Cost of living in the Philippines is always one of the most consistently searched for items here on PhlFAQS … your site to learn the answers to the FAQS (Frequently Asked Questions) about flying to the Philippines, moving to the Philippines, retiring in the Philippines and whatever else the “ringmaster” here decides to ramble on about.
I don’t get as many direct questions as I would like … and it occurs to me that one reason for that is, I hardly ever ask for them … d’oh. So, that’s what I am doing now. If you have a question, that’s connected to the Philippines, big or small, give me a shot. You can leave a comment, which I’ll always try to answer … but sometimes comments may get missed. It’s better to contact me directly through the secure, spam free contact page here on the site, leave a comment, or call me on 1-719-966-4295 (My US number that rings at my desk). I’ll shoot for a schedule right now that makes Friday as the day for a Q & A session. What do you want to know? (Image via Wikipedia )
Q & A 19 Sep 2008 Air Con Electric Costs
Randy C (Randy’s excellent Journey to Samal blog is a recommended read) asks:
Question: Found the part about your monthly kwh usage useful, because I didn’t really have anything to relate that to over there. How often do you run the aircon, and how many rooms?
Answer: Mita (Tots ‘N Tings and the Unofficial Cook) and I rent a 3 bedroom single story home in Marilao, Bulacan, about 20 kilometers north of Metro Manila. The house is approximately 1,000 square feet in living area and has a small amount of shade from exiting trees. It is typical low-cost employee housing (our subdivision was built about 40 years ago to accommodate employees of the Philippine Central Bank) the walls are reinforced hollow block skim coated on both inside and out, the windows are single-pane steel swing out casement style and the roof is a low, hip roof design covered with the ubiquitous corrugated GI sheet (stands for galvanized iron by the way, not GI like the military folks, but totally inaccurate as the material is galvanized steel, not iron … oh well).
Our electric service is via conventional overhead power pole service to a US made electric meter and thence to a US-made circuit beaker (main service) panel. Total service capacity is 60 amps. We are billed monthly by hand-delivered paper bill (there is virtually no working Philippine postal system, (you only think you got problems with the USPS) each business that wants to operate on a monthly billing scheme has to employ couriers to deliver bills individually) and I normally pay the bill, in cash, at the dedicated “Bill Paying” counter in our local mall’s customer service area. I could also pay at the power company’s local office by cash or check, or (a real rarity) pay by direct debit of my local BDO bank account. One thing I don’t do is delay .. typically power gets cut off within a few days of a bill’s due date … it pays to mark the calendar and follow up if you don’t get a bill in your hand on time, else things will get very dark and warm in a hurry.
Here on Luzon there is a distinct wet and dry season. Usage is highest in “high summer’ which is April through June and lowest during the dry ‘ber’ months of November through February. My last bill, for service from 15 August through 15 September was for 376kWh @ 9.0613 Pesos per Kwh ($0.19376 USD) for a total of PhP 3407.05, or about $72.87 USD at today’s rate. Philippine electricity has the distinction of being second most expensive in the world, only Japan is more costly. To put this in perspective, our rent is PhP 7,000, which is $149.68 USD at today’s rate, so our electric costs are basically 50% of our rent.
We have two individual one horsepower (12,000 BTU) window unit air conditioners, one in the master bedroom and one in the bedroom we use as Blog Central Bulacan. The wiring is ample to run both at once, but we seldom do. Typically the one in the computer room runs 6 or 8 hours a day (I seldom need to turn it on before 9 am) and the one in the bedroom runs 10 pm to 6 am or so … so that electric bill includes an average of 16 hours a day of 12,00 BTU air conditioning. The temperature makes much more difference than the time, it seems, because the units spend much of their time in “fan only” status, while in the hot months the compressor kicks in much more often. These units are over sized for the rooms they serve, if I were do it over again, I would buy a single one horsepower “split” unit with two “heads”, one head for each bedroom. The rest of the house gets by fine on open windows and fans.
How does that compare with your rent or mortgage payments versus your electric bill?