I Got The Power

After three months here, I’ve finally got a loose grasp on a major drain on the pocket – power costs.

It’s finally dawned on me – years after everyone else – that running air-conditioning overnight, and during most of the day, is sky-rocketing expenses.

In my defence, it’s set up as a rort, because apartment owners are making a killing by retailing electricity at a profit. So they’re hardly likely to have a word on the ear of power-hogging tenants.

The wholesale rate, which they pay the Government, is 3 baht / unit. They then typically retail it at 5 – 8 baht / unit. At a typical 300 – 500 units / month, that’s anywhere from ฿600 ( baht ) –  ฿2500  for whistling dixie.

Being a little slow to catch on, I’ve spent around ฿8,500  per month in the last two apartments. The first, ฿5500 + ฿3000 in power, and the second, ฿5000 + ฿3500 in power. It seemed there was no escape.

But on grilling a fellow NES teacher ( Scott, a quiet but wily Californian ), he pointed out the obvious – it’s the air-conditioning, you marnis.

Experiments have proven this hypothesis – below is an example of the Monkey Brain taking over shows power usage here at the Wiang Walee. Enlightenment happened on July 29.

Power Usage at the Wiang Walee

Dates Usage Av. usage/day ฿ / month
July 17 – July 29 400 units 33 ฿5000
July 30 – Aug 1 50 units 17 ฿2500
Aug 1 – Aug 2 19 units 19 ฿2850
Aug 2 – Aug 3 8 units 8 ฿1200
Aug 3 – Aug 4 14 units 14 ฿2100

How have I coped with this given the 30+°C heat? I’ve started wearing damp t-shirts and neckerchiefs inside, and I’ve turned the air-conditioning off when I’m out, and during the day.

It’s still too hot to sleep without the air-conditioner. But I’m finding ( from reading, and since confirmed ) that the unit set for about 26° cools enough, and uses way less power.

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