Iberdrola smart meter - causing huge problem

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17 Jul 2015 21:20 by carl9 Star rating. 136 posts Send private message

Hi all, our meter has today been changed by Iberdrola. It seems the consumption we had before was VERY low at about 2.5Kw. Somehow the meter we had had this capacity but still let us take enough electrictiy to power out large 5 bedroom house. The new smart meter however has been set at the same consumption but trips out as soon as we take more power than that. It seems we actually have about enough to power an iron and noo more.

We now have no aircon, no lighting, no tv etc and have been told by a very unhelpful Iberdrola that we need to get an electrician in to estimate our capacity and then submit to them as a new account togehter with paperwork for the house etc. They will then send their technical team over and see what they think and then the power will be upgraded. This they say can take 2-3 months which is clearly unacceptable.

Has anyone else has similar experiences and if so what have you been able to do?

Many thanks, Carl








This message was last edited by carl9 on 17/07/2015.

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17 Jul 2015 22:41 by floella Star rating in SE Spain. 758 posts Send private message

It isnt the smart meter that is causing your problem but that your potencia of 2.5 is far too low to power more than a couple of light bulbs. Low potencia = low standing charge . Sounds to me as if  some "adjustments" were made after the house was built to stop it tripping.

Think installing these " smart" meters is a "smart" move on behalf of the electricity companies in order to discover how many have been bypassing the system and upgrading for free.

Not good news though if you, as the innocent party, have to wait months to get this corrected. Especially in this heat.


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17 Jul 2015 23:00 by carl9 Star rating. 136 posts Send private message

Hi Floella, yes you are exctly correct about the potencia. I just don't see why this has to take months to resolve - especially given they are supposed to be SMART metres. I'm sure there must be a way to speed this up - it's just finding out how to do this. Why they have to make these changes in the summer when its 40oC+ in our valley I simply don't know!

Regards, Carl

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17 Jul 2015 23:07 by mariedav Star rating in Ciudad Quesada. 983 posts Send private message

2.5Kw would only be 10A. As floella says, probably bypassed as the normal (minimum) would be 3.3Kw or 15A and most modern houses require a 5.75Kw or 25A system especially for powering a "large 5 bedroom house". An electric kettle alone can take 2Kw of your power.

However, I thought these new "smart" meters were supposed to get around all that and provide the required power and then bill you for it. Although that can't actually be right as they changed our meter but they left the 25A fuse in the fuse box.

To upgrade as system, they normally require a "boletin" from a registered electrician to say the wiring can take the increase. One of our neighbours upgraded from 3.3 to 5.75 and the local electrician charged 200 euro and Iberdrola were around in a couple of days as it was simply upgrading the fuse and ICP.

2 to 3 months does seem a bit out of order.

Oh, my first bill on the smart meter system was considerably lower by some 35%.


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17 Jul 2015 23:41 by carl9 Star rating. 136 posts Send private message

Hi Mariedav, out of interest why do you think your bill was 35% lower thsn it used to be.

Regards, Carl

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18 Jul 2015 00:15 by carl9 Star rating. 136 posts Send private message

HI Mariedav, i think i know why. The new meters automatically charge peak and offpeak charges as they bill by the hour. Your saving is therefore from the offpeak hours you are using electricity for.

Regards, Carl

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18 Jul 2015 00:44 by scubamike Star rating in Murcia province . 220 posts Send private message

scubamike´s avatar

A local electrician carried out our boletín and the system was upgraded to 5.75kw in only a few days but Iberdrola charged us 150 euros for a new contract even though we have been customers for 10 years

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18 Jul 2015 09:04 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5180 posts Send private message

Carl:    I suspect that when the new meter was fitted an ICP (Interrupter de Control de Potencia,  which has been a requirement in Spain for several years) was also fitted,  that will trip out when the contracted power is exceeded.


For  info   from Web:-  

IBERDROLA ARE writing to their customers to instruct them to fit an ICP (Interrupter de Control de Potencia) switch. Law passed by Royal Decree states every home should have.

The postie is appearing with circulars and recorded letters from those nice people at Iberdrola informing their customers to fit an ICP within 20 days or be charged a higher rate for electricity (equivalent to a 10 or 20 kW tariff depending on your current contracted supply tariff). The Royal Decree passed on July 1st 2008 declared that electrical installations must have a device for controlling the contracted power. In a domestic dwelling that means an ICP must be fitted. It is mandatory for all homes contracted for 15 kW or less.
sealed ICP
So what is an ICP? For the purpose of the Royal Decree, Iberdrola are using the ICP primarily as a power limiter rather than a safety device. The switch disconnects the electricity supply when the power demanded by the total number of appliances switched exceed the contracted power supply. If this occurs frequently, it indicates that insufficient power has been contracted. The ICP is fitted alongside the Interruptor General Automatico (IGA) in your Consumer Unit housed in a dedicated separate compartment called an ICP standardised box. The ICP functions in exactly the same way as the Interrupter General, however, the ICP must be sealed by Iberdrola, ensuring it is tamper proof.

It's a bit hit and miss whether you have an ICP already fitted or not. If your property is less than 10 years old you probably have one. You may have the standardised ICP compartment already in your existing
Consumer Unit box, but without an ICP fitted in it. Or the compartment maybe housing a different switch, in which case it should be replaced with an ICP. In the event of the said ICP standardised compartment not being fitted you will have to arrange for a box to be installed by an approved electrician in addition to the ICP. Once the ICP is fitted Iberdrola should be contacted to arrange an inspection and seal the ICP.
Iberdrola charge €9.04 for the inspection and sealing of the ICP. A rental option is also available from €0.03 cents per month, depending on the type of installation, and still requires the inspection and sealing charge. These amounts will be charged directly to your electricity bill. The prices exclude IVA.

If you are unsure whether or not you need to have an ICP fitted contact Iberdrola on 902 10 22 10 quoting your contract number and ask them.

If you have had a new digital Smart Meter fitted in your meter cupboard, the ICP is incorporated in the meter.



This message was last edited by johnzx on 18/07/2015.

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19 Jul 2015 12:25 by carl9 Star rating. 136 posts Send private message

Hi Johnsz, I'm not sure what point you are making? We know it's to do with the power consumption exceeding the allowable supply and the meter kicking out!



This message was last edited by carl9 on 19/07/2015.

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19 Jul 2015 12:37 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5180 posts Send private message

Sorry I did not make it clear.

Obviously before the new meter was installed, you did not have an ICP fitted.    

Now you have one  (installed when the new meter was fitted)  it is the ICP  not the meter  which is cutting off the power when you exceed the potential contracted for. 

To solve the problem, you need to increase the potential contracted so that you have sufficient power flowing to run the appliances you have.  That will mean paying an increased charge compared to the 2.5 kw which you are now contracted for.

I hope that makes it clear.


This message was last edited by johnzx on 19/07/2015.

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19 Jul 2015 16:29 by carl9 Star rating. 136 posts Send private message

Hi John, I get all that. My post was about having to wait so long to get it sorted out mate.

regards, Carl

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19 Jul 2015 16:54 by floella Star rating in SE Spain. 758 posts Send private message

Carl9, maybe it won't. Well, let's hope it won't.

Your smart meter only arrived 2 days ago, on Friday,  and assuming a registered electrician can issue iberdrola with a boletin before he and the electricty company  staff disappear for their August hols it might be all sorted pronto.


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20 Jul 2015 09:38 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5180 posts Send private message

My post was about having to wait so long to get it sorted out.

Hi Carl, had you posted something to effect that you only wanted to know how to amend your contract with Iberdrola,  I would not have gone down the road I did.  But you said you believed the meter was causing the problem, that was why I explained,  it was not the meter but the ICP.

On the 'brightside' you have not paid the charges for the correct potential since you moved in.

Good luck.

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27 Jul 2015 13:02 by carl9 Star rating. 136 posts Send private message

Thanks John.

So the latest is that we have given them the electricians report and they have said they will post the next steps to us (costs and plan for their guys to come and review), but this was over a week ago and still nothing has arrived. We have asked if they can email but they say no.

We have explained that my partner has a serious heart condition and extended periods in the current heat without aircon are dangerous.

This whole process has been draining, difficult and at times cruel and we still don't have a solution until we can get this information from Iberdrola which just isnt coming via post.

Regards, Carl



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27 Jul 2015 13:27 by nigel188 Star rating in Estepona. 592 posts Send private message

Hi Carl

As John says its is the New Smart Meter is causing the problem as the ICP is now built in . Therefore if your Potentia is too small, your appliances  will then trip the ICP .. I see you have not joined any Community yet. Maybe others have had the same problem. I think you will have to go and visit the Ibedrola Offices where you stay in Spain or employ a Company to take care of this problem for you.See this link below..From my friends experiences, Iberdrola want your business but  have poor back-up service. I have not changed from Endesa and never will do.



Good Luck




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