Electricity bills

Trying to get my head round electricity bills in Spain.  My story is in the intro thread but, briefly, we bought a house in late December last year, got everything set up and now can't visit.  That's fine but it means I'm doing a lot of thinking and planning.

We set ourselves up on the lowest potencia to start with as that's what we were advised to do.  It's a small 2 bed house, no pool to run or anything like that.

What I don't get is how the potencia works.  We have the one that's about 3.5kwh, I think.  But let's say we're out there.  We have the kettle on, maybe an electric heater, put the washing machine on, etc.  That could easily be more than 3.5kwh for an hour or 2.  What happens?  Someone said something about the house tripping the supply.

A simple explanation would be really helpful to go along with my simple brain!


Hi A,

What happens when you breach the limit of your potencia is the whole lot goes off. It's like a blown fuse, except all the switches show ON. What you have to do then is turn everything off, and turn off the mains switch. and wait a minute or so, then turn on minus the offending gadget that pushed you over the limit.  It's a nuisance more than anything, if it happens at night it can be especially annoying. your bills are a factor of the standing charge, and grow related to the increase in potencia you have contracted.

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Thanks for that.  Good to know.  I guess if it blows too often then we can just up the package.

On the alarms, I have a lot of experience with home automation.  I have someone keeping an eye on the place in the short term.  Once I can get out there, it'll all be rigged up to a computer with multiple cams, a UPS for a lot of it and a couple of cameras with battery backup.  The plan is to have at least one cam on a mobile connection so that even if a really determined person gets in and kills the internet and power, I'll still have something working.  I'm building all that at the moment so I should be able to cart it all out there and fit it in an afternoon.  That might sound like overkill for a little house in a small town in the mountains but I do this stuff for fun as much as anything :)

That's exactly what happens. The trip switch goes in the box and you just need to turn something off and then reset.

There is quite a lot of elasticity in the "potencia". We have the 3.4kw too and it seems to be able to cope with at least double before it pops any of the circuit breakers.

3.4kw electricity power its worth to have it. 

Works best, for small apartments or 2nd Real Estate properies such vacation holiday's homes, countryside - beach houses or so. 

Keep in mind that with that 3.4kw-lowest electricity power supply you are legible to apply for the 'bono social' (social benefit monthy % discount) - given by the Department of Industry of Spanish Goverment. 

Be aware of those 'so demanding' hoaxing phone calls 'memaids singing offers' offering 'a so and so' astonishing discount electricity fare % offer to you trying to hook you up to sign a new contract by phone / sms by an instant reply message acepting their contract clauses - policy disclaimers link to a 'last minute offer' quicky (thats the key -tricky part)*

*there is anything illegal with Electrical - Gas Supplies Companies by doing this kind of tricky phone calls's offers. Its just one -of so many ways- that an enterprise catches new customers.

Be wise, because once you've signed a contract, 

there is no way out.


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