Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Keeping Warm

Heating is a "fun" experience here in Germany. Most Germans have either oil or electric to heat their homes, both of which are extremely expensive. Oil especially!! We have heard of people paying 2,000 euros a winter to heat their homes; yikes!! Plus, here is another fun things the Germans do, you only have 1 electric bill a year! So, you essentially pay a fixed amount each month, hoping to kind of build up your account, but at the end of the year the bill is tallied and if you went over on usage, you get hit with a huge bill at the end. We know some people who payed about 75 euro per month and still had to pay 1,500 euro at the end!! So you better believe that when we were shopping for a place to live we were really paying attention to what type of heating system was in use, how much it cost the previous renters to heat it, how big the house was, on and on.

And then we found our little house, and here is our heating system! :)

Our heating system is a lot different from most other Germans. We have what you can consider a heat pump, which essentially sucks the warmness out of the air and pumps it into the house (through radiant floor heating, which I love!). It's new technology that initially is much more expensive to install than regular heating, but over the long run saves you a ton of money!

Here's the funny thing. We live in a very small city, so everyone is always noticing what is going on with everyone else. Thus, the little Germans are wondering if we are staying warm or not! :) Within the last week 2 Germans asked Phillip while he was out with Clara how our heating system was doing! They are all very interested, especially since this system will likely save us a ton of money! About a month ago we had our landlord check our usage and compare it to what we are paying monthly and so far it looks like we are paying in more than what we are using!!

1 comment:

  1. Kim,
    This sounds like the German version of the tax return. You pay in all year...hoping that you have paid enough, but you don't know until you file...

    Love you guys. Mark & Lila