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How much does it cost to increase your contracted power?

The number of electrical devices you can plug in and use at once depends on your home's contracted power. A clear sign that you need more power is if your fuse box trips when you turn on several appliances at the same time. Here we shall explain how to increase it and how much it costs.

What is contracted electrical power?

The electrical panel, plugs and cables all make up your home's electrical installation. They are responsible for ensuring that things work when you flick a switch. Depending on what you have, your installation will have a maximum power limit.

What is the power capacity? To put it in simple non-technical terms, the power capacity is measured in kW and is the energy that can enter your home at any given moment Each appliance or device requires a certain amount of kW from your installation – they all add up.

If, at a certain moment, the total energy they require is greater than your contracted power, your fuse box will trip for safety reasons. This means that the power supply will be cut, although it is very easy to restore it. Here we explain what to do if your fuse box trips.

You are probably already aware of these practical examples because they will have happened to you:

  • You have the electric oven on and the washing machine is running. When you turn on the vacuum cleaner the power goes out.
  • The air conditioner is working and when you boil water in a kettle, the power goes out.
  • You have three rings heating on your hob, you start ironing and the lights go out.
“You need to increase your contracted power when your fuse box frequently trips in your daily life because you use several appliances at the same time.”

Increasing your contracted power: when and how to do it

Only you can decide the power you need in your daily routine. If you are never going to use the washing machine, the hob and the vacuum cleaner at the same time, you can live with a power that falls below what these three appliances demand when combined. On the other hand, if you need to use them at the same time, you need a greater power capacity. Of course, you may also be interested in how to lower the power.

How can I increase the power limit? You simply have to request it. It is a simple procedure, although we should warn you that your distribution company that deals with such things might decide to limit you to one change of power capacity per year (once effected, you would have to wait the following year to request another):

How much does it cost to increase the power limit?

The costs of increasing power capacity depend on your distribution company. Here you can check the differences between the marketer, who sends you your electricity bills, and the distributor, which deals with the power changes.

Although it is a complex issue because there are many different circumstances, this is an approximate summary of the expenses you will face:

  • About €45 for each kW you raise the power. You will receive the bill after the change under the component of "extension and access rights".
  • Depending on your distributor, they may charge you for other arrangements or deposits.
  • From the moment you increase the power, all the electricity bills that you receive will be higher, as the contracted power charge is approximately half of what you pay on each bill. If you have a profile similar to the national average, we are talking about €5 a month or €60 a year for each extra kW.
  • The expense of an Electrical Installation Certificate could be added to these expenses. Here we explain the EIC or electricity bulletin.

Quick tips to calculate your power needs

No two people nor two houses are exactly the same. Therefore, the power you really need depends on a number of factors. Many more than we can explain here. However, there are a number of shortcuts that will let you know if you are going over the limit or falling short of power.

The most important thing is to use the Endesa power calculator, which can help you make your decision.

You can use these three tips separately or all together. They are basic ideas that may (or may not) help to guide you:

1. Trial and error: switch on your household appliances one by one. At some point the circuit breaker will trip and the power supply will be cut. If this never happens, even with all your appliances running, it means you have more power than you need. If this occurs only in circumstances that are very difficult to reproduce in real life (for example, the washing machine, oven, dishwasher and air conditioning all working at the same time) it means that your current power limit may be adequate. If this happens in everyday situations (for example: you cannot cook and wash clothes at the same time), it means that your limit is too low.

2. How much cold/heat you need: as a general rule, cooling and heating uses the most power. Intensive use of air conditioning or electric heating can significantly push up your power needs. Cold washing machine programmes use up to ten times less power than doing the laundry with very hot water. Only you can know the way you live and use your appliances.

3. Easy maths: note down the power needs of your main appliances. This information is always in the instruction booklet and is also usually found on the sticker attached to the device somewhere (sometimes on the base or on the side). When you have the total sum, divide it by three. This will give you an approximate idea of the minimum power you will need. If you want to know more regarding this matter and make a more accurate calculation, we recommend that you read this content on the simultaneity factor and how it affects you.

“There are a number of remedies if your contracted power is too low or too high; however, an exact calculation can only be done by a specialist technician.”
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