Upgrade your Electricity Supply

Upgrade your Electricity Supply

By on Jan 2, 2011 in Slider, Upgrading | 0 comments

IF YOU have a new Smart Meter fitted in your electric meter cupboard, you maybe experiencing power cuts and require an upgrade, This article explains the reason why.

Iberdrola are replacing their traditional meters with Smart Meters. The new meters are fitted with a kill switch (ICP) that limits the user to the amount of electricity they are contracted for. The switch automatically disconnects the power supply when the amount is exceeded.

The reason for power cuts is because the contracted power supply is too low and insufficient.

In the past, consumers were able to illegitimately upgrade their electricity supply by removing or by-passing the old manual power control limiter (ICP) in the consumer unit. This was a common fraudulent malpractice found in properties over 15 years old. With the introduction of an automatic ICP housed inside the Smart Meter this is no longer possible. It will now be necessary to legitimately upgrade the electricity supply if you want more power.

Iberdrola require a new boletin before they permit an upgrade.

A boletin is an electrical installation certificate that stipulates the maximum permissible power capacity and ensures the quality and condition of the installation. Every installation connected to Iberdrola’s distribution network has one.

The initial step is to arrange a survey of the property to assess the condition of the electrical installation. This involves an inspection to check if it complies with the current Spanish electrical regulations. A report is produced with details of any improvement work, if any, that is required. Once the work has been completed a new boletin can be issued and the upgrade can be arranged.

For properties built since 2002 a boletin can usually be issued without the need for any improvement work. In the case of older properties some improvement work will be required for current safety standards. The extent of the improvement work will depend on the age and state of the installation.

Check the contracted power supply on your Iberdrola contract or an electricity bill next to “Potencia Contratada” in Spanish, or “Power Capacity Contracted” in English. The power is stated in kilowatts (kW). If the amount is less than 5.5 kW, and your major electrical appliances are all electric, you should consider upgrading.

Click here to better understand your Iberdrola electricity bill.

A typical upgrade in a Spanish home is to increase the power from 3.3 kW to 5.75 kW. This is normally sufficient for a 2-3 bedroom property with the general array of electrical appliances.

Villas fitted with swimming pool heat exchangers, large air conditioning systems, or other heavy electrical loaded equipment may require additional power. Properties with underbuilds and extended living quarters that include a second kitchen also need extra power.

Some properties may require a 3-phase power supply, but this is only essential if there is 3-phase equipment to run. Otherwise it is more cost effective to have a single-phase power supply.

jiggawattsSpanish properties built before 2002 were generally connected with a 3.3 kW power supply as standard building practice. Many have been illegally upgraded over the years. Very old properties, especially rural dwellings, were often connected with only 2.2 kW, or less.

Every property in Spain will have a Smart Meter fitted by the end of 2018. Properties on low contracted power supplies should consider upgrading to avoid power cuts caused by overloading.

Need more power? Contact us to arrange an upgrade survey.

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