5 Facts About Smart Meters in Spain
Smart meters are being installed in homes across Spain and bring with them several advantages including bills that accurately reflect your consumption. Take a look at our list of 5 things you should know.
First of all, if you’re not sure whether you have a smart meter installed get out your last bill and check for the word “telegestión”.
Smart Meter Installation Is Free
Installation of a smart meter is free, but you have to pay monthly rental on your bill. Some people may decide to buy a smart meter in order to save over the long-term, but according to some engineers smart meters don’t tend to last as long as traditional meters so you could be better off renting.
Even though the changeover from a traditional meter to a smart meter is free, if any additional works are required to connect the new meter then these will be charged to the client.
Smart Meter Rental Costs More
Although the difference isn’t very high, the rental on your bill for a smart meter will be around 0.50€ more than with a traditional meter. Rental price is fixed by law and companies are already lobbying for an increase.
Those with a split-rate tariff will actually save with a smart meter as previously you would have paid two rentals and with the new meters you only need one.
It’s Mandatory To Have A Smart Meter
Although there is a law that states that smart meters must be installed in all households, companies have until the end of 2018 to carry out the installations. Currently only 35% of meters have been changed, with an estimate of 70% by the end of 2016. So if you’re still waiting for yours, be patient!
With Smart Meters You Don’t Need a Trip Switch
All electricity contracts include a power capacity limit which you pay for every month – the higher the kW contracted the higher the rate. With a traditional meter you would also require a trip switch (or ICP in Spanish) to ensure you could not use more power than you paid for, with new smart meters the limit is programmed in.
Unfortunately some people who already have smart meters have been fined on their bills for not having an ICP – if this is your case get in touch with your company quoting the National Energy Commission’s report 23/2009 which states that the an ICP is neither necessary nor advisable for use with smart meters.
Smart Meter Firmware Can Be Modified Remotely
Although not confirmed by any electricity company, theoretically the firmware for the smart meter could be modified remotely. Any modifications should be registered and notified, but given that electricity companies are currently under scrutiny for allegedly manipulating the market this aspect has become worrying for consumer organisations.