When we first moved to Portugal, we were stoked at the price of things in Lisbon. The cost of living in Lisbon is a mere fraction of what we paid in NYC. Everything here costs about 1/5th of what we used to pay. When we first got our EDP bill for electricity, we were pretty happy. It cost us about €80 per month for our 2-bedroom 100 square meter apartment. Imagine our surprise when we got a bill for almost €500 in January (the above image does not include the taxes which came to around 90 Euros). After I recovered from a minor heart attack, I decided to go to the EDP office which is conveniently located near Marques de Pombal Square. Here’s everything I found out!
How to Understand your Portuguese Electric EDP Bill
Estimated vs. Actual Reading
The first thing we learned is that our bill was based on an estimate of use. Where they got this estimate, I don’t know. We had been in the apartment since May and we never had a bill this high. How can you tell? Click on “Leituras” (that’s readings). Below the red count, you will have one of two phrases:
- Leitura Estimada
- Leitura Real
If your bill says Leitura Estimada you have a chance. The EDP has estimated your bill. If it says Leitura Real, you’re going to need to head to one of Lisbon’s wine bars for a glass of wine (or two).
What Happens If You Overpaid
The young lady at the EDP office (who was awesome) told us we had two options:
- We could have the overage credited to our account.
- It could be reimbursed to our bank
She also explained that having it reimbursed meant filling out tons of paperwork and waiting a while, so we just opted to have the credits towards our account. This will take a week or two.
You Pay More if You Use Electricity During Peak Hours
There are three periods that all have different rates attached to them:
- Vazio – cheap
- Fora de Vazio – more expensive
- Cheio – don’t know…if you do, let me know in the comments.
You Can Enter In Your Own Reading for the EDP Bill
The reason the readings are estimated (according to the EDP office) is that there aren’t enough people to go read the meters. If you use the EDP app, you can update the meter reading yourself this way the meter readings (and in turn your bill) will be accurate. This is great so you don’t have to wait for them to come and do an actual reading.
This all has to deal with how you pay:
- Simples: Only one pricing type
- Bi-horario: Made up of two pricing types – vazio (0.1652) & fora de vazio (0.20) this is what I have)
- Tri-horario: Made up of three pricing types – ponta, cheias & vazio – this one is only available for businesses.
How to Save on Your Portuguese Electric Bill
- The EDP has bundle packages, so if you have both your electric and your gas, you get a discount on both!
- Use the appliances that consume the most electricity during off-peak hours (dryer, water heater, oven or stove, hair dryer).
- When you rent or purchase your home, check the energy rating. “A” is the best, so try to get as close to that as possible.
- OR…buy yourself a Galp Hotspot heater. The actual heater costs around €125 (at end of season it usually goes on sale for €112) and the gas containers cost €30. You will have to buy the containers from independent dealers. They are listed on the Galp website.
Where is the EDP office?
It’s about a block away from Marques de Pombal. There are a few buildings that say EDP on them. You want the EDP Loja. It’s located at R. Camilo Castelo Branco 32 (on the corner w/ Avenida Duque de Loule). When you get there, make sure to pull a ticket to get help.
Have other questions about understanding your EDP Portuguese Electric bill? Leave it in the comments and we’ll get back to you!