On the previous article on "How to reduce your Spanish electricity bill...easily". We mentioned that that the electric energy bill has risen about 60% since 2007 for the vast majority of consumers in Spain. One of the elements that explain this rise is that the fixed concept for the contracted power within the electricity bill. This measure assured negative consequences to the pocket of the consumer and the environment. In addition to the negative impact on the personal economy, the environment also suffers. It is a kind of quasi flat fee, where two-thirds of the bill are fixed, and only one, variable.
So we embarked on providing some tips on how to make adjustments to our electricity tariff to obtain substantial savings.
First thing first.
The objective was to calculate the amount of peak power required at on particular time and adjust the tariff accordingly.
The power is controlled by the ICP Interrruptor de Control de Potencia (Power Control Switch), which you will find next to the general electric box usually inside the home. This switch, also called limit switch, disconnects, automatically if the contracted power is exceeded.
To know what power you have hired you must look for it on any of your electricity bills, there you will see the contracted power in kW. As we mentioned above to be able to obtain some savings, you should know what power you really need. Some electric companies have power calculators on their web sites. Endesa or E.on seem more complete than the Iberdrola, but be careful to use them since I have done the same on all of them search and it has given me different results.
Free calculators on the web.
One of the most completed calculator I found and it is in English can be located under this link:
Or you can just Google: "Calculate electric power consumption" and will obtain thousands of links to obtain a more or less accurate peak electricity consumption in Kw.
Another method is as follow:
One can get an approximation of the power needed in the following way:
• We add the power (kW) of all higher power appliances that will work, normally at the same time.
• Add to the previous sum a margin of 1kW for lighting and small appliances.
• Once this sum is done, choose the nearest upper echelon of standarised powers which can be hired.
Here are the savings...
As a rough guide a home with gas supply for heating and hot water and without equipments such as air conditioning or electric kitchen hub, would have enough with a contracted power between 3, 3kW or 4, 4kW. On the other hand, a dwelling that has, for example, an electric water heater for hot water or air conditioning equipment must hire a superior power, about 5, 5kW or possibly more.
Let suppose that you have calculated your peak amount of KWs and you wish to lower the hired power, how do you do it?
The first thing to check is that the electrical installation is correct and it is well maintained. If the house has more than 20 years, then the installation must pass an inspection and present the electrical installation bulletin (Certificate) in the Delegation for Industry (Delegación de Industria or "Industria" as it is popularly known) and also to the electric company.
If you don't have the certificate, or is not current or has not been registered both in Industry and in the electric company, you must hire an authorized electrician for an inspection.
The company has to act in 5 days or else!!
If the installation is correct, we will proceed in the following way:
- We will call the electric company to lower the chosen power. It is the user who must indicate the chosen contracted power having followed the above mentioned steps.
- The company has an obligation to proceed to lower the power requested over a 5 days period. In that period of time. The company must visit your home and proceed to change of the ICP (Interruptor de Control de Potencia) Power Control Switch and seal it to avoid any manipulation.
- This job has an associated cost of 10,94 Euros (VAT included). But, each section of power that we go down has an approximate cost of 20 Euros.
- If in five days the company has not processed the request, the company shall compensate the customer with 30 Euros.