Electricity bill in Spain dropped year-on-year for the first time in 21 months

by Lorraine Williamson
electricity bill

MADRID – The average electricity bill in Spain is back to the level of September last year when it exceeded €100 for the first time. Moreover, in October, the bill fell year-on-year for the first time in 21 months. 

A user with a contracted power of 4.4 kilowatts (kW) and a consumption of 366-kilowatt hours (kWh) pays a bill of €103.34 during the 31 days of October. The figure is 14.4% below the €120.68 from a year ago and is almost the same as in September 2021, when it stood at €102.71. 

The bill has not decreased on an annual basis since February 2021, when it was €62.08. However, according to consumer organisation FACUA, the amount of the past month is 59.9% higher than that of October 2020, when it was €64.61. 

Costs are up 58% so far this year 

With two months to go this year, the average user has paid €1,362.48 on their electricity bill. That´s 58.4% more than the €860.24 he paid between January and October last year. The difference is more than €500. 

FACUA considers the measures taken by the government to date to be inadequate. The organisation demands that the vast majority of households qualify for a special social premium. 

In 2022, the electricity companies sent the three most expensive bills in history with an amount of €176.73 in the mart,  €158.30 in August and €142.40 in July. 

Claims of FACUA 

While the application of the gas limit and the 5% VAT in force since July have curbed a much larger increase, the FACUA points out that these measures are insufficient. That is why the organization is calling on the government and the European Commission to take much stronger action to end the brutal speculation in the sector and to protect families. 

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The auction model is the source of speculation and the disproportionate prices paid by consumers, FACUA warns. The organization demands that the government propose a radical change to the system of the European Commission. In the view of FACUA, it is absurd that consumers should buy the cheapest energy for the price of the most expensive. 

Likewise, the FACUA is urging the government to protect families by declaring all – except the highest-income – vulnerable consumers, so that they can take advantage of a special social bonus so that they receive huge discounts on the prices dictated by the market. 

The price per kWh in October 

In October 2021, the price per kWh of electricity averaged 26.98 cents in off-peak hours, 31.01 in flat hours and 33.57 in peak hours (including 15.62% indirect taxes). This October, the average price was 21.54 cents in the off-peak hours, 24.78 in the flat hours and 30.81 in the peak hours (including the indirect taxes of 5.53% levied on invoices issued since July 1). 

For example, the average of these three rates this month was 25.71 cents, 15.8% less than the 30.52 cents a year ago. The weighted average, taking into account the average user’s consumption in each section, was 25.06 cents, 16.3% lower than the 29.93 in October 2021. 

Average user 

The average user who uses FACUA in his analysis has a contracted power of 4.4 kW – the same in peak and off-peak hours – and a monthly consumption of 366 kWh. The profile was drawn up after an analysis of several tens of thousands of bills for occupied homes. 

As regards the percentages of consumption in the three periods of the new billing system, the association has taken as reference the traditional average user profile without time discrimination, published by the National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC), which consumes 45% of off-peak hours, 29% in rush hour and 26% in flat hours. 

Peak hours, flat hours and off-peak hours 

From Monday to Friday, peak hours are 10 am to 2 pm and 6 pm to 10 pm, flat hours from 2 pm to 6 pm and 10 pm to 12 pm and off-peak hours from 12 pm to 8 am. On Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays, the off-peak hour rule applies 24 hours a day. 

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