Electrical Installation

Electrical Installation

How we love the simplicity of our everyday dealings with the Portuguese electrical supplier EDP

The complexity of dealing with them is geared up a few notches when you deal with different entities controlling the different regions of Portugal so you never know exactly what you will encounter from one electrical installation to the next electrical installation.

I remember reading a blog sometime ago were a German guy had taken two years in trying to have electricity installed in his house renovation and I must admit that I thought to myself “there must be something wrong with him or how he was approaching it” I am starting to change my mind. I am sure there was some fault on each side but I feel more on the side of the German in this instance.

My experience to date is that the EDP being Portugal’s single supplier is very much like “The Gas Board” of old in the UK. We will be around on Tuesday ! Not set time or date ! And if they don’t turn up what can you do except waste your time and build up more frustration.

We have regularly experienced problems were the EDP local agent we were dealing with forgot to finish off the paperwork to the application that we made timed out and had to be done again from scratch. We have had applications entered wrongly into the computer so that they just disappear resulting in the application timing out and having to restart the whole process again.

Then we have instances were foreign names have been miss spelled so that they don’t match up with the nif number of the householder and you have already guessed the outcome I am sure – the application timing out and having to restart the whole process again.!

I can feel you getting into the swing of this so here is a recent scenario that’s in the forefront of my mind and if you follow the path of this rant to the end you will see areas that you should look out for when you apply for electricity connection.

Take a house that has the power cables passing from outside to inside the house and a position were the old electricity meter had been installed. The cables have been cut outside the house wall but still point to the EDP pole where the supply would have originally come from.

We installed the correct electrical supply and meter boxes in the outside wall of the house ready for the re connection. Because the house did not appear on the EDP records ( Computer Says No) it was considered never to have had any electricity connected. Even though you can actually see the cables.

Because it wasn’t on the EDP records they decided to send an engineer over to take a look. He was a contractor to the EDP who said. “We don’t route supply cables like that anymore you will have to move the meter and supply boxes that you have recently installed around to the front of the house as we want to install on the boundary of the house facing the main roar (not a side road)”. He said that the EDP would bring a supply cable under the road so we should install an underground supply conduit to our cabinets so that the EDP could just connect to it. This we did.

The EDP engineer then came out and said we think running our electricity supply cable under the road will be too expensive so we are going to run a cable across from a power pole in the street to a new power pole that we will install next to the new meter box location. This means that you will have to remove and replace one of your newly installed electrical cabinets and remove the underground conduit and fit a special tube so that it can accept an over head (through air) supply cable.

We asked for the specification for this tube that we had to supply to comply with the new law. We also asked where we could buy such a tube. As it was such a new law the EDP engineer said that he didn’t know where we could buy such a thing and that if we didn’t fit exactly the correct tube in terms of tube diameter, wall thickness, radius of curve and installed height they would not be able to install the new supply at all.

We finally tracked down someone who made the tube and we are waiting for another EDP engineer to inspect it so that we can progress the electrical installation.

Elapsed time 8 moths. Still no electricity.

This check list will save you grey hair, suicidal thoughts and lots of frustration.

Make sure that the property you want to supply electricity to is fully registered in your name.

Take along a photocopy of your Passport, Fiscal number and the deeds of your property. Also take along the originals. Leave the copies with the EDP agent so that if there is a simple error they can correct it in your absence.

Take along cash or a cheque as a lot of agents don’t take debit or credit card payments.

Take along your full address with post code and parish. Also a mobile number that they can contact you on.

Make sure that all the electrical boxes including the meter box are installed the correct height for your area and that the supply tube is the correct specification.

Have with you any certificates required to be supplied by your electrical engineer.

Kill a chicken or pray to whichever god that you feel fit. Now wait for 2 to 3 months.

Best of luck.

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