The Government has approved this week the Royal Decree 736/2020 that regulates the installation of individual meters in buildings with central heating and cooling systems, with the aim of individually measuring the consumption of each neighbor. In this way, the transposition of the European Directive 2012/27 on Energy Efficiency has been completed. A rule that will affect buildings built prior to 1998, the year in which the Regulation of Thermal Installations in buildings was approved and that will change the way in which the heating costs of thousands of Spanish homes are invoiced, which could save 18 euros per month, according to industry sources.
This will affect, estimate from the Spanish Association of Heating Cost Distributors (AERCCA), 1,100,000 homes throughout Spain (about 100,000 homes would already have this system installed). The Government has designed a calendar for adaptation with a final date of May 2023.
Specifically, the royal decree divides Spain into different climate zones (A, B, C, D and E). For example, in A and B will not be mandatory the installation of these meters (Canary Islands, part of the Valencian coast or the Balearic Islands). On the other hand, for example, the first to install these individualized meters in buildings with 20 or more dwellings until February 1, 2021 is the zone E (Pyrenees, northern Castilla, Sierra de Madrid …). Other requirements are also taken into account, such as that the budget determines that the installation is technically and economically viable. From there, there is a period of 15 months, to install individual meters.
But, what costs do these types of facilities have (acquisition, reading, maintenance …)? Can they save you? In this regard, the president of AERCCA (Spanish Association of Distribution of Heating Costs) and general director of Ista Spain Ignacio Abati has explained that «90% of the communities of owners choose the rental option, which implies that an average home must pay about 7 euros per month for the entire service (devices, installation, reading service, etc …) ». The other option, Abati added, is to acquire the meters, “which for an average home can represent 150 euros the first year, apart from the service of reading and maintenance of the devices that is around 24 euros per year. What is relevant is that in this type of apparatus – already installed in about 100,000 homes – long-term contracts (of about 10 years) are usually signed. Therefore, in this activity they give great importance to the relationship with the client.
210 euros of annual savings
With the first option there would be no down payment and, as they have argued from the aforementioned association, this initial investment is the bulk of the expenditure for companies in the sector.
In this sense, from AERCCA they have cited several studies in which they speak of a saving percentage of 24% of the consumption of the houses in which they are already installed. That is to say, 210 euros per year and 18 euros monthlys, subtracting the 7 euros from the rent. Abati has also pointed out that “when you pay for what you consume, you tend to be more economical and you are careful to turn off or turn on the heating according to your comfort: you are more cautious.”
This employer’s association has also estimated the royal decree could have an impact of about 150 million euros per year about his work and the generation of 3,000 jobs “Fundamentally from activities affected by this crisis, such as the installers who are going to benefit from this measure.”
The also general director of Ista Spain has recommended that “things be done well from the beginning” and pointed to the need for “Quality facilities”, that the people who enter the houses are well trained and that approved meters are always installed “judiciously”.