Thursday, January 22, 2009

You know you're in Italy...

...when the power suddenly goes off if you're using the oven, your laptop, and some lights, and you decide to boil water. In Italy, you only use 3kW of power at any given time, as explained by
The company that handles electricity in Italy is ENEL. Electricity in Italy is not like in the US where you can use as much as you need and then just pay every month. Instead, here, you are allotted 3.0 kW. If you use more than this at any one time your power will shut off. That means no running of the washing machine and a hair dryer at the same time. Because of this, looking for appliances with an A or A+ rating* is even more important. You can increase your usage, to 4.5 or 6 which works well but you do pay more per unit of measure. I have 4.5 and am able to run 2 large things plus 2 TVs, 2 refrigerators, a computer, a freezer, a fish tank and lights but if I try to turn on anything else the power will blow. Because we have a water pump (autoclave) we do have to be careful as this consumes a lot and we tend to forget when we have a few things going at once that if we flush or wash our hands the power may go off.

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