Utilities which simply means bills is not one of the most interesting of subjects for many of us even though we sign up for them every other day. We’d much rather talk about other things like love and fun. However, like it or not, there comes a time when you have to consider your utility bills. Whether it’s you or your talkative neighbour next door, don’t be surprised to hear an argument with the Landlord over utilities. Top on the utility list is electricity and heating.
In the Czech Republic electricity and heating are essential part of life. Their importance increases a notch higher during winter which comes from around November. In case you are not in the know, winter temperatures in Czech can fall between -5°C/20°F to -10°C/10° which means a need for indoor heating. FAs soon as the fall temperatures start to set in, most households focus on heating. You will need a constant heat supply until the spring in this country so brace yourself for a bumpy utility ride.
An Overview of Electricity and Heating in Czech Republic
One thing you will love about Czech is that most buildings are connected to a heating network. So, you are almost guaranteed that you will move into an apartment with a heating system. The country’s heating system is connected to a central heating network. The system uses steam-based heat that comes from a central plant.
Czech is big on sustainability and environmental conservation hence, the plants are connected to an electricity generation plant. They reuse the steam created for making electricity. However, I’m sure you don’t care about all these for now. You want to know how you can get access to a heating and electricity system. So let’s get down to business then. You should know that your bill could be included in your rental agreement. If this is the case, your landlord will add it to your rent and make the payments to him/herself.
Signing up for Electricity and Heating in Czech
To sign up for electricity and heating in Czech, you must apply to the provider you want. There are many suppliers in the country so do your research before settling on the best one for you. The best way to sign up for electricity and heating is online. You can visit the website of your preferred supplier to find an application form. The most popular supplier is Pražská energetika, a.s. They supply mostly to big cities like Prague and Roztoky.
You can expect your meter to be read by your supplier three times in a year. Most apartments will put up notices for their tenants on the inspection dates. Your meter reading will depend on your usage. However, you can also know the dates by checking the bottom left-hand corner of the first page under Zpráva pro zákazníka of your bill. It might not indicate the exact date though so keep checking notices on your hallway.
Choosing the Best Electricity and Heating Plan in Czech
You’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that you have a wide variety of plans to choose from depending on your budget and needs. Pražská energetika, a.s. gives its users access to six different payment plans. The plan you choose should be based on the type of heating system that is installed in your house. Your bill will be calculated based on two different tariffs if you have an electrical heating system. The high tariff (vysoký tarif) and the low tariff (nízký tarif).
The high tariff (vysoký tarif) applies during peak hours and is mostly for standard electricity usage. The low tariff (nízký tarif) is applied at off-times and generally applies to electrical heating. During nízký tariff, your storage heater will automatically store up heat energy at night. To reduce your usage or consumption, I recommend using more energy at off-hours. You can also settle on a high or low distribution rate (distribuční sazba), based on the amount of electricity you need.
Alternative Electricity and Heating Plans in Czech
If your home does not have an electrical heating system then Komfort Klasik 24 is the plan to go for. It has the same rates throughout the day so there is no low tariff. I would also recommend a distribution rate D01d if you live alone or in a two-people household. It’s also a good one if your house doesn’t have appliances with high energy consumption rates such as dishwashers, fridges, and cloth dryers. If not then go for the D02d rate.
If you have an electrical heating system then Komfort AKU 8 will be more affordable to you. It allows you to run the low tariff for 8 hours per day during off-peak hours. Just be sure that you are using D25d rate if you only have one electrical water heater or a small storage heater. Otherwise, go for the D26d rate.
Electrical and Heating Bills in Czech
In Czech you will be expected to pay your electricity bill in advance as a deposit. The household size and the size of your home will determine how much deposit you pay. You should expect to receive a bill every four months with details of your usage. If there is a difference between the actual sum and the deposit it is added to or subtracted from your next deposit payment.
The good news is that you can choose a method of payment that is more convenient to you during your application. Some of the most common methods of payment include direct debit, single transfer order, cash (Postal Form A) and SIPO.