How often do I have to change the water meter?

  • Property owners whose water meter is more than 12 years old will need to change it for a new one, as set forth in the Ministerial Order provided for in the Official State Gazette [BOE].
  • They must be replaced within a period of 5 years.
  • If the water meter is owned by the manager, the property owner will not need to do anything.
  • The Government claims that there are around 3 million water metres in communities of property owners that are over 12 years old.

Water, the source of life, is a scarce resource that must be carefully looked after. As it’s the beginning of the year, why not set yourself a target of reducing your water consumption in 2022?

According to data collected by the National Statistics Institute (INE), the average consumption per person is 133 litres per day, with this accounting for more than half of domestic water consumption. As such, it is important to fit meters that are up-to-date, and which take accurate readings in order to consume water in a more responsible and sensible manner.

The Government claims that there are around 3 million hot water meters in Communities of Property Owners with centralised heating systems, or cold water meters whose consumption is included in the community fee. “In such cases, it is the Community of Property Owners itself that is responsible for complying with the regulations. This measure will undoubtedly facilitate the modernisation of existing measurement equipment, correcting the metering errors that often occurred due to their outdated design” said Jesús Santidrían, lawyer and Head of Expansion for the Madrid area of Mediterráneo Administración de Fincas.

Water meters that are more than 12 years old do not measure water consumption correctly. The readings become less accurate, and residents do not end up paying for what they actually consume. This is one of several reasons as to why the Government has passed a law requiring the replacement of water meters that are more than 12 years old. Residents will be granted a 5-year period to replace it with a new meter, with repair and exchange being prohibited. When compared to other European countries – such as Germany, for example – this is a fairly lengthy period, with residents of these countries needing to replace their meters every 5 years. The law was due to come into force on 24 August 2020, but the Covid-19 pandemic delayed its application. It has been in force since 24 October 2020.


How long does a water meter last?

The useful life of a cold water meter is 6 years and that of a hot water meter is 5 years: in other words, half of the 12-year replacement period established in Spain. Meters that have not surpassed this threshold may be subject to verifications, always carried out by an authorised metrological verification body, to extend the meter’s useful life by successive 5-year periods.

How much will I save with a new water meter?

It is important to note that the water meter is not intended to generate tax revenue. An old meter will usually cost you an extra 30 euros per year. Their replacement leads to greater cost control and fewer reading errors, thus entailing greater savings for Spanish families. Ignacio Abati, CEO of Ista, has spoken of savings of up to 15% per year.


How do you read a water meter?

Another drawback is the lack of technology for the remote transfer of individual consumption data. Until now, these readings have been carried out manually and in-person, and it has been impossible for technicians to enter the property in question if the tenant or owner is not at home. This new law also contains provisions to this effect. Meters installed after 27 October 2020 must be fitted with remote reading devices, whereas those installed prior to this date will have until 1 January 2027 to be replaced.

Who has to replace the water meter?

There is a very simple answer to this question. If you own your meter (for cold and/or hot water), you are responsible for replacing it. Contact your Mediterráneo Property Administrator for advice on this matter.

Currently, the replacement of these devices is carried out by metre management companies. So, if your water reader belongs to a company, don’t worry! They will take charge of its replacement.

How much does it cost to change a water meter?

Not a great deal if you compare it to the savings that you will make. You can choose between buying one or renting one. Jesús Santidrián has told us that a new meter can be bought on the market for 35-40 euros. However, as we are assured by the sector, your best bet is to rent one. This costs around 0.35 euros per month, and the management company is responsible for replacing it every 12 years.

How do I find out how old my water meter is?

If it is managed by an external company, you don’t need to worry about a thing. If not, you can see how old it is on the meter itself.

We hope that this information has been useful to you. If you have any questions in this regard, feel free to contact your Property Administrator via the Mediterráneo app and he/she will be able to answer all of your questions. If you want to learn more about energy consumption in Spanish households, we’ll tell you everything you need to know in this article. We hope you enjoy it!

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