Electricity companies wrongly bill consumers up to 30% more

by Lorraine Williamson
electricity bill 30% more
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MADRID – The Spanish Commission of Markets and Competition CNMC has found that some electricity companies are incorrectly billing their customers up to 30% more and are demanding rectification of that incorrect billing to consumers. 

The companies, whose names the regulator has not disclosed, have wrongly passed on to consumers the application of the new transport and distribution toll. This came into effect on June 1. CNMC finds the average billed energy bill is in some cases 30% more than what it should be. Therefore, the committee has requested the companies concerned reverse this incorrect calculation and invoice their customers again. 

Shortcomings identified

The CNMC also identified shortcomings in the information provided by the electricity companies about the new toll charges. Specifically, the committee analysed the information contained in the invoices sent by the 25 commercial energy providers. They have the largest market share of 91% of the total number of supply points in the free market in low voltage and 84% of the total energy supplied on the free market in low voltage. 

However, according to the CNMC, the vast majority of companies have adequately transferred the variation in the new tolls. But there are a number of companies that have included an increase in energy costs in addition to the variation in the toll. 

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With regard to the latter cases, it appeared the companies only occasionally informed the customer in a transparent and understandable manner about the implementation of changes. In the other cases, there was no such clear communication to customers about the price update performed. 

Absolute record 

The regulator’s finding comes at a time when electricity prices in Spain are shattering record after record. On Thursday, another record high was reached with €122.76/MW/h, up 5.2% above €116.73 of the previous day. The market thus registers an unprecedented level, above €117.29/megawatt-hour on August 13. 

This wholesale market price directly affects consumers who are in the state-regulated market also known as PVPC rate. This relates to 10.6 million customers. The other 16.2 million that are on the free market, will eventually also pay this price. This is because commercial energy companies base their prices on the evolution of the market. 

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