Electric main supply

04/24/2012 - 03:09

We are building a house in Abruzzo, can anyone tell me the average kilowatts supply in a house in Italy? Our engineerbhas asked if we would want anymore that 3 kilowatts, is this enough for an average house. The house has 4 bedrooms but also has a small apartment in the the basement which we hope to rent out....we want to make sure that there is enough supply ... Would be grateful for any help or advise! Ali



Most Italians live with 3, most English change it to 6. anything with a heating element uses a lot so if you have only 3 you can't put the dishwasher on at the same time as the washer. you can't have kettle and toaster on at the same time and if you have electric water heater then 3 would be out of the question. If you are renting a part of the property out I would suggest 6 because if both properties use a heating element at the same time .- if someone downstairs has the washer going and you use a hairdryer upstairs the power will probably cut out.

The norm is 3kW It probably depends what equipment you have in the "small" apartment - You'll need a bigger supply [or a second supply for the apartment] if;-

  •  it has an electric oven [rather than a microwave]
  • it has any form of electric heating
  • It has an electric water heater [or does it use yours?]
  • It has a high powered electric equipment [washing machine, Dishwasher]

The reason I mention a second supply is that if you upgrade to 6kW, you will probably still have problems if you and they run your ovens etc at the same time, and then switch on something else Don't bring English equipment like toasters, hair dryers etc etc - they use more electric than the [lower powered] equivalent Italian stuff Don't use an electric kettle - put one on the hob If you set up the apartment as a basic one - microwave, fridge and hob kettle and small gas [bottled if necessary] hob, and supply hot water from your supply, you could well manage on 3kW  [My daughter and 3 friends 'blew' the 3kW supply at our house when they all used their hair straighteners at the same time] A

I have survived with 3kw for years but it drives me mad - I put on the washing machine and my wife doesn't realise and turns on the kettle or the oven, and the power cuts out and I lose any unsaved documents on my PC . . . If you rent out your apartment, you can't really expect your tenants to synchronise their laundry/cooking etc with yours. Why not put in 3kw for the apartment and a separate 6kw for the main house? Or if two sets of standing charges, connection fees etc are too expensive, have a single supply of 12kw. You can offset some of the cost by getting into the habit of running appliances in the off-peak hours. If anyone out there is clever enough to understand ENEL's deliberately unintelligible charges, I would be interested to know how much extra it costs for the electricity used, as an example, to run the washing machine, dishwasher and oven on a supply that allows them to be used at the same time, as compared to running them one at a time on a 3kw supply.

The query from Belevedere - whether to have two 3kw or one 6kw supply. Wouldn't make any difference to the price of juice. However, if you are resident, and have only 3kw, that is a cheap as you can get (with any supplier). If you have 6kw, the standing charge is a bit higher for non residents (about €5 per month higher) but the power costs the same whether resident or not. I tend to agree that if you have a separate apartment it is going to be difficult to live with 3kw. Hairdryers are often as much as 2kw nowadays, and irons can be quite greedy, too.

Am buying house to renovate at the moment.  Asked the same question myself of an electrical engineer here in Auz.  He said the standard upgrade we could get to 6kw in Italy will still only just do us for a 4 bed house.  Check the applicances you want to buy and what they use. Tumble Dryers, Hairdryers, Washing Machines and dishwashers are the worst. Remember you what you will always have on like the internet router, your fridge and any satelite to run the internet.  These things will be running all the time.  Then add to that turning on a dishwasher which runs on 2.4kw and you trip out.  You need to get them to upgrade to the 6Kw which the current lines offer and then maybe look at either upgrading to more phases (e.g. lines) or solar, especially if you plan to rent out the house in summer.  Put the big things like a washing machine and dishwasher on the solar system and lock up the tumble dryer or don't even get one.

I expect you've got the picture from previous comments - 6kW of course.  To complete the picture you should know there are cheaper rates for heat pumps and they are delivered on a second meter. I've just spent some time factoring this into a whole house heating model and it is fascinating to see how cheap it all gets particularly as houses get bigger.  ##if you are sticking with combined wood power then this won't apply as you'll only need a baby heat pump and the normal power is cheaper.  I assume you're not going for gas. Also it's still valid to think about PV power ... this effectively upgrades your 6kW rating as quite often the sun will be adding to the total. ... and paying the bills at the same time

It is circa E1.30 for each Kw extra on the standing monthly charge, so 6kw E7.80. 10Kw E13.00. Units used prices remain the same across all the D3 range. Heat pumps including air/air, air/water, water/water, can benefit from special low rates using a BTA 3,6,9 meter, which is in addition to the normal domestic supply. You have to factor in the extra installation cost for the second meter.

Beware of the microwave! They use much more than their nominal 'cooking rating'  we get caught out regularly, however we are determined to stick to a 3kw supply for the sake of the planet!   However, if money was no  object... who knows what supply we'd have!!?

Just a though, how easy is it to convert from 3 to 6 kw; is it just a phone call or is it a new contract with a different meter to be installed? I can't imagine it would be a simple process..... nothing here ever is.

Buy a good quality, energy efficient model and use it intelligently - the togliapieghe cycle takes under 10 minutes after which sheets, tablecloths etc will be soft and barely wrinkled so they can be folded and line-dryed, needing little or no ironing - on cold, damp days when laundry takes forever to dry, put towels, t-shirts, jeans etc in for 15 - 30 minutes then hang out. And when it's wet and you have sick children, or you are exhausted, or clean sports gear is urgently needed, use the dryer! You could always ease your conscience by locking up the hairdryer, or the toaster, or the kettle that day to offset the consumption.

To upgrade from 3 to 6 it just takes a phone call, then a new contract, to sign and fax back to a fax machine that doesnt seem to ever work, then the first bill on your new contract with a heft per Kw fee for the upgrade.   The usual..... 

Thanks Ram. Might just give them a call as have several times had my PC go down when 'her indoors' uses her Straightners after washed hair and the water heater is on as well as something else. Why do Italian companies still insist on Fax Machines and will not  let you scan and email contracts etc.

For what it's worth... we are just about to have our permanent supply put on which is to be 3kw. Our Architect has said not to request 6kw until installation is complete. Then start a new request!   Fabbriche

 think, as others have indicated, that the red tape and paperwork involved in any transaction in Italy are massive and fairly immoveable. If you start tinkering around with a formal request which is in progress I suspect that the whole thing would collapse and you would have to start again.   As all of the paper work for our application has gone astray once already, we are taking no chances. If our Architect suggests this is the right thing to do then I guess we go with his knowledge! Mind you, how long it will take when we do request the upgrade.......!   Best wishes Fab briche