# Help! \$7,200 power bill

We just got a \$7,200 power bill! WTF.???

When we tried to ring and see of it was a mistake - it was impossible to get through to an actual person. So questions:

Has this happened to anyone else? Is it possible it could be a mistake?
Where would I find the power meter in my apartment?
Any ideas as to what would we be using this power? Air con is the obvious one but I had been using a fan because I thought that would save power.

I need lesson 101 in how to be more energy efficient! Any help appreciated.

Thanks

No air-con? That would be the obvious culprit. It’s a bi-monthly bill by the way.

First, remember that normally it’s a two-month period you’re being billed for. Check the from-to dates and make sure it’s not two bills added together. Second, are you saying you haven’t used air con at all? Using an old inefficient unit can add up quickly–also price of power is almost double during peak hours (~7:30am to 11 pm). For example, I will probably pay >\$5000 for July/Aug because we’re running the AC (new, efficient units) almost every day. However, if you aren’t using AC and have no other appliances, then yes, 7K sounds a bit steep. Your meter probably won’t be in your apartment–it may be on the first floor of your building in the corridor or somewhere public the power company can check them all. Depends on your particular building. If you live in a rooftop add-on, your meter may just be by your door somewhere. good luck!

The power bills have some deductions if you saved electricity.
If you hit a certain threshold, you’ll have to pay a different rate.
During the summer, the power company raises the per unit price.

Let’s say that your bill for January and February was TWD 3000 then TWD 7,200 looks good to me.
You need to check the unit price, go to your meter and check what it indicates there.

Do the math.

You could also check the fridge door. If it’s not sealing properly the fridge will run almost constantly.

To be clear - I did use air con as well as a fan. Air con is a pretty cheap unit that I am guessing is expensive to run. The formula for the power seems complex. It appears that there is a set price per unit for the first x number of units and then the per unit price appears to increase the more you use - am I reading that right? Seal on the fridge does look a bit flimsy - will investigate further.

Very poor, I know. I could not resist.

that isn’t even that much.

you are lucky,

For the hottest summer months 7000 is standard if you is running the aircon all day. It takes a lot of energy to take 36 degree air and convert it to 18.

I always found our bills are dirt cheap if we don’t use a fridge. We run sixteen hour aircon a day, and our bills are two thousand odd, maybe three thousand per two months. At the height of summer. The landlady scratches her head everytime. I think she thinks Im using magnets.

Switch on the fridge and its five thousand plus.

I doubt the OP is into penguin husbandry.

I got 600 nts. For two months. May and June. Meter must be broken. I run AC at least 12 hours a day, for the pets. I set the at 23 degrees in the living room, 25 degrees in the bedroom. My fridge is a two vertical door, Western style, 10 year old, leaky squeaky door type.

Unplug appliances that are not being used (also unplug power cords for phones/computers that are not connected to the item they are not charging). Turn off lights when you’re not in the room.

Also think about investing in energy saving light bulbs! They save energy and most likely do not produce that much heat!

Things like that don’t feel like much, but do tend to add up.

Is this your first power bill? If not, what are you doing differently? Either way, my guess is it’s the air conditioner. Try using it less–just not to the point of being unbearable. Our last bill was over NT\$5,000 as well. Next month’s will be a bit better. I expect this every summer, but these past two years have been unusually hot.

The two biggest culprits are AC followed by the fridge (esp if it’s old or if the door seal sucks). Your bill gets much worse if you live in a rooftop apartment. In addition it will be worse if you spend a lot of time at home especially during the hottest part of the day. I work from 1:30-9:30. Another factor is how cold you set the AC. I’m pretty comfortable at 26/27C whereas a lot of people would be miserable.

My current bi-monthly bill is 1500-3000NT during the summer but I have a small apartment facing south that isn’t on the rooftop. The bill would be even smaller if the cats could open and close doors instead of push them all the way open. I lived in a 3 story old house before with a roommate (2 AC’s going) and it was 6000-7000+/2mos.

If you got cats that comes in and out of the door and you can’t install a kitty door, hang blankets in the doorway. It allows cats to go in and out at will and it still seals the room so the AC isn’t cooling the entire flat. It really makes a huge difference in how often the AC runs and therefore your electric bill.

Also you didn’t say how big is your flat because that makes a huge difference in your bill. If you have a 7 story flat (for whatever reason, for example a single building down south) and they all share one bill, you’ll be paying maximum rates the whole time because Taipower rate is based on usage not time of day. If you can split the accounts. If you got a 120 ping flat then 7000nt doesn’t seem unreasonable, but if you’re paying that on a 6 ping room then there’s a problem.

It’s really not worth the hassle to install some sort of cat door since my last bi-monthly bill was still only 1600NT. Yes, it could be lower but we’re talking about a couple hundred dollars.

Sadly, my bill was over 9,000. I think the A/C systems that are built into the ceilings seem less efficient. My place is not large but it takes a fair time to get the temperatures down. I do keep A/C on for a long time and have a huge fridge, which may not help . Electricity in Taiwan seems to be an expensive item.

Electricity is actually subsidized and is cheaper than most first world countries. I think that probably encouraged inefficient construction and stores blasting AC to the outside…

Actually electricity in Taiwan is quite cheap compared to other countries. The issue is that it’s 35C here and the houses/apts have no insulation.

It might be time to get your AC serviced. There should be filters for the AC but they might not be as easy to clean as smaller individual units. Another cause could be broken duct work and you are pumping AC into the ceiling. Or your AC units could be damaged. We had an AC at our buxiban on the ground floor that had been damaged. We had to run it at max AC (16C) and it still didn’t keep the small office cool. Yet the owner didn’t want to replace until the next year because of his budget. It probably cost the school an extra 1000+/mo (maybe 2000/mo) to run in that condition.