(…and how to reduce your bill)
As of 1st June 2021, some 10.7 million consumers across Spain covered by the regulated tariff or PVPC (Voluntary Price for the Small Consumer) are subject to new electricity rates. The new system establishes three time frames, setting out some cheaper, and some more expensive times of day to use power in your home. The three time frames are called: punta (peak, the most expensive), llano (flat, the medium rate) and valle (valley, the lowest rate).
The objective of the new system is to encourage the use of electricity during the hours of lowest consumption and cost. It is hoped that consumers will choose to use electricity more efficiently, opting to save money by using electricity at off-peak times and thus improving the efficiency of the system as a whole.
For ease of understanding, we have gathered all the relevant information – as well as how to save money with the new tariffs – for our friends and clients.
How does the change affect the domestic consumer?
All consumers will have different prices governed by time slots, both for power and consumption. The new rates will not affect those on the ‘night tariff, only those on the PVPC. If your electricity bill says ‘Ultimo Recurso’ at the top, it is very likely you will be impacted by the new tariff. If you are already on a special contract (‘Plan elije 8 horas’ for example, which allows the user to choose different rates during 8 hour periods) you will remain on the contract you were on previously. To confirm, check with your provider.
Iberdrola, for example, says “Our commitment is to maintain the conditions that the client chose at the time. If you have an electronic bill, renewable energy or our fixed fee service, you will continue to maintain all these services.”
The three periods are as follows:
Peak period: with the highest price, from 10 in the morning to 2 in the afternoon and from 6pm to 10pm from Monday to Friday, excluding holidays.
Flat period: a less expensive price from 8am to 10am, from 2pm to 6pm and from 10pm to 12 midnight.
Valley period: the cheapest price, it includes night hours (from midnight to 8 am) and all hours on Saturday and Sunday and national holidays.
What can I do to reduce my bill?
One option is to adapt the contracted power to your real needs – you might be paying for a higher ‘potencia’ and not using it. Review your last year worth of bills and see if you are under-using. A change of supplied power can be requested through your provider – for example, Iberdrola. The contracted power can usually be changed once every twelve months. However, to facilitate adaptation to the new system, two free power changes are allowed until May 31, 2022, unless the change involves actions at the point of supply that require the assistance of a technician in which case there would be a fee.
You can access your maximum power and consumption data through your distributor’s website. The CNMC publishes the consumer portal websites of all distributors: https://sede.cnmc.gob.es/listado/censo/1
You can also ask your supplier to provide two different levels of power supply for two different time periods. This can be especially useful if, for example, you have an electric car, or a heavy duty appliance such as a clothes dryer. You can consume more energy by contracting a higher power at night when the price is lower (and use that time to charge your car, or use the dryer), and have another lower power for the rest of the hours of the day.