More Smart Meter concerns
NEW GENERATION Smart Meters are being fitted to every home in Spain. A Royal Decree has declared all consumers contracted with less than 15 kW must have one by the end of 2018. Traditional electricity meters will soon be a thing of past.
A Smart Meter records power consumption and communicates that information to a monitoring station for management and billing purposes. They enable two-way communication between the meter and the central control system. Real-time sensors provide information about power outages and power surges. In addition, their introduction prevents the illegal malpractice of unauthorised upgrades.
A possible consequence for home owners having a Smart Meter fitted is that they may endure power cuts. Some consumers tend to illegally upgrade their electricity supplies to gain more power by not obtaining the legal certification necessary to officially upgrade their electricity contract.
An illegal upgrade is one where the ICP (power control switch) has been subject to tampering. It will have been disconnected, by-passed or changed without proper authorisation. This is normally evident by the approved seal being removed or tampered with. In order to upgrade an electricity supply an approved electrician must be employed to produce a boletin (electrical installation certificate) that ensures the installation is safe and able to handle additional power.
Smart Meters are fitted with a new type tamper proof ICP which automatically disconnects the electricity if the power demand exceeds the amount of the contracted supply. That means, if you switch on too many appliances, you create a power cut.
Consumers are advised to check that the power capacity contracted from Iberdrola corresponds with the ICP in the consumer unit. This will ensure that there are no foreseeable power cuts once the Smart Meter is fitted. The contracted power supply is stated on the Iberdrola contract and electricity bill in kilowatts (kW). In the Valencia and Murcia regions, the amount will generally be 3.3 kW or 3.45 kW, or 5.5 kW or 5.75 kW. 3.3 kW/3.45 kW means you should have a 15 Amp ICP, and 5.5 kW/5.75 kW means you should have a 25 Amp ICP. Large villas may have larger power supplies.
The ICP can be easily identified in, or next to, the consumer unit in a separate standardised box. It has “ICP” clearly stamped on it together with the rating in Amps.
Contact us if you require an authourised upgrade for an increased power supply.