Gas Boiler Maintenance – New Rules in 2013
Until recently gas boilers installed in homes in Spain had to have mandatory annual preventative maintenance, but new legislation passed in April 2013 means that this will now only be necessary every two years. If you thought this would mean you’d save money, read on to find the loopholes in the new law.
What Has Changed?
Some people have their gas boiler maintenance contracted with the manufacturer, whilst others opt for their gas supplier or directly with a maintenance company. Either way you’ll normally be paying an amount that covers a single annual check-up with breakdowns being charged separately. The change in legislation, which means that the rest of Spain now applies the same 2-year maintenance rule as the Basque Country, has been met by silence by most companies. This makes sense (for them!) as they would lose out on this lucrative market. However, the legislation is also at fault as it leaves it up to manufacturers to cite in their manuals how often maintenance should be carried out.
Why Won’t Consumers Save?
Most brands already include in their manuals a requirement for yearly preventative maintenance, but they don’t specify exactly what this check should cover as it was simply a case of telling homeowners that yearly checks were mandatory by law. With the new legislation we expect that it won’t be long before companies start to clearly specify what maintenance should be carried out and we wouldn’t be surprised to see that this would be “necessary” every year (or even every 6 months!). In this way they’ll get around the new 2-year law by stating that for the guarantee on their boiler to be valid, preventative maintenance must be carried out yearly.
What Should Homeowners Do?
As you can no doubt imagine, this leaves consumers in a position no better than before the law was changed. You’ll have to decide what to do with your current maintenance contract, but if it’s not mandatory for your boiler to be inspected every year why pay for it? The Spanish Consumer Organisation (OCU) recommends following the new 2-year rule, especially if your boiler is modern.
Further information (in Spanish): Royal Decree 238/2013