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Electricity boards overcharging for so-called 'smart' meters, says FACUA
By thinkSPAIN Team Fri, Nov 7, 2014
A LEADING consumer association says electricity companies are 'illegally' overcharging customers for 'smart' meters which are not, in fact, smart at all.
Per year, they are getting 37.24 million euros more than they should.
According to FACUA-Consumers in Action, the new meters fitted by the State-run power board via its five main suppliers fall far short of the standard required for consumers to have to pay for them, since they do not provide any benefits to the homeowner or occupier – they cannot be used to set a timer for appliances so that they consume more power at the cheaper times of day, nor do they give information about which appliances or fixtures drink the most power and when.
Moreover, they do not even, in most cases, allow the electricity board to read the meter from their offices rather than in person.
Despite this, utility boards are billing householders for the rental of these meters as though they were indeed capable of all this, FACUA complains.
They are charging 50% more than they should be, since meters which do not provide these services cost a standard 54 cents plus IVA at 21%, or just over 65 cents in total, whereas the suppliers are actually billing 81 cents plus IVA, or 98 cents.
Whilst this only equates to 3.92 euros more per year, or just under 33 cents a month, with 9.5 million new meters having been fitted which do not do what they promised to, this means the five energy companies operating in Spain are earning an average of 7.45 million a year more than they are entitled to, FACUA reveals.
Iberdrola, Endesa, Gas Natural Fenosa, Hidrocantábrico (EDP HC Energía, in the northern region of Cantabria) and E.On are all guilty of this, the consumer group maintains.
FACUA has called for them to refund all this money to their customers.
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