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Water and Electricity for your property Spain.

Article by Per Svensson

Water Water connectionsproperty Spain

a. Reading the water bill

Both those speaking Spanish, and especially those who do not, have difficulties in understanding the codes and abbreviations of water bills. Here are the secrets of the water bill issued by the water administration company Aguagest. property Spain

A - The name of the company, and their address, phone and fax in the municipality where you live. Any questions or complaints should be directed to this address.

B - The municipality.

C - The time period for the bill, with the previous and actual reading of your water metre, and the consumption for the period (in this case 31 m3.)

D - Standing service charge.

E - The cost

F - metre rental fee (with your metre number).

G - VAT of 6%. property Spain

H - The surcharge on the water consumption established by the regional government for construction of water purifiers along the coast; first a service charge and then 19 pesetas per m3 water consumed.

I - The number of this bill.

J - When bill was issued.

K - Your number. property Spain

L - The total sum to be paid.

M - Your name and address. If the bill is still in the name of the previous owners, you should get it changed.

b. Surcharge on water bills property Spain

We have mentioned earlier that the Valencian region will partly finance the construction of a proper sewage treatment system for their coast by a surcharge on the water bill. On the water bill we reprint, it can be seen how they calculate it:

"Canon de consumo" = Surcharge on the consumption. Since the owner who got this bill had no consumption of water in the period in question (see "Lecturas"), there is nothing under this heading.

"Canon de servicio" = Surcharge on the water service. For private properties this charge is around 19 Euros per year, and since the bill is for 3 months, the sum is 55 Euro.

"Equipo Medido" is for the rental of the water metre.

c. Contracting for water property Spain

If one has built or bought a new property, it is necessary to get a contract for the water supply, by contracting with the local water company. The water companies are often municipal, and their office located in the town hall. If the offices are somewhere else, the townhall will tell where.

When buying a second hand property with an existing water contract, it is also necessary to make a new contract in your name, and give a standing charge to the bank, to avoid possible cuts in the water supply due to the name of the previous owner being on the bill.

Electricity property Spain

a. How a metre functions property spain

In some houses the electricity metre is in a different place from the fuses or circuit breakers, possibly in a box outside the house or in the basement of an apartment building. Do not forget that one has the right of access to the metre, to be able to read it and monitor the consumption.

The switchboard is usually placed inside the dwelling. The panel consists of three parts: A = the Main Circuit Breaker switch, B = the ground fault protection device, a switch and a push button, and C = local circuit breaker switches.

The Main Circuit Breaker (A) switches off ("blows") when more current is used than what it will carry. One must first turn off some appliance and then then can switch it on again.

The switch B trips if there is a fault to ground, e.g., if one touches a "hot" contact and a water pipe. (Test its function by using the push button.) It cuts off the electricity to prevent a person being electrocuted. If the electricity does not stay on when one pushes the switch back on, and if one does not know where the fault is, one must switch off (down) all the local circuit breakers (C) that control the flow of electricity in each of the local circuits. Then push button B and then one by one switch on the local circuits. The circuit breaker making the control (B) blow again will indicate where the problem lies.

b. Can we trust the metres? property Spain

It has now been publicly acknowledged that a number of petrol stations throughout Spain have been tampering with the metres and given car owners less petrol than shown on the display and the bill. This has been possible by a manipulation of the computer program controlling the measurements.

This has led to many persons asking the question: can we trust metres in general, including those for water, electricity, gas or even the telephone?

Over the years, many foreign owners have experienced sudden and enormous increases in their bills, especially for water, sometimes even when the dwelling had not been in use. When one tells this to the water company, their standard answer is: there must be a leak in the water pipe from the metre to your house, or someone else has been tapping your water while you have been away. Admittedly, a leak in old pipes made from iron or lead may happen, and even a small leak over a long period of time may be costly. And yes, it does happen that, for instance, the builders of a house on a neighbouring plot, or the gardener filling up the swimming pool of the neighbour, can take the water from your house. But sometimes even this cannot have happened, and still your metre shows an enormous consumption. property Spain

Both representatives from water companies that we have consulted and representatives from the consumer organisations are sure that the water metre cannot be fiddled, and that they are now being regularly checked. The metre must show the exact amount of water that has gone through it, even with occasional interruption in the water supply where only compressed air comes through the pipes.

The above also applies to electricity metres. Only metres that are approved by the 'Centro Español de Metrologia' whose criteria are based on directives from the EU, can be used. Before a metre is installed in a home, it has been tested and a certificate issued. The metre is sealed in the metre box, as you can see for yourself.

If you live some place where you get mains gas, again the metre will be a model individually checked and sealed, and approved by the Ministry of Industry. In case of any repairs to the gas installations that may affect the metres, the metres will again be tested. Sometimes the dwellings have individual gas metres, but sometimes there is a central metre for an apartment block, for instance for the collective hot water supply.

c. Secrets of electricity bill property Spain

The bills from the electricity companies have now changed, to become more user-friendly. This is the result of many complaints from clients and consumer organisations, resulting in the Government's forcing the regional electricity monopolies to accept a new bill format.

The main changes in the bills are that many of the incomprehensible abbreviations have been replaced by short explanations and one is given information to better being able to understand how the amount payable has been calculated.

We know that most of the foreign owners are paying the electricity bill by a standing order to their bank. We hope the bank, in their statement, will pass on the more complete information given by the electricity companies, or that they send on the original bill quickly for examination. If one does not get the original bill, or if the statements from the bank are not complete, contact the bank and make them change their habits. property Spain

Due to the increase in the amount of information given, the format of the bill has changed, from the envelope-size slip of paper to an A4 sheet. The information is given in different blocks, so it has become easier to pick out what one wants to know. On most receipts there is a more detailed description of the different concepts on the back.

Almost all foreign owners will have a type 2.0 contract, for domestic use up to 15 kilowatt. There is also another contract, type 3.0 for more than 15 kilowatts, mostly used for industry or commerce. Another difference is if one has contracted 'Tarifa Nocturna', meaning night current. One will then get two different amounts: the one for day use and the other for night use. There is a surcharge of 3% for use of electricity during the day and a discount of 55% for use during the night. property Spain

All electricity companies are forced to charge the same price for electricity consumed. But they are free to decide the fee for renting the metre.

More articles related to living in Spain from our guest writers:

Laws for owners of properties

Dividing walls between properties

Disputes with neighbours?

In relations between property owners there are basically three main problems.

Water and Electricity connections

Organize your finances

InheritanceTax in Spain


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