Charging extra for electricity

Level 1
Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Charging extra for electricity

I have a one bedroom apartment I rent out for vacations. I usually charge people for using the electric as here in Mexico, the electric is so expensive, and i only charge a modest fee for my apartment. It also deters people from using it all the time, leaving it on unnecessarily. 

Not one of my guests has ever had a problem with this.


Today, my last two guests felt it was very unfair to have this charged and said I wasn't clear about it at the beginning. I read through the guest book in the casita and it does say they will be charged, although I thought I had made this clear on the listing, apparently not. I only charge this to cover the cost, not to make money. 


Refusing to argue about it, I told them to leave it - despite it being the highest bill ever, since they used the AC almost all the time, leaving it on when they went out. I am a small, sole property owner. As my guest (from London) said 'it's expensive here'. Yes, it is. That's why I can't afford to pay for your electric, when you have used so much.


Their argument was that I was not explicit. I told them I was going to read the meter when they arrived, but they did not understand...nor did they read the guest book in the casita, where it says on the first page how it works...

this is the first time in 16 months that anyone has left my place with a bad vibe. I'm very upset about it as I don't wish them to feel bad, nor me. 


Lesson learnt. Spell it out. Clearly. And then explain again. 




1 Best Answer
Level 10
Marbella, Spain

Dear @Ynez0  here is some advice from Andalusia:

- Put in house rules: electricity allowance 4 dollars per day included in your price.  Excessive or wasteful usage will be billed at cost after your stay
- Put this in listing description "other things to note"
- Put this at the bottom of the listing description page, guest safety, amenty limitations (this is important, it is shown in evidence when they instant book)
- put this in your house rules
- Put it in your IB message
- Mention it at booking, and in person on arrival.  If self check in, only give keycode if guest explicitly acknowledges it.

I hope this helps.

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51 Replies 51
Level 10
Como, CO

Not sure if you make this clear in your ABB Listing, I would expect most people to assume utilities would be included.


Maybe increase your price to include normal usage but make it clear that any excess usage, over so many Kwh, are chargable due to high electricty costs?


Making it clear on the ABB listing usually works, and If you do not receive any funds you will have a right to ask it from Airbnb Cover. 

I have tried to include David but then we had this one guest for 3-4 days. The electricity bill was like a month high 😄 Later we discovered that the guest have been crypto mining. 

As a result, I keep all of our listings' electricity bills extra (also we are just taking it to cover it) and never had a problem. If I had, as I told you, Airbnb cover covers it.

But then no one would rent the property because it's overpriced!

It's just much better to be predatory and con people into paying more than they agreed to.


That's obviously sarcasm.

Yeah, the default for these things is utilities included unless otherwise specified.


And guest books are NOT sufficient for that purpose because the people are already there!


I think people that do that crap should get banned from these apps.

Just saying. It's no different than a cell phone company charging you hidden fees.


If you have it on the listing, and they don't notice, that's on them.

If you don' t have it on the listing, that's on you.

It's that simple.

When visitors run up a 1200 euro bill in a 4 bedroom house in 2 weeks due to , not just their wanton disregard, but their spiteful attempts , for no reason, to "Screw the owner." AC running from the minute they arrive till they leave with half the windows open and going out for the whole day. I have devised a remedy by installing hourly cut off devices, also a roof full of electric sun panels. I trust this works . It seems to me that just a handful of idiots can spoil things for everyone. 

What errors are you referring to , none are highlighted ???

I love your idea. My tenants put a blow-up hot tub out when I was on a cruise. They kept it out and my bill became to be almost $1.000 for 2 months. So aggravated. 

Level 10
Boulder, CO

Hi @Ynez0, Unfortunately there will always be some guests who don't read the house rules and other information or they just forget.  If the AC is the biggest contributor to the high electric bills, I recommend putting a note on it so guests are reminded about the electricity fees.  I have notes on the bathroom mirrors reminding guests to conserve water since we are in a drought. 

@Stephanie6 That's some solid advice, and I've commented on it below. Thanks for sharing.

Level 1
Grand Junction, CO

I just started an airbnb. I have Canadians charging their car without asking.  I politely told them the cost per kil and asked them to leave the estimate of use upstairs when they check out.  But in future I'll spell it out clearly.  Caught me by surprise. I'd like others advice!   Pamela in colorado

Level 10
Kendal, United Kingdom


I would expect the this might become a more regular occurrence with electric vehicles. Only last week a neighbours' visitor ran an extension cable out through a window to charge his car so where this might be difficult in a hotel, its not so difficult in a private home.


Guests seem to expect unrestricted utility consumption at stays with the rationale that 'they paid'. I've never yet filled a guests' car with petrol or diesel and I don't see why electricity should be any different?


Perhaps including an 'allowance' would be least confrontational and accommodating to expectations, then to ask guests to inform the host of actual usage. Sending a photo of the meter would probably be the most trustworthy way of sending that information?

Yeah, that's really too bad, and it does seem like an expensive lesson learned. We're rather new to Airbnb, having just started listing this month, but we spent well over a year doing research on how to prepare our listing and reading the comments from other hosts. And one comment that we saw people making, again and again, is that you have to be UNEQUIVOCALLY CLEAR about your house rules, including them not only in your house but also on the Airbnb site.


This is not only in the hope that guests will actually read them, but also to cover yourself should there ever be a dispute. That is to say, if a guest complains to Airbnb about something that you did not have listed on their website, then Airbnb is obviously going to side with them--and they would be right. So, all of us need to cover ourselves, fully.


@Stephanie6 had some great advice about posting extra rules in visible places around the house. We heard similar advice before, and so now, we have very detailed rules on our Airbnb listing as well as a 14-page house manual, in five languages, covering everything from house rules to appliance use to sites and attractions in the local area. But even so, we STILL have six different pages of instructions and warnings posted up in various places around the house--including one listing the top 10 most important house rules--so that guests will get the message. We use polite wording, so that they don't feel that we are bothering them too much while they are on holiday, but we still make sure that they get the message and that we are covered.


Anyway, we really are sorry to hear that this happened to you. But thank you for sharing, as you have reinforced the point that we all need to remember about making sure we have covered ourselves when we want our guests to know something.  

Level 10
Kendal, United Kingdom


The cost to charge an electric vehicle overnight is roughly the same cost of running an AC unit for the same period.


In the UK that would be in the region of £6 - £15 per charge (40kWh - 100kWh batteries). There are exceptions where electric vehicles can appear to be quite large but have a small consumption of maybe £2 per charge.


Since you also provide AC, your electricity cost would probably have nearly doubled for your recent guest if they charged their vehicle each day. Thats a big hit and a is just money out of your pocket.

Level 3
Panamá, PA

I hate when people charge extra for utilities. It is shady and makes it hard to compare to other listings. I think airbnb should make it obligatory for people to include this.



I stayed over 40 airbnbs and hosted for many years myself. I would not dare to ask for utilities to be paid. It's always in the fine print. On airbnb >90% does NOT charge for utilities, by doing so you get yourself in trouble automatically as people don't expect it, you will never reach superhost status and people will rate you lower, this means your listing will drop from airbnb's search results.


It's just a common sense of hospitality. I know airbnb is not the same as a hotel but just imagine that your hotel would charge you extra for using the a/c? How would you rate that hotel? (....)


I always made sure i charged enough for my airbnb and never competed on price. I was booked 99% of the time because i provided extras, was always there for the guests and made sure the place was super clean. You are essentially making money with this (sometimes up to 300% more compared to renting your place out locally!!!!) so this is YOUR risk and should not be transferred to the host.


Some guests use more electricity, i had 1-2 guests that had their a/c on 16 celcius 24/7. That did annoy me, but this is part of the business you're getting in. Treat guests like kings, this includes charging extra for utilities. 

I completely agree. As a traveler I want all fees  included In the price whether  it be an extra €20 a night. I think personally it’s misleading advertising to say you’ve ac or ev charging ig and then put somewhere in the long (very helpful) description that you have to pay for it extra. Maybe it’s one for Airbnb to have little buttons beside the added amenities whether they are ‘extra’ or ‘foc’ as in my book or is a case of misleading.