Close

Electricity usage/cost in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Any expats living/lived in Ho Chi Minh City, what is your typical monthly electricity bill cost?. Maybe it varies throughout the year? (Maybe not as much as when living somewhere where there is four seasons. e.g.Hanoi?)

I moved to a studio apartment (about 40m²) in Ho Chi Minh City last Friday. Before moving I searched the Internet to gauge what the electricity cost per month would be, but the info was from a bygone era.

I'm using A/c throughout the night. Also, using it throughout the day on 3 days a week. Not much else, except fridge. Use kettle once in the morning. Other electrical equipment, I beleive use very little electric. Such as TV (which I rarely turn on), laptop, microwave...

Collected some meter readings and it appears that I use 18 units a day. Expats, What is your usage like?, also any tips to reduce usage.  e.g. Increase air-con temp from 21°C to 25°C?, maybe even higher.

Also, does the units used convert directly to kwH or is there a formula to convert units to kwH?

There’s another thread here. It's been inactive for over a year, so I started a fresh one.

Shouldn't really be any more than $30 as an absolute maximum.

That's what I spend about $20 to 30 USD per monrh.
My usage is about the same, AC 12- 18 hours per day, though I set it about 25c, maybe even 26 at night.

Thanks very much guys.

By the way, my landlord/condo owner waives the charge for the first 200 units, then each unit is charged at 3000 VND. I reckon this is pretty reasonable (for a serviced apartment) considering that some places are charging 4000 VND per unit (without a 200 unit buffer at the start).

sanooku :

Thanks very much guys.

By the way, my landlord/condo owner waives the charge for the first 200 units, then each unit is charged at 3000 VND. I reckon this is pretty reasonable (for a serviced apartment) considering that some places are charging 4000 VND per unit (without a 200 unit buffer at the start).

FYI the below is the official EVN rate 2017:

Retail price for household electricity
For the first 50 kWh (1 – 50 kWh)
1,484
For the next 50 kWh (51 – 100 kWh)
1,533
For the next 100 kWh (101 – 200 kWh)
1,786
For the next 100 kWh (201 – 300 kWh)
2,242
For the next 100 kWh (301 – 400 kWh)
2,503
For the next kWh (401 kWh onwards)
2,587


By law he's really not suppose to be selling electricity in the first place, only EVN can do that. Most of the landlords do it anyway and some how get way with it. As you can see by the above chart he is charging  you over 500VND for each unit if your usage is 18KWh  per day X 30 days=540KWh.

Rick

@Budman1:

Those rates are really useful.

I just realized searching online for "Vietnam household electric rates" would bring them up. By the way do you know what the "Retail price for household electricity via prepaid card meter" tariff is all about? It seems, that's charged at 2,141 Dong flat rate.

Anyway, I've done the calculation for my usage and 3000 Dong p/unit is actually more favourable to the guest. It's because owner is throwing in the first 200 units without charge. So, I pay for 340 Units (540 - 200 = 340 Units)

Here's the calculation:

50 x 1484 = 74200
50 x 1533 = 76650

100 x 1786=178600
100 x 2242=224200

100 x 2503=250300
140 x 2587=362180

Total: 1,166,130 VND (going by EVN Tarriffs)

Going by my Landlord's method = 340 x 3000 = 1,020,000 VND

So, it works out less according to the 3000 VND per unit (first 200 units without charge) method.

Even for someone using 10 Units a day (because they use less A/C), it works out favourably.

According to EVN tariffs it'll cost them =  553,650 Dong

By my landlords method = 3000 x 100 (as the first 200 units are free, they only get charged for 100 units) = 300,000 Dong

This post from late February 2015 has the electricity rates in the same format you provided (it's from 2015 of course, so slightly lower rates compared to now). The OP says, he paid 3150 dong per unit (for serviced apartment) in 2014!. That seems way too much (for 2014).

BTW, if anyone is paying 4000 dong p/unit (without first 200 units free) then the landlord is definietly taking them for a ride.

4000 x 540 = 2,160,000 dong. That's nearly a million dong (45 USD) more than the EVN rates.

I would guess it will cost you about 1,600,000 a month...the aircon is the biggest sucker of power about 1kw/hr possibly more pending what you have. The rest you'd be lucky to use 1-1.5kw in 24 hours. If you get a fan and turn off the aircon you'll probably save about US$50 a month.

It's great you have the rates, but it's still not clear to me why you are paying so much.

This last month, I paid 565,000 vnd. That's running one of two a/c 20 hours per day, plus a fan that I run since my bedroom is cooled but not the living room directly. 
Other than lights, fridge, computers, TV, cable modem, wireless and water kettle nothing else.

Since May, I've been between 500,000 and 600,000 vnd per month.

I increased the A/C temp. to 25°C and am now using about 15 Units a day.

This is the same Units per day I was using in a previous apartment.

@Wxx3: tell me, how many units do you roughly use per day?

Paying 565,000 VND for running one of two a/c's (so I take it only one a/c powered on at a time), 20 hours a day, you must have some very efficient a/c units. Perhaps give us an idea when they were manufactured. (I think the newer the unit, more efficient it is).

Also, where do you use the two A/c units?, I mean, what are the room sizes?. Obviously, small rooms require small a/c units, and they consume less power.

All aircons are different in their power ratings. Look on the aircon for the Kw's or Kw hours. It will tell you how many Kw's the aircon is using per hour. They suck the power....

panda7 :

I would guess it will cost you about 1,600,000 a month...the aircon is the biggest sucker of power about 1kw/hr possibly more pending what you have. The rest you'd be lucky to use 1-1.5kw in 24 hours. If you get a fan and turn off the aircon you'll probably save about US$50 a month.

Using a fan is much cheaper  that's for  sure (not sure if it's more energy efficient - because you are not comparing like for like - they do two different fundctions).  I've actually made it a point to use a fan before. It's just hassle to hunt around for a decent one, then give-it up at the end of my stay (Probably not longer than 1-2 months). I’ve left many a fan at many an apartment BTW.

Actually it's probably a good investment to get one even for one month. I've just seen that BigC Thailand has fans for 299 THB ~ 10 USD (No idea what the going rate is in Vietnam - Big C Vietnam website doesn't' appear to list the products).

Again, haven't a clue how good a 10 USD fan is. Actually, I've got no scruples about paying 20-30 USD for a fan, then giving it up at the end of my stay. Perhaps, if I return to the same apt. in 6 months or 1 year I can re-use it.

$10 US is OK, though on the high side.  I think I usually see them advertised for about 150,000 VND on the street.

Turns out I pay only 300,000 vnd for electricity.  The 564k was for all the other stuff like trash, parking 2 motobikes, maint and something else.

The average rate for the entire US is $0.1042/KWH which is 2367 VND so the rates are probably fair enough.  The cheapest US state is Washington ($.0741) which probably has a lot of hydro-power followed by the big oil and coal states.  Vietnam is cheap compared to my state of Hawaii at $0/26.17.  :sosad:  For those of you from the UK, the rates should seem cheap too.

I suspect that the rates are somewhat subsidized, perhaps indirectly through the prices paid to state owned oil companies for fuel.  That's one of the things you can do in a command economy.  It keeps the masses happy.

Is there a reduction from the energy supplier (KW per HR) for off peak times? Some of them offer a reduction at night/early morning.

update: My electricity cost for one month (30 days) came to 519,000 Vietnam Dong. (In US Dollars = 519,000 / 22,750 ~ 23 USD)

Total units used: 373
First 200 Units free, so chargeable units = 373-200 = 173
Rate per unit = 3000 Dong
final payment amount = 173 x 3000 = 519,000 dong

This was with one A/c used throughout the night. and some days throughout the day also. Pretty sure jacking up the temperature to 25°C bought down the units used quite a bit.

BTW: Recently did come across another serviced apartment that was not charging for the first 300 Units (from what I remember). However, apartment wasn't suitable, so gave it a miss.

Thanks again to everyone for sharing their experiences and useful suggestions.

Mine came to $44 for the month, but that it is with the air con on at 18/19 degrees, for roughly 12 hours a day.

I just allow $40 to $50. Done.
I don't worry about rates and calculations, lol. If you want to cut $10 to $20 off your living expenses, reduce your rental cost by moving somewhere cheaper! Cutting rent by 3% a lot easier than cutting electric by 50%.  :unsure

The landlords will sometimes add to the rate, nothing you can do about that, it is their property .
My aircon is never lower than 28 or wife turns blue. 29 at night. When I first moved to Saigon, I had to have 26. The body is adjusting to the tropics, yay.
And fans mostly adequate in winter months or after a storm.

gobot :

I just allow $40 to $50. Done.
I don't worry about rates and calculations, lol. If you want to cut $10 to $20 off your living expenses, reduce your rental cost by moving somewhere cheaper! Cutting rent by 3% a lot easier than cutting electric by 50%.  :unsure

I run a tight ship, if I don't, can easily go over the budget. Also, I'd rather keep calculations than get shafted  :)

The landlords will sometimes add to the rate, nothing you can do about that, it is their property .

Actually, I've heard otherwise. Apparently, "IT IS ILLEGAL FOR ANYONE TO RESELL electricity in VietNam UNLESS they have a contract with EVN". Was the member leaving that post telling us fibs?, If not, it doesn't make sense to say that landlords can add to the rate because it's their property.

In any case, if everyone does it (and you don't want to complain), you can always pick a property that doesn't add to the rate (some actually go lower than the EVN rate by offering the first 200-300 units free), is outside the built-up areas, or pick a property in the built-up areas with a discount on the rent.  :top:

Not rocket science really.

Rule (of thumb) #1 :up: : before moving in, ask the owner/landlord where the electricity meter is located.
Rule (of thumb) #2  :up: : Make a note/take a photo of the electricity meter reading BEFORE/AT THE TIME OF moving in.
Rule(of thumb) #3  :up: : take at least a weekly reading. (this way you will be soon aware if you're two/three a/c units are consuming more electric than you imagined. Also, if pedro next door has run a cable  :mad:  and tapped-in to your power - known to happen in some parts of the world - don't know if it happens here in Vietnam)

These rules of thumb are for two main reasons. You can stay within your budget + it prevents any misunderstanding when it comes to settling the electric bill with your landlord in the future (when it comes to settling the electric bill with the landlord).

The electric meter is usually located just outside your apartment. At least that's been my experience in Saigon. Did encounter one occasion in Loas, where the meter was half way on top of a lamppost which was way down the street. (Mind you, that was actually a house, not an apartment) One apartment in Da nang had the meter above the front entrance, but we needed a ladder to get a reading. Anyway, seems the new properties install the meter at eye level. Or thereabouts anyway.

New topic

Expatriate health insurance in Ho Chi Minh City

Free advice and quotation service to choose an expat health insurance in Ho Chi Minh City

Moving to Ho Chi Minh City

Find tips from professionals about moving to Ho Chi Minh City

Travel insurance in Ho Chi Minh City

Enjoy stress-free travel to Ho Chi Minh City