electricity

8-I-2016 04:04:03

Though every Pera, Mika & Laza would bet their asses that the electricity in Serbia is varying in voltage extremely, and that the Elektrodistribucija is stealing megawatts by keeping it at 49Hz instead of regular 50Hz, it's actually quite good, at least where I have measured it. And there are independent accounts from people who know and have measured it regularly at work.

The unification of European power grid at 230V (because it was going between 220 and 250 from country to country) is still somewhere in plans - I still have 219-221 (phase to zero) and 376-381 (phase to phase). Wiring is tri-phase in most houses; maybe only some old village houses still have a single-phase 220. Wires are standard: black, brown and another black or other dark for the three hot lines, sky blue for zero, yellow/green for ground. The standard is upheld by all electricians, but not necessarily every amateur does it right.

The plugs are mostly Schuko (grounded) or the standard European. Amazingly, though, there are adapters for American plugs in pretty much any electric supplies shop and they cost about $0,50 or less. You'll be surprised how many gadgets actually run on 110 AND 220 - monitors, desktop box power supplies, power adapters for laptops, various battery chargers for handheld and portable gadgets, cell phones... check yours before purchasing a converter, you may not need it at all.

As for anything that has a motor or a heater (eg. blowdryer), doublecheck. Some can be used over here, some not.

There's a lot of bad blood between consumers and electricity company, as you have to pay the wiring all the way to the pole, and the measuring box, and then also some for the wiring to reach your pole (less if it already exists, but a lot if you're out in the field) and then you pass ownership to all of it - meter, outside wiring - to them. And then they allegedly maintain it, but YMMV. For load balancing reasons, there are two ratings - daily and nightly, where the night rate was supposed to be half the price (which it still is in case of phones). Nowadays it's about 60% of the daily, but that matters less than before because the fixed parts of the bill ("installed power", "availability" and other nebulous phrases) may take up to 40% of the amount if your consumption is modest. If you're getting indecent with your kWh, well, between 1000 and 2000 a month it costs about 80% more, and above that triple the regular rate. The last two ruling parties were strictly against that when it was introduced by the previous one, but reintroduced it or made it even steeper when they were in power. Which is, along with price of natural gas, the main reason why coal and wood are popular sources of heating again.