With UK house prices reaching an all time high, more and more people are looking to invest in property outside of Britain where they get a lot more house for their money. For anyone who’s thinking of buying property on Tenerife and is keen on an older or traditional home, it might be useful to know about some of the ways energy use differs from what you’re used to in the UK. Take gas for example…
There is no piped or natural gas on Tenerife. If you’re looking at buying a newer property or somewhere in the residential area of resorts such as Playa de Las Americas, Los Cristianos, Costa del Silencio, El Médano and Costa Adeje, your home is quite likely to be all electric. But for anyone looking for older, more traditional homes, it’s usually gas that is used to heat water and it comes in bottles. Most people operate a two bottle system of butane gas which ensures you always have a full bottle ready to hook up once the gas runs out – usually when you’re in the shower. Of course, that relies on you getting a new bottle as soon as the old one runs out, a habit we seem particularly slow to adopt, leaving us running the gauntlet of being left with two empty bottles and no hot water.
The bottles are housed, along with the boiler, in their own unit outside the house. Hooking up the bottles is a straightforward process and if you’ve ever been caravanning you’ll already be familiar with how to do it. In terms of safety, there’s no danger of the gas spontaneously combusting due to heat as it would require temperatures in excess of 400ºF to do that, and even in a heatwave, your gas unit is unlikely to come close to that.
Most homes use 13kg bottles of gas butano (butane gas) which are sold in some petrol stations and from distribution centres around the island. Most distribution centres are in the north of the island but you can find one in Granadilla and in San Miguel de Abona. Bottles are also delivered by local suppliers directly to your home. The price of gas butano fluctuates with the price of petrol, and like petrol, a lowering of OPEC prices rarely sees a commensurate reduction in the price of the bottles, always staying that little bit more expensive than before the last rise. In the 10 years we’ve lived here, the price of a bottle of butano has risen from below €11 to the €16.90 we paid this week. If you have your gas delivered you can expect to pay marginally more.
Full bottles are extremely heavy and very difficult to carry long distances which makes having them delivered more attractive but if you live away from the main centres, that can mean waiting in all day for the butano man to call. If you live in the hills, you may not have a delivery option available to you at all. In towns and cities you can usually request a delivery time to within half an hour.
In terms of running costs, we find that a bottle of butano lasts on average for three weeks and we use it to heat all our water and for our gas hob. That’s less than €6 a week, considerably cheaper than the cost of gas in the UK but then we don’t have to run central heating off it 🙂
Category : about tenerife
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