“Ola, bom dia! Posso entrar?” a cheerful woman’s voice sounds outside the screen door of the reception. “Yes, yes, of course, come in,” I reply – it’s a reception after all, and we’re used to unexpected guests.
The friendly lady introduces herself as a representative of the EDP* and wants to talk about solar panels
Installing solar panels, in particular. I find that very interesting, because I recently moved away from the idea that it is one of the tasks of the government to provide the nation with clean energy. Apparently that’s asking too much, not just for ours, but for many more governments. And then Portugal is not even doing so bad, with those windmills everywhere.
Especially with the energy price rising, a roof full of solar panels seems like a great plan!
The lady has a nice story that she tells with a Brazilian accent. Appropriate, that tropical association. I am carried away by the picture she paints, and shows me on a piece of paper, although the actual savings are a bit disappointing.
Next step: a technician’s visit. A man with a dripping mustache, thin legs and a big belly, with a skinny assistant. They go up into the attic, they walk on the roof, they look at the meter. Everything great.
We go for the 10 panels!
I plan the installation to the end of September, in the expectation that it will be fairly quiet by then, and I can easily block those four days in the agenda. That was a bit different but … my sister of 80 was there, and she is quite deaf, and placing solar panels doesn’t make that much noise, so let’s do it.
The man with the dripping mustache hadn’t had a good view of things. A lightweight in every way. The next team – who would actually come and install the solar panels – had a completely different view.
“We don’t put solar panels on this roof,” they say inexorably
“We cracked a few roof tiles, so they have to be replaced first.” “I don’t think that’s a big deal,” I answer cheerfully, “we do that in a lickety split, my son and I.”
Well, that isn’t exactly what they meant. They actually meant the whole roof. Otherwise there could be damage, and the EDP would have to compensate for that damage, and they are making these kinds of tropical proposals to private individuals, in order to be the first to benefit from it.
Hello, what do you think? It’s not idealism; 10 solar panels for our household is quite a lot
The EDP Comercial – their official name – generously incorporates the rest of the energy produced into its pipeline network. Do you get anything for that here in Portugal? “You could try to request that,” said a lady when asked, who called me about the roof and whether they could already start installing.
That sounds nice. As if you better not try that.
So far, so good. There I was, with the challenge of getting contractor Eduardo to drop everything and get to work replacing nearly a thousand roof tiles.
Now contractors never drop everything, so that took a while. Two phone calls from the ladies of the EDP and 3 weeks later he came by for the second time, to make definitive arrangements. The weather also has a say in it… It is admittedly a sunny autumn, but with a few wet days here and there. You can’t have that with your roof open.
The last lady of the EDP apparently had no faith in it anymore. I don’t know what she was thinking, or what rock she’s been living under, but they apparently didn’t feel like it anymore. “Three weeks to replace a roof, three whole weeks! Epa! How long should it take? Patiência!” while everyone involved lives in Portugal, where the slightest thing takes half an eternity to get done?
Last week I received an email from E-redes. That’s the company that was set up especially to manage the infrastructure, but they also mediate with financial disputes. The boundaries between the energy companies and this institution are somewhat frayed.
They report in neat terms that the EDP doesn’t like this anymore, so no solar panels
They throw in the towel despite the newly installed meter. They can imagine that this will cause us serious emotional damage, so we get a compensation. They probably transferred that compensation 18 days earlier, because I was already surprised about a deposit of 85 euros from the EDP.
* EDP = Energias de Portugal = former state-owned company that has been privatized
We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal.
A big step, especially with two small children.
We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday houses, rooms and a campsite, with games like pingpong, pool, foosball, and a FancyDressingRoom.
You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.
Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.
Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation
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