Power cuts caused by new Smart Meters will be a major concern in coming months

Power cuts caused by new Smart Meters will be a major concern in coming months

By on Jul 27, 2014 in Smart Meter | 8 comments

SPARKS RECENTLY had an emergency call out from a client who had suddenly experienced a power cut in their holiday home on an urbanisación in Torre-La Mata. He had checked his consumer unit and discovered everything was switched on. Then he contacted Iberdrola to check the status on his account, to be told that it was perfectly in order. Iberdrola suggested contacting an electrician as there obviously was a technical problem.

I arrived and quickly discovered the problem was simple… the client had overloaded his electrics and activated the kill switch in the new Smart Meter which Iberdrola had just installed.

Iberdrola2013-12-20 13.22.24 are engaged in a nationwide Smart Grid improvement programme and are currently replacing all the traditional electricity meters across Torrevieja with Smart Meters. The new electricity meters have an integral kill switch which automatically disconnects the electricity if you exceed the amount of power that you are allowed. The kill switch or power limiter, known as an ICP, was previously a manually operated switch fitted in the consumer unit and easily accessible within the property. The new automatic ICP is now housed inside the new Smart Meter which is located in the meter cupboard outside the property, sometimes inaccessible. Some property owners don’t know where their electricity meter is located.

There are twelve different types of approved Smart Meters that provide two different methods of restoring the electricity in the event of a power cut caused by consumer overload. One type has a green reset button on the meter and must be pushed to restore the electricity. The second type is reset by switching the main switch off at the consumer unit for ten seconds, then switching it back on.

What this means is that it will become a major concern for a lot of property owners whose meter cupboards are generally locked and denied immediate access.

To avoid being caught out, ensure that you are contracted for a sufficient amount of power with Iberdrola.  Properties aged over 10 years that are on the old standard 3.3 kW tariff should consider upgrading to help avoid nuisance power cuts. An average sized dwelling will generally need a minimum tariff of 5.75 kW. As a guide, you can find out how much power you need using the Iberdrola Power Calculator, click here.

If someone has illegally upgraded or by-passed the ICP in the consumer unit, inevitably you will experience power cuts once Iberdrola fit your Smart Meter. For an upgrade to be legitimate a boletin (electrical installation certificate) must be issued and submitted to Iberdrola.


  1. Hello
    Ive just read your article on FB
    Q How do I know which rate I am currently paying for
    Best regards

    Peter Hutton

    July 28, 2014

    • It’s stated on your electricity bill and electricity contract under contracted power (English) or potencia contrada (Spanish) in kilowatts (kW)

      Tony Poole

      July 29, 2014

  2. Hello, I have had a SOG-WAVE type digital meter fitted for some months now with
    cheep rate electric 14 hrs a day.

    1 When I look at the meter how do I know which rate I am on at that instant?
    I see a T100 and T200 showing sometimes.

    2 My meter shows the wrong time. today my meter shows 22h09 when my computer, telephone etc show 20:01 ? It shows T200 now.
    A couple of hrs back it showed 20h35 when time was 18:27 and T100

    If the time on the meter is being used for calculating my electric it means instead
    of going to the expensive rate at noon its doing it at 10am and been completely negating my efforts to to save money with the washing machine, pool pump etc !

    Help comment appreciated?


    Neil Ashworth

    January 24, 2015

  3. Hello Tony,
    Update-They replaced the meter today with a ZIF type.
    Maybe SOG-WAVES have a problem because I thought they would just set time
    correct remotely.

    We wait to see if bills get corrected..
    Thank you for your help.
    Neil Ashworth

    Neil Ashworth

    February 4, 2015

    • The remote functions for Smart Meters are not fully operational yet. The “Smart Grid” is expected to be fully operational in Spain by 2020, though some regions maybe sooner.

      Glad you got the problem sorted.

      Tony Poole

      February 4, 2015

  4. I applied for an upgrade to 8 KW (2.2kw at the moment) and Iberdrola is charging me 15000 euros to go from their electricity mast to my wall. Electricty comes via the roof as long as I live here (17 years), but now it suddenly has to go underground on my costs. Also they want my meter to go on my outside wall instead of the house?? As far as I know this meter is read digitally with a computer from their office, therefore why does is need to go on my wall.
    All in all I am looking at a bill of minimal 20.000 euros to get what I already had for the last 17 years. And on top of that the bills will become higher because a higher potential connection gives you the right to pay more for your KW than before. If I can not afford it or if I do not like it then my other choice is to be cut off. Great service in a reversed world.
    I was brought up in a world where the supplier pays for the infra-structure and the client pays for the product.
    Is this legal what Iberdrola is doing here?

    harry d

    March 9, 2015

    • These are new electricity regulations and I have been contacted by several people in a similar situation. As to who pays, seek legal advise.

      Tony Poole

      March 10, 2015

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