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How much does it cost to reduce your contracted power?

The amount of things that you can plug in at the same time depends on your home's contracted power. Perhaps you've just discovered you have too much contracted power and you want to know how to reduce it and how much it will cost. It's simple. We'll explain it to you.

Your electricity bill has two main components; the first component is consumption (the electricity that you use each month), and the second component is your contracted power.

The power on your bill is fixed; you'll pay the same amount every month until you decide to increase or reduce it. But why should you decide to do that? Because you realise that you don't have enough power, or that you have too much.

  • If you don't have enough power: you'll be temporarily without electricity each time you turn on several appliances at the same time (what used to be known as a “tripped fuse”.
  • If you have too much power: your fuse box will never trip, but you'll be paying more than you need on your bill. Month after month, every month.

 

Reducing your power — why and how to do it

Let's imagine you find out you have too much contracted power. To figure this out, we recommend this article on how to work out how much power you need in your house.

If you have too much contracted power, you have a good opportunity to make some savings. On average, for each kW that you reduce your power you could save up to EUR 60 per year on your electricity bill. This is the biggest reason for reducing your power.

How can you do this? You just have to ask. It's a simple process, although be warned that it is the distribution company that manages this kind of thing, and it could limit you to changing your contracted power just once per year, meaning that once you've changed your contracted power you would have to wait until the following year to request another change.

How much does it cost to reduce your contracted power?

Reducing power is a fast and relatively inexpensive process. The distribution company will charge you about EUR 11 11 to reduce your contracted power, no matter how many kW you decide to reduce it by. This charge will be included on your electricity bill as "grid connection charges".

Note that increasing contracted power is considerably more expensive (around EUR 45 per kW increase). This will appear on your bill as "access and extension charges".

Depending on your distributor, you may be charged for other operations, or be required to provide a deposit.

“The cost of reducing your electrical power is about EUR 11, regardless of how much you reduce it.”

Quick tricks for calculating your power

No two people are the same, just as no two homes are the same. As such, the power you need really depends on numerous factors. Many more than we can explain here. But there are a number of shortcuts that you can use to work out if you have too much or too little power.

These three tricks can be used separately or all at the same time. These are basic ideas that may (or may not) help to guide you:

1. Trial and error: Turn on all of the household appliances in your house one by one. At some point, the Power Control Switch (PCS) could trip (“tripped fuse”) and you could be left without electricity. If this never happens—not even with all your appliances switched on—it means you have more power than you need. If this only happens in circumstances that are very unlikely to occur in real life (for example with the washing machine, oven, dishwasher and air conditioning all running at once), your contracted power could be sufficient. If this happens in everyday situations, for example if you can't cook and wash clothes at the same time, you haven't got enough power.

2. How cool or hot do you need it to be: In general, heating and cooling systems are the things that use the most power. Intensive use of air conditioning or electric heating can cause your power needs to increase dramatically. Washing clothes on cold uses up to 10 times less power than washing them with very hot water. Only you know how you live and use your appliances.

3. Easy maths: Make a note of the power that your main appliances use. This information is always in the instruction booklet and can also often be found on the sticker attached to the appliance somewhere (sometimes on the base or on the side). When you have the total number, divide it by 3. This will give you an approximate idea of the minimum power you'll need. If you want to know more about this and make a more accurate calculation, we recommend this article on the simultaneity factor and how it affects you.

“There are tricks to find out if you have too much or too little contracted power, but only specialised technicians can perform exact calculations.”
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