T-shirt) it's also highly inconvenient continually runs out (at meal/bath times) and you have to eff about lugging a heavy iron cylinder back to where ever you got it (in the snow/rain) despite safety regulations can still today be potentially dangerous usually due to the use of old tubes connecting to the appliance.Italy has few fires compared to the UK but when they occur are nearly always due to the use of these...definitely a no.

We have a 1000 lt tank buried in the garden and use Golden Gas. We only use our house for 6 months in the summer - so very little central heating - and we normally can get away with around 400 - 500 ltrs of gas - at around E1 per litre for the summer months. During the time we have had the house, Golden Gas have replaced free of charge the valves at the top of the tank.  However, I am sure that I have read on this site somewhere that there are new safety regulations related to tanks buried in the garden - covering things such as how long can you leave them in the ground before replacing, fencing around them, and safety signs warning of gas.

In reply to by clombardelli

the conformity of your underground tank ,the fencing about 1,80 mt. warning signs are all responsability of your supplier.the steel tanks are now in a heavy duty plastic sheath so the tank itself is not in contact with water/soil etc they are obliged to make periodic checks that there are no problems/leaks,the site of the tank has to be by law a certain number of metres from the nearest building i think 25 metres.our new tank actually has a transmitter which means the gas company turn up with gas before it runs out which at least is convenient.Our last bill (december) was charged 0,72 euro cents x litre - a small discount (you may be entitled to if your property falls in an area designated as zona montana (Amandola qualifies btw)

In reply to by sebastiano

... the bombola might be 'free' but that's on the expectation that you buy lots of the stuff ... if you have a sensible heating system and only need a top up every 5 years or so you might find the gas co is not so happy. They might be responsible for correct installation but I bet you won't find them offering to put up a €1,000 fence so you can get your agibilita. I'm trying to use up the last of the gas then going over to bottles - no fence ha ha.  Then there's this bollo blu certificate to worry about... mmm that heat pump looks more attractive by the day.

Actually the gas company installed the bombola underground using their own machines,erected the fence put up the signs,presented the land registry plans to the fire brigade for approval, used the services of their legal consultants/lawyers to get our previous supplier off my back, installed the transmitter which allows them to see when refilling is necessary, they did this without any extra compensation whatsoever.

I wouldn't necessary agree with all of what has been posted above regarding small gas cyclinders/bottles.  It really depends upon your usage and location. I forget what we paid for our bottle, but I do know that we are still using our first one after a couple of years of 'holiday home' cooking use!  The bottle was less than we expected in comparision to the UK (we have previous experience of buying gas for a boat), as there doesn't appear to be any deposit payable on the bottle in Italy.  If you don't have sufficient garden space, or if you simply don't wish to get involved with red tape and contracts, AND if your usage is going to be low, then I would seriously consider going down this route.  There are some safety aspects that you need to be aware of (but isn't this the case with all gas usage?) but, judging by the number of bottles left out in our village when the gas man's due (he comes with a truck and just swaps the empties for fulls), bottled gas is still a very popular option in some locations. We only have gas rings (our oven is electric) and our only outside space is a stone terrace, and so this option works well for us.  Our Italian neighbours live in their house full time, have two children, and also use a gas water heater in the summer, and they use bottled too - and they are very frugal and have a garden.

I'd agree with the small bottles for the cooker being a perfectly feasible pay as you go option - the price doesn't really matter if you are just using one bottle every six months or so.  But for central heating, gpl costs roughly twice as much as mains gas. Beware of 'piped gpl' - this comes from a communal buried tank, probably serving a small village, say twenty or so houses. This is convenient (you don't have to bother with the fencing or the fire extinguishers, or watching out for the tank getting low) and estate agents will try to pass this off as 'mains gas'. It isn't, it costs twice as much. I believe (though I'm willing to be corrected) that metano from Italgas or one of the alternative suppliers (EnelEgergia and others) costs about the same in Italy as does 'natural gas' these days in the UK

small bottles for cooking is fine both in terms of coat and ease. You can get an automatic changeover kit to avoid the problem of the gas going off in the middle of your soufflé, so all you need to do is check now and then for the empty... Other than cooking I would never use gas if I could avoid it... 

When we purchased our property, it had central heating, water heater and gas cooker all conected to gas bottles. I hated it! We quickly converted to mains gas and it is most convenient and safe. It is cheaper too. We had to pay for the conversion, but we consider it worthwhile. We also improved insulation to make the place more energy efficient.

Think of wood...its eco friendly, cheap and it heats my home for 1200Euro per year compared to 5000Euro for gas. I have a large house on the side of a mountain so I need the heat! The men come and stack the wood for me and all I have to do is put it in the boiler. I love it!

I have an accumulator linked to 5 solar panels as well as my wood boiler and a wood stove. In the summer I rely on the solar panels. In spring and autumn depending on the weather i may need to start the boiler to 'top' up the heat in the accumulator. If i am only using hot water during this time, one firing of the boiler will give me enough hot water for 2 or 3 days. Cooking is a mix of conventional cooking in an electric oven (and a induction hob) together with an outside bread oven. You do need an upgrade on the standard 3kw of electricity to use this combination though. Hope this helps.

Hello, does anyone here have their gas supplied through Estra?  I've found their service (or lack of) really bad in the last year so would quite like to change but is this easily done?  Does anyone have any experience of any other companies?  Doesn't Enel now offer gas as well as electricity?  If so are there any advantages?  Thanks for any help.

When we converted our house in Basilicata we were thinking of it as a holiday home with just supplementary underfloor heating in Spring and Autumn. Now I am here permenantly, I find the bombola gas supply for the central heating is costly. Even limiting use to a minimum (the living room is 16 degrees C at the moment - even with a wood stufa as well), I have used  nearly €800 worth of gas since early December, and am awaiting a refill.  Oh well, this year was intended to be "prova".  Now looking at a pellet stufa for next year!

Yes, absolutely agree.   I seem to have spent much of the Autumn and winter tracking down draughts with my trusty silicon and expanding foam guns and miles of window draught-strip. It's an old house with original beams and thick stone walls - which let wind through them!  Also, unfortunately, the carpenter who did the conversion seems to have used new wood which has shrunk - the windows and doors look lovely, but are draughty (let alone the rain coming under the door in the bedroom!).  As the neighbours keep telling me -   Piano piano....

Does anyone know how much gpl is consumed per hour by the water heater?  We have a bombolone  and a heating system of radiators in the house.  2 different people at our gpl provider gave us 2 different figures - 4 liters per hour and 8 liters per hour.  They both seem high, but in any case, I'm having difficulty getting a straight answer from them.  They also said it doesn't matter if all the radiators are turned on or if some are closed - the consumption rate is always the same.

A gas boiler is a bit like a car in that it consumes at the rate it's being driven. Modern gas boilers modulate their output depending on demand so it is not always correct to say that consumption is just on or off. My rule of thumb cost for running a gpl boiler of 28kW is €5 per hour and that is certainly conservative. It implies that the usual 25,000 kW.hrs an average stone house consumes would cost about €4,500 and many people exceed that.  Most of us here use wood to stave off the bills as about €1,000 will produce those 25,000 kW.hrs.  A small heat pump added to the mix is even better .... I'm waffling on a bit but hopefully leaving the question in the air about whether gas boilers are worth considering at all.

just thought i'd give an update following the drop in price of LPG at the Algerian port our gas comes from it has dropped our final price to Euro 0,61. per litre (price March 2013)