Consumption, Goals, Life in Paris, Money

Electricity Victory!

I got my year-end bill from our electricity provider, EDF, and I was shocked.

I wrote about our LED adventure two months ago, when we spent €52 on LED bulbs for the apartment. My goal was to reduce our electricity consumption as a matter of environmental responsibility, and to reduce how much money I pay to EDF.

I went back to my first year-end bill with EDF from 2016, and it turns out that I had to pay €109,33 in overages from the year, plus the regular May charges. I normally pay about €40 a month, but we had used more electricity than we were allotted, so they settled up.

I was not interested in repeating that experience, and I was interested in doing my part to reduce my consumption, thus the great LED Experiment of 2017.

I am thrilled to report that EDF sent me my yearly statement on Thursday. I received it while I was on break at work, and I cringed; I had a lot of unexpected, one-time expenses in April, and I was hoping to stick to my budget in May.

I checked my bank account before I checked the statement. Luckily, I had enough money in the account so that I wouldn’t have to scramble if EDF pulled out a hundred or so euro from my account. Heartened by my account balance, I logged onto my EDF client account and checked the overview of the statement.

– €76,17

I deflated, thinking that I had to pay almost as much as last year. A little quick mental math, and it seemed like replacing the bulbs meant that I had spent more on electricity this year than last year, despite my good intentions.

Feeling very put-upon by adulthood, I opened the statement anyway so that I could see how much per month we had gone over our allotment. Maybe I could see which months were particularly bad, and think up strategies to reduce our consumption further.

Then, with a little context, everything became clear.

Our bill breaks down like this.

We subscribe to a yearly amount of electricity, that costs €437,14 per year, which I didn’t remember but is still true.

We have a reduction of €21,88 because 2016 was the first full year of demanding electricity; I didn’t know there was a reduction for that, but hey! Free money! We pay €53,76 in taxes on the electricity, so things seem to balance out.

The line that caught my attention was “Paiements déjà effectués,” or payments already made on the bill. There, I saw €437,14 as it should be. But when I compared that line to the charge based on our annual electricity reading… that came to €329,09.

I looked over to the total amount owed, and realised that the ‘ – ‘ mark wasn’t a bullet point, but a minus sign.

– €76.17

I read the not-so-fine print immediately above the amount, “Montant total en votre faveur”


Total amount in your favour!

So yes, dear readers, I realised the what you probably would have known the second you read the statement. For once, I didn’t owe anything more, and the electricity company owed me!


I immediately texted E to tell him the good news. We would either receive a credit on the electricity for the next two months, or I would get a transfer back to my account. The mystery came to an end today, when I checked my account and saw the pending transfer from EDF.

I’m so excited to have a little windfall, but I don’t have any wild plans for it. I don’t invest in France, yet, and sending less than $100 back to the US to be invested doesn’t seem smart considering the fees, etc. Instead, I’m simply going to mentally save the money for the next two electricity bills. Considering that my electricity bills will continue long after my paychecks from my internship cease to arrive, it’s better to save that money for the future than anything else.





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