Electricity, Water and Natural Gas in Tuscany

High utility costs in Tuscany - electric power, air conditioning, heating gas and water.

kitchen fire in a Tuscan farmhouse

ELECTRICITY, WATER AND NATURAL GAS SUPPLIES

Normal summer usage of water, gas and electricity is normally included in the price of your rental. There is usually an extra charge for heating and air conditioning, which must be paid locally and is generally a standing weekly charged or based on metered consumption. On occasions, supply of water and electricity can be erratic, particularly in peak summer months when demand is high. Water supply can be interrupted or electrical circuit breakers may trip if, for example, several high wattage appliances are switched on at the same time. 

ELECTRICITY IN ITALY

Electric power is very expensive in Italy and is therefore consumed more attentively than in some other countries. For instance, houses have their supplies set to upper limits of 6 KW (kilowatts) or even 3 KW. This is the maximum power that can be used at any one time without throwing a circuit breaker. On average, appliances use the following amounts of power: electric oven (2.5 KW), washing machine (2.5 KW), dishwasher (3 KW), or iron (2 KW). Each electric bulb uses 60 to 150 watts. If you are staying in vacation accommodation with several major appliances and plus a water supply pump, it is essential to stagger electrical use or the electricity will cut out. If it does cut out, switch off a couple of appliances and push the circuit breakers back up. Be sure to turn off the lights and especially the air conditioning, if any, when you go out.

The voltage in Italy is 220 Volts and the socket type is the European standard socket.

One way Italians keep expenses down is by doing without tumblers, and by using less heat and light than is typical in other countries. Clothes, of course, dry perfectly well when hung out in the sun or even inside the house.

AIR CONDITIONING IN TUSCANY

Air conditioning is quite rare in country rentals, indeed almost anywhere in Italy because of the high cost of electricity and also because it is not really necessary. If your apartment description does not state that there is air conditioning, assume there is none. Even without air conditioning, most older buildings have thick walls and are naturally cool. If the weather is hot, keep your apartment cool by carefully shutting all windows and doors during the day, closing the shutters and drawing the curtains to keep the sun out. Open up in the cool of evening and close everything up again the next morning.

If you do rent a place with air conditioning, you should determine whether you are paying for electricity separately from your rent. In any case, use the air conditioning sparingly otherwise you will soon run up a significant electricity bill. NEVER leave the air conditioning going when you go out and at night you should turn it off and stay cool by opening the windows. Some visitors think of air conditioning as some kind of protection against mosquitoes - presumably by closing the windows and having it run during the night. You'll find screens and/or a mosquito net equally effective and much cheaper. 

HEATING A VACATION RENTAL IN TUSCANY

Heating is very expensive in Italy, whether it is by means of electricity or natural gas, and should be used sparingly. Heating charges are not normally included in the vacation rental price but are payable locally based on the metered consumption. Don't leave the windows open while the heat is on - if you're too hot, turn the heating down or off. Under current regulations, in Tuscany the heating can be used only from November to the end of April for up to 8 hours a day. Outside of this period, it's best to rely on an open fire. Firewood is also likely to be an extra charge but firewood is cheap and plentiful in rural Tuscany as well as making a room more cheery. There is frequently a fireplace in the kitchen if it is of traditional design and not a 'kitchenette'-style cooking angle.

WATER SUPPLY IN TUSCANY

Water is a scarce commodity throughout much of Italy south of Milan. In most cities and towns, the supply rarely fails but in villages and farm houses during summer, the supply can be interrupted both due to wells and cisterns drying up and due to pump malfunctions. If that happens, contact the person in charge. Long experience means the owner or rep knows how to deal with the problem. Don't leave taps running and if you see one dripping, let the owner know. It's very easy for a dripping tap to empty a water cistern in a single night.

Tap water from the kitchen's cold water tap can be assumed to be safe to drink unless you are told otherwise. In the country, the water often comes from wells and springs, in which case it is not chlorinated but is usually safe to drink. However, it will contain a bacterial flora different from the one to which you are accustomed and in any case you might prefer the taste of bottled mineral water. The latter, still or aerated, is available at very low cost from supermarkets and other supply shops.

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Tuscany vacation rentals
What is a "villa" in Tuscany?
Arrival times, duration of stay and departure times.
Telephones and internet connections.
Electricity, water and natural gas supplies.
- Electricity in Italy.
- Air conditioning in Tuscany.
- Heating a vacation rental in Tuscany.
- Water supply in Tuscany.

Cleaning your Tuscan vacation rental.
- Towels and Linen.
Keys and Security.
- Breakage and Damage.
Food and other Supplies in Tuscany.
Insects, mosquitoes and other "bugs" in Tuscany.
Gardens and terraces in Tuscany.
Swimming pools in Tuscany.
Handicapped accessibility.
- Allergies.
Tourist taxes in Tuscany.
Festivals and events in Tuscany.
Roads and driving in Tuscany.

Information about the Chianti Classico region of Tuscany, Italy

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