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Electricity Help

Electricity Help

Old Feb 23rd 2011, 6:49 pm
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Default Re: Electricity Help

Originally Posted by billgates
I'm absolutely gobsmacked by the amount of power people are consuming! Electric this, electric that, huge consumption for kettle, hair straightners? WTF! Global warming may or may not be a myth, but get real people!

My family are not connected to mains electric, instead we use solar with a genny backup.
Our inverter is 1.5kw and this provides power for the entire house. We're considering getting a connection to the mains, but will only get the absolute minimum of 3.3kw. For us that will be a huge amount of power.

We don't live like hillbillys, we have a modern house with modern appliances. The kids watch tv and listen to their music. We iron clothes and have even have lights on at night!
Ok, we don't have a pool. We have a gas cooker and a gas fridge, gas/solar hot water. Wood burner for heating. Kettle is put on the gas hob.
Actually the main reason we are thinking of connecting to mains is because we are fed up of the gas fridge - no warning before it runs out, and then it's only when we've done a big shop and fill the fridge up that we realise it's gone out, then it takes a day or so to get back to temperature.

But we really will only be swapping the convenience of an electric fridge for a regular monthly electric bill. Is it really worth it? Hmm...not sure. Even on cloudy days we only use the genny for maybe an hour or so, just to top up the batteries.
For me it's not just the limit on the amount of electrcity you can use - but admittedly I do have a water pump that requires more power for than the "standard" 3.3kw, if only used for an hour per month or so, so I do have to pay extra for that priviledge.

What irks me most is that

a) what I pay is not a reflection of my power usage, but of the priviledge of having more than 3.3Kw (my property is professionally and safely wired for 50Amp, 3 phase service - since many years ago). I paid a lot for them to "downgrade" it, and on top of that, I now pay €20 per month for the right to have that "downgrade", before a single cent is charged for my usage.

b) every month they try to overcharge me for usage that I simply don't use. It's a royal pain to have to wait in line very month to prove that their €500 bill is for a meter that reads usage of €50.

I suppose many people just pay it and shut up. I don't.

Last edited by amideislas; Feb 23rd 2011 at 7:20 pm.
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Old Feb 23rd 2011, 7:10 pm
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Default Re: Electricity Help

Originally Posted by billgates
I'm absolutely gobsmacked by the amount of power people are consuming! Electric this, electric that, huge consumption for kettle, hair straightners? WTF! Global warming may or may not be a myth, but get real people!
Good luck to you!

Everyone has different priorities. I am happy to pay €2000 a year for my power. I don't like the way the Spanish suppliers charge for it (ICPs standing charges etc) but I don't have an option.

If you choose to live with solar power and a generator - so be it.
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Old Feb 24th 2011, 10:26 pm
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Default Re: Electricity Help

thanks all for getting back to me, lol noway will my girls be using hair straightners for a long time yet and if they do then they can contribute to the bills lol
hopefully will be out during the days anyway with work school ect so we shall see
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Old Feb 25th 2011, 1:55 am
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Default Re: Electricity Help

Originally Posted by Fred James
Good luck to you!

Everyone has different priorities. I am happy to pay €2000 a year for my power. I don't like the way the Spanish suppliers charge for it (ICPs standing charges etc) but I don't have an option.

If you choose to live with solar power and a generator - so be it.
I am with you on this one, I want convienience and prepared to pay.

And obviously Billgates has never lived with a "normal" teenager, hence his remark about hair straightners.
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Old Mar 5th 2011, 1:48 am
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Default Re: Electricity Help

Originally Posted by amideislas
That sounds as ridiculous as my bills often are. They are almost always wrong. And if you pay it, you'll have a hell of a time getting the money back.

First, CHECK YOUR METER. Always. If the reading on the bill is "estimated" or doesn't match the meter, go to the office and dispute it. Be sure to bring the latest meter reading(s) with you.

Second, if, after the previous exercise, you know and can prove it's an overcharge, and they already took the money through direct deposit, go to your bank and tell them to take it back. You have every legal right to do this (even if they send you threatening letters). This way, you can be assured that there won't be any excuses about refunds for the overcharges, since you'll have the money back already, and you can pay the correct amount when it's sorted.

Third, if this happens consistently, tell your bank to block further direct deposits, and before paying, check every factura for accuracy. Pay it only when you know it's right.

This is apparently very common thing in Spain (to overcharge). Virtually everyone I know has experienced it at some point, and for many like me, it's a monthly ritual.

Good Luck.


yes, first thing we did was recall the money back at the bank.
we called them and asked how this could possibly be correct.
they told us to shut off everything and see if the counter stops. it did.
so they took this as everything was cool and we owed the money.

but this cannot be accurate. I have had a year of dealing with Iberdrola since I got here and it has been nothing but trouble. I got here march 2010 and i didn't have electricity till july 2010 because i got jerked around a millions times by them telling me i didnt have correct things set up or this paper or that paper cause i updated all the wiring in my place. and i had a small baby...

so far my bills have been always more then 400.
july and august i had my a/c cranked at max all day and night and i paid less then my last bill which i have barely had my heat on at all. we just use blankets and wear warm clothes or sometimes a very small heater.

i dont get it and i just cant afford these types of bills........
maybe i should try edessa...
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Old Mar 5th 2011, 9:56 am
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Default Re: Electricity Help

Originally Posted by fadingstarlight

so far my bills have been always more then 400.
july and august i had my a/c cranked at max all day and night and i paid less then my last bill which i have barely had my heat on at all. we just use blankets and wear warm clothes or sometimes a very small heater.

i dont get it and i just cant afford these types of bills........
maybe i should try edessa...
Endesa won't solve your problem. All of the companies are able to do this because the law says they can. Unfortunately, the burden is on YOU to prove otherwise, and that's not always as easy as simply proving it.

First, ALWAYS read your meter and compare the readings with those on your bill. The readings on your bill are probably "estimated", and if like mine, usually have no relationship to reality whatsoever. Then you must dispute their readings. Go to the office with today's meter reading and prove to them that they are wrong. This is probably the only recourse you have.

We stopped the direct debit (which is perfectly legal), but now Endesa is claiming that unless we re-enable direct debit, they will be "unable" to refund the money they owe us. This declaration, following months and months of attempting to get refunds for past overcharged bills while they continue to drain my bank account for "fantasy" facturas which bear no relationship to real usage whatsoever.

I'm sure I'll lose as much as €2000 in refunds, but since they never showed any interest in refunding anything when direct debit was enabled, I have serious doubts that any refund will come after I re-enable it. So, I refuse to go direct debit again because they will simply continue to debit €100's every month for their fantasy facturas.

Endesa has been so kind as to provide an online method of entering my meter readings, which I have been doing every month. To date, these entries have been completely rejected, with the only response to each meter entered reading saying "The meter reading is rejected because it is inconsistent with your history of usage". My god, what a blathering bunch of nonsense.

Just this week I received another bill for €285 for February, which according to my meter, should be about €60 all-inclusive. It never ends.

So, here I go again, waiting for hours in the queue at the Endesa office to dispute my bill, along with 100's of other suckers.

Maybe I should start sending them bills for my time.
I wonder how much I should charge them per hour?
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Old Mar 6th 2011, 5:17 pm
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Default Re: Electricity Help

Originally Posted by amideislas
Endesa won't solve your problem. All of the companies are able to do this because the law says they can. Unfortunately, the burden is on YOU to prove otherwise, and that's not always as easy as simply proving it.

First, ALWAYS read your meter and compare the readings with those on your bill. The readings on your bill are probably "estimated", and if like mine, usually have no relationship to reality whatsoever. Then you must dispute their readings. Go to the office with today's meter reading and prove to them that they are wrong. This is probably the only recourse you have.

We stopped the direct debit (which is perfectly legal), but now Endesa is claiming that unless we re-enable direct debit, they will be "unable" to refund the money they owe us. This declaration, following months and months of attempting to get refunds for past overcharged bills while they continue to drain my bank account for "fantasy" facturas which bear no relationship to real usage whatsoever.

I'm sure I'll lose as much as €2000 in refunds, but since they never showed any interest in refunding anything when direct debit was enabled, I have serious doubts that any refund will come after I re-enable it. So, I refuse to go direct debit again because they will simply continue to debit €100's every month for their fantasy facturas.

Endesa has been so kind as to provide an online method of entering my meter readings, which I have been doing every month. To date, these entries have been completely rejected, with the only response to each meter entered reading saying "The meter reading is rejected because it is inconsistent with your history of usage". My god, what a blathering bunch of nonsense.

Just this week I received another bill for €285 for February, which according to my meter, should be about €60 all-inclusive. It never ends.

So, here I go again, waiting for hours in the queue at the Endesa office to dispute my bill, along with 100's of other suckers.

Maybe I should start sending them bills for my time.
I wonder how much I should charge them per hour?
i wish i had bills as low as 285. hahaha mine have never been under 400 euros.
alot of people i have spoken to have never had bills that are so crazy high. a friend of mine there is 4 and their bills are like 85euros.
i have no idea what fantasy island iberdrola lives on.
we called them and they told us to first shut everything off and see if the counter stops. which we did before and it does.
so then they told us it is probably something from our box to the main box on the street or something. and that we can petition to have a 3rd party come out at our expense of course and have this guy check out stuff.
if it is then we go through a process to have it reversed.

we ended up paying this bill and we will wait and see what the next one is like.
hopefully we wont have to sell a kidney to pay for it....
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Old Mar 7th 2011, 8:58 am
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Default Re: Electricity Help

Originally Posted by fadingstarlight
i wish i had bills as low as 285. hahaha mine have never been under 400 euros.
alot of people i have spoken to have never had bills that are so crazy high. a friend of mine there is 4 and their bills are like 85euros.
i have no idea what fantasy island iberdrola lives on.
we called them and they told us to first shut everything off and see if the counter stops. which we did before and it does.
so then they told us it is probably something from our box to the main box on the street or something. and that we can petition to have a 3rd party come out at our expense of course and have this guy check out stuff.
if it is then we go through a process to have it reversed.

we ended up paying this bill and we will wait and see what the next one is like.
hopefully we wont have to sell a kidney to pay for it....
You're paying way too much! Don't pay it until you can identify whether it's a mistake (estimation) or identify what's eating your electricity. Check your meter. If your usage is really that high, then something in the house is is sucking electricity needlessly. Do you have electric heat? Electric heat is extremely expensive.

We have gas heat. It's about 1/4 the cost of electric (so far).
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Old Mar 10th 2011, 11:48 am
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Default Re: Electricity Help

I've just visited the Endesa office again (my monthly ritual).

This time, even more good news.

I have been fighting them to receive significant refunds for previous overcharges (happens every month). These proven refunds amount to more than €1000 (and that doesn't include over €1000 from a few years prior that are too old to dispute now), and they finally agreed to the refund.

But several months ago, I was forced to stop Endesa direct debits from my bank account, because they were overcharging me significantly, every month, sometimes to the tune of €100's. They would extract it from my account before even issuing the factura. Every month, I dispute the "estimated" factura with the real meter readings. Until now, I haven't received any refunds for thier continuous overcharges, even though they agreed to.

Well, what they told me today is that under the law, if I don't give Endesa direct debit access to my account, Endesa has no legal obligation to refund any overcharges. They don't even have to credit my account. They just keep the money. Even better, they say now that I have cancelled direct debit, all previous refunds are cancelled permanently.

How convenient. More than €1000 flushed down the drain on a technicality.

So, if you do stop direct debit, be sure there aren't any pending refunds due you, or else they will be cancelled without further obligation.
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Old Mar 10th 2011, 5:17 pm
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Default Re: Electricity Help

Originally Posted by amideislas
I've just visited the Endesa office again (my monthly ritual).

This time, even more good news.

I have been fighting them to receive significant refunds for previous overcharges (happens every month). These proven refunds amount to more than €1000 (and that doesn't include over €1000 from a few years prior that are too old to dispute now), and they finally agreed to the refund.

But several months ago, I was forced to stop Endesa direct debits from my bank account, because they were overcharging me significantly, every month, sometimes to the tune of €100's. They would extract it from my account before even issuing the factura. Every month, I dispute the "estimated" factura with the real meter readings. Until now, I haven't received any refunds for thier continuous overcharges, even though they agreed to.

Well, what they told me today is that under the law, if I don't give Endesa direct debit access to my account, Endesa has no legal obligation to refund any overcharges. They don't even have to credit my account. They just keep the money. Even better, they say now that I have cancelled direct debit, all previous refunds are cancelled permanently.

How convenient. More than €1000 flushed down the drain on a technicality.

So, if you do stop direct debit, be sure there aren't any pending refunds due you, or else they will be cancelled without further obligation.

... I haven't read all of the thread but have you seen an abogado yet? If not, then I would do so quickly.
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Old Mar 10th 2011, 6:22 pm
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Default Re: Electricity Help

Well, I've discussed this with many people who are unfortunately in the same boat. While they aren't legal professionals, their experiences make me question whether I should engage a legal battle with Endesa.

According to one couple we spoke to who had similar experiences, they hired an abogado to fight endesa and ended up spending close to €10K of thier own money for legal fees over a period of 3 years, only to ultimately receive a final award totalling less than €7000.

They also said that after this exercise, they were forced by Endesa to accept a much higher rate class for their electricity, while Endesa continues attempts to overcharge them every month through fantasy "estimated" facturas, so they still have to stand in the Endesa queue every month to dispute their bill, like most other people in line there. So, €3000 personal cost for essentially no relief.

Others I've spoken to have also cautioned me against taking legal action against Endesa, since apparently they possess rather extreme political power, and consistently exhibit the ability to influence the court to suit them. I don't know if that's true or not, but other types of corruption I have experienced in Spain would leave me unsurprised to discover it's true.

So, I really, really hate that they get away with this, but on the other hand, I wonder if it would only make it worse (and even more costly) by taking legal action? Spain is after all, famously corrupt in matters like this, and the public seems surprisingly apathetic about it.

Or is that pure bollocks? Is the law really in my favour?

I often get a sense that many people are simply afraid of taking any action against anything. I know some people who blindly pay their outrageously inflated estimated facturas without ever questioning it simply because they don't want to start any trouble.
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Old Mar 10th 2011, 11:16 pm
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Default Re: Electricity Help

Originally Posted by amideislas
You're paying way too much! Don't pay it until you can identify whether it's a mistake (estimation) or identify what's eating your electricity. Check your meter. If your usage is really that high, then something in the house is is sucking electricity needlessly. Do you have electric heat? Electric heat is extremely expensive.

We have gas heat. It's about 1/4 the cost of electric (so far).
they told me they would cut off my electricity if it was not paid.
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Old Mar 11th 2011, 7:40 am
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Default Re: Electricity Help

Originally Posted by fadingstarlight
they told me they would cut off my electricity if it was not paid.
Your bills sound ridiculously high, unless for some reason you are using a lot more electricity than a normal home. It looks very much like typical overcharging by issuing "estimated" bills. It is apparently a very common practice.

The ONE right you have is to dispute it. They can't cut off your electricity if you dispute it. You can show that their estimated bill is more than your meter reading, just go write down the reading on the meter and compare it with what they estimate on the factura. When you officially enter a dispute, they must issue a new adjusted factura which reflects the actual meter reading.

If you aren't recording your meter readings every month and comparing it with what they claim on their facturas, then you can't stop them from overcharging you and keeping the money.

Last edited by amideislas; Mar 11th 2011 at 7:47 am.
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Old Mar 11th 2011, 7:56 am
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Default Re: Electricity Help

If you ring through the actual readings every month (before they issue the bills) then they SHOULD use your figures rather than estimating.


The problem I have (with Iberdrola) is that they have NOT been using my figures and the (actual) reading is now so much less that their estimated one that they refuse to give me a refund.

They have told me that I have to wait until the usage catches up with their estimated reading - by my calculations based on monthly usage, this will take over 4 years!!!!

In the mean time, of course, they've had my money.
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Old Mar 11th 2011, 8:48 am
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Default Re: Electricity Help

[QUOTE=snikpoh;9232221]If you ring through the actual readings every month (before they issue the bills) then they SHOULD use your figures rather than estimating.QUOTE]

For whatever reason, the electric companies religiously avoid giving refunds or even crediting your account. I can only speculate there's a loophole in the law enabling them to do this. I suppose our only defence is to prevent them from taking it in the first place (cancel direct debit and pay manually upon receiving satisfactory factura). This is legal and works for us, but Endesa refuses to refund what they owe us if we don't give them direct debit. But I think they would refuse anyway. They always did before.

Anyway, we've tried phoning AND using Endesa online to enter the meter readings, but using both of these methods, the readings we give are completely ignored.

The only way we've found to enter an official dispute and enter the meter readings is to go to the office personally (sometimes waiting hours in queue), give them the meter reading, and have them give you a paper stating that the factura is in dispute. Then they issue a new factura in a couple of weeks, and during that time they are unable to take action against you for not paying it.

The first time you go, however, be sure to have both last month's meter reading and this month's. Otherwise they will estimate last month's reading as low as possible so that this month's usage will appear higher. If you give both month's readings, they can't dispute it.

We are now using a digital camera to take snapshots of the meter readings. I now give them a photo of the meter each month. Hard to dispute that, and they also know I have the evidence...
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