Dangerous new Electric Meters?

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10 Feb 2012 00:00 by Playability Star rating. 7 posts Send private message

Our supplier CHC are changing over the electricity meters in Olvera. The new meters are digital, and mine tripped out last week. I found that the only way to reset it was to go to the meter box outside of the house, unscrew the case, and press the white button on the meter! The old master trip in the house has been removed and not replaced with anything. Earlier this week the same thing happened at a friends house.

This seems crazy. I mean what if it is raining? I don't want to go sticking my hands inside a meter box in the rain!  Many people probably don't have access to their meter box. Are they supposed to ring the supplier to get it reset, probably incurring a call out charge?

I did ask one of the local Spanish electricians who is installing the new meters. He begrudgingly wrote down my address and promised to come around and look into it, but that was the last I saw of him.

Has anyone else had any experience with these digital meters? 





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10 Feb 2012 12:57 by EOS Team Star rating in In Spain of course!. 4354 posts Send private message

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I've no experience with the new digital meters but it sounds like you may need to up the capacity of your supply.

Did you have the same capacity before with the old meter?

Justin



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10 Feb 2012 18:44 by Playability Star rating. 7 posts Send private message

 Thanks Justin but we increased the potencia to 5.3 last year which is the max we can get in the old town. Our supply doesn't trip often but the issue now is that when it does, it is the outdoor meter that has to be reset, not the consumer unit. This seems to be design, and to me it appears wrong and dangerous. 

Great website by the way, keep up the good work!!

 

Steve





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11 Feb 2012 10:52 by EOS Team Star rating in In Spain of course!. 4354 posts Send private message

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That does seem very odd although I think everything is moving to digial so I assume in the future we will all have digital meters.

It does seem a bit crazy that it trips at the meter though.

Let us know if you ever find a way around it.

Justin

P.S. Thanks for the kind words



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17 Feb 2012 18:43 by costa.del.sky Star rating. 98 posts Send private message

 This is a sign of the times i am afraid. You are not allowed to go to the meter to reset it. Its not allowed... so what are you supposed to do? Call the electric company who then offer you the solution of a more expensive tarriff, making them more money. Its disgusting really that they can get away with these things...

Youll either have to get used to sticking your hand in there resetting it, or contact the electric company and get fleeced for a higher tariff, or you could always change provider...





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17 Feb 2012 19:48 by Playability Star rating. 7 posts Send private message

Lol - somehow I seriously doubt that a new provider would change the meter!!  

Makes me yearn all the more for solar!

 





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17 Feb 2012 20:46 by costa.del.sky Star rating. 98 posts Send private message

If you pay rental for the meter to the supplier they take it back upon changeover. may be worth looking into...



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18 Feb 2012 21:42 by villamarre Star rating. 11 posts Send private message

Hola

I have been dealing with Endesa for 2 years after receiving notification that we had to have an ICP fitted,we duly did all the work and contacted Endesa and waited for nearly 2 years for them to come and inspect and seal the ICP and upgrade our "potencia contratada" from 6.57 to 8.050 KW.After raising 2 official complaints at their office in Huelva an engineer came out and changed our meter to a new digital meter and when I asked him to come in and inspect the ICP he said he didn't have to.Because I can speak Spanish I chatted to him and it transpires that they can now program the new meters to cut your electric supply like the ICP would if you draw more current than you are contracted for,thus making the ICP redundant.This will mean that they can catch all the houses that draw more electric than they are contracted for and wont have to issue everyone notices to have ICP's installed.

The technician gave me a sticker explaining how the meter trips and how to reset it and here is a brief synopsis;-
If you lose power and all the trips are up in your fuse box unplug the last item you switched on before the electric cut off, then throw your main trip switch to cut the load from the meter and wait 10 seconds,this then resets the digital meter and when you restore your main trip switch you should have power but if it keeps tripping you will have to increase your  "potencia contratada" and pay the fee (ours was €129) for the engineer to come out and reprogram the meter with the new contracted supply.





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18 Feb 2012 22:59 by costa.del.sky Star rating. 98 posts Send private message

Out of professional interest, is your new meter the one with the glowing red LED light?



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19 Feb 2012 11:54 by villamarre Star rating. 11 posts Send private message

Yes but the little led that flashes gives an indication of usage and the big red led on the right is an optical link for programming the meter -mine is an enel-CERM1 and if you search google you will find a document detailing the project from the EEC.Our town is being fitted with the new meters street by street at the moment and I think they will then come and program them to reflect your supply ,they can be read remotely so no more estin=mated bills and when complete they will be able to change tarriffs etc remotely as well. 





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19 Feb 2012 16:41 by Playability Star rating. 7 posts Send private message

 Yes the meter has LEDs and a moving message display. When the meters trips out the moving message displays instructs you to press the white button to restart it. Seems crazy to me. Now I have to get a screwdriver out to take the door of the meter box to press the white button!

My guess is that athough the company can now read the meter remotely and save money on meter men and can change tarrifs by computer, this will not result in any savings being passed on to the consumer ;-)





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19 Feb 2012 21:34 by costa.del.sky Star rating. 98 posts Send private message

 They are not saving money... they are MAKING more... 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic_meter_reading

They still have to send someone around with a device that reads it wirelessly, who has to come to within 50m of your box at least... They make money with these boxes by making sure that:

1) You MUST up your tariff, because it is far more annoying to reset the outside ICP meter than the one indoors.

2) Connection charge for the new meter.





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21 Feb 2012 13:30 by Playability Star rating. 7 posts Send private message

 I've been making enquiries and I'm told the legislation that is applicable to smart meters in Spain was published in 2007, it is Royal Decree 1110 and defines, among other things, the functionality of smart meters. Article #7, clause #6, states the following,

 
"Los elementos de limitacion de potencia se colocaran
preferentemente integrados en el propio equipo de
medida, para lo que deberan ser reenganchables desde el
domicilio del contrato o de reenganche automatico"
 
..which means that the power switch will be preferably installed integrated within the smart meter itself, but is this is the case, it will be either of the type that they can be remotely operated by the consumer from his/her own home or of the type that they are re-connectable automatically. 
 
Seems mine seems to be neither I'll approach the supplier and see what they have to say about it. If I get any further I'll let you all know.
 




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21 Feb 2012 14:10 by villamarre Star rating. 11 posts Send private message

They are using their network like a WAN so they dont need meter readers ,they only have to install concentrators at the transformers and everything is able to be done remotely,see below from your wiki link




Power line communication

PLC is a method where electronic data is transmitted over power lines back to the substation, then relayed to a central computer in the utility's
main office. This would be considered a type of fixed network system—the network being the distribution network which the utility has built and
maintains to deliver electric power. Such systems are primarily used for electric meter reading. Some providers have interfaced gas and water
meters to feed into a PLC type system.  





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21 Feb 2012 14:18 by villamarre Star rating. 11 posts Send private message

Playability have you tried my earler post to reset from house as I have the sticker from the technician detailing how you reset telegestion meter when it trips out the supply as below,as you can see the ICP in the house doesn't trip its the meter itself and all you have to do is have no load for 10 seconds and it should reset from the house---thats the theory anyway.I know when i spoke to endesa 3 years ago about changing tarriff and an engineer came to my villa he stated that i would need an ICP then and it had to be in the house to be able to be reset from house and could not be located outside,that is why the meters can be reset from inside the house.As an aside i fitted an emergency light next to my main fuse box as its in our dressing room which is pitch black during the day and it works brilliantly coming on as soon as the power is cut and only cost €16 from an electrical company called "ceosa" and you could even fit a plug to it and plug it in if you didn't want to muck about with the electrics.

 

The technician gave me a sticker explaining how the meter trips and how to reset it and here is a brief synopsis;-
If you lose power and all the trips are up in your fuse box unplug the last item you switched on before the electric cut off, then throw your main trip switch to cut the load from the meter and wait 10 seconds,this then resets the digital meter and when you restore your main trip switch you should have power but if it keeps tripping you will have to increase your "potencia contratada" and pay the fee (ours was €129) for the engineer to come out and reprogram the meter with the new contracted supply. 





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21 Feb 2012 15:29 by Playability Star rating. 7 posts Send private message

 No I must have missed that one @villamarre. I'll give it a try but I didn't get a sticker or any instructions.

 

Interesting though that from what you say, you still have a main trip, whereas ours was taken out. I have tried tripping individual trips when the supply has been off before, but that didn't work. I'll try turning them all off for ten seconds and see if that does it. 





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21 Feb 2012 21:32 by costa.del.sky Star rating. 98 posts Send private message

 Specially made for this thread and forum today. Here is the meter, and here is the sticker. 

http://www.satellitetvcostadelsol.com/electrical-icp-meters-and-tariffs





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