Spanish hotel sector considers legal action against electricity companies

by Lorraine Williamson
legal action by Spanish hotels

MADRID – The Spanish Confederation of Hotels and Tourist Accommodations (CEHAT) is concerned about the increase in energy costs. And, consequently, they are considering legal action as they face a complicated autumn and winter season. 

This season is already more difficult than normal due to an even greater lack of foreign tourists due to coronavirus. CEHAT emphasises that the accommodations are heavily dependent on energy. Because a large part of their costs come from the energy bill ‘which has more than doubled’. 

“This makes the ability to create jobs, pay suppliers or repay credits unfeasible, due to the inability to pass this brutal increase in costs on to consumers,” they say 

For this reason, CEHAT joins the demands of other sectors in the industry to demand special discounts on final electricity prices immediately. They also demand immediate action from the government of Spain to stop the “uncontrolled” rise in electricity prices 

cogesa expats

Obstacles to self-consumption investments in hotels 

At the same time, hoteliers are “denouncing with great concern the anticompetitive, immoral and dubious legality practices of electricity companies.” They force users to respect indexed contracts and at the same time change contracts at fixed rates”. For this purpose, legal action is being studied against the “advantageous practices” which in some cases are classified as “blackmail”. 

Also, the sector complains about obstacles placed in many autonomous communities to investments in self-consumption or sustainable energy in hotels. This prevents them from creating their own electricity generation infrastructure. 

‘Immediate action’ from government demanded 

The hoteliers conclude that in many cases this situation prevents the sector as a whole from being able to “continue to operate with the necessary margins to address and resolve all the problems caused by the pandemic”. They, therefore, demand “immediate action from the government for the serious consequences of the uncontrolled increases in the electricity price”. 

The electricity price in Spain is now more than three times as high as a year ago. The price for gas and electricity is currently high throughout all of Europe. This is because the price for CO2 emission rights has increased internationally in the context of the European Climate Agreement. 

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