ELECTRIC SHOCKER

LAST UPDATED: 20 Jul, 2009 @ 19:22
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ELECTRIC SHOCKER

Homeowners will be forced to pay five per cent more than necessary for their electricity from July 1 – that is unless you contract one of the new free-market companies

HOMEOWNERS will be punished for failing to register with a new electricity company this summer.

They will have to pay five per cent more if they keep their existing contract with Sevillana Endesa.

The bizarre situation comes about as Spain finally deregulates its electricity industry.

“It is incredible that monopolies like Sevillana were allowed to exist for so long”

From July 1 each householder will be given the chance to select cheaper companies than the current monopoly supplier Sevillana.

Failure to act will mean you automatically remain with your existing supplier but paying five per cent more than necessary.

“It is completely ridiculous, but it is true,” said accountant Maria Jose Hevilla, who lives in Coin.

“It is incredible that monopolies like Sevillana were allowed to exist for so long. And they are certainly not making it at all easy to change.”

Despite trying to call Sevillana to change her provider since April, Hevilla, of accounting firm Cohesa, says she has still not been called back.

Homeowners in Spain should have received a letter about the changes last week.

Although in some places the company, allegedly, simply leafletted towns.

Pablo Carrasco, of Montejaque, told the Olive Press, that a group simply dropped hundreds of leaflets around the main square and surrounding streets.

“They were blowing around all over the place. That is the only reason I came to get hold of a copy,” he said.

However, if it goes to plan, consumers will now be able to contract ‘green’ companies such as Iberdrola, which have errected the vast majority of the windmills in Andalucia.

When contacted, Sevillana Endesa in Ronda was unable to provide advice.

However, a phone call to Iberdrola, one of the free market companies, clarified the situation.

An employee explained that, as long as your supply is over 10KW, you can change to Iberdrola. You agree the price with them and they do all the necessary paperwork.

“There is no interruption to the supply, since the electricity will still be provided by Sevillana, but you will be billed by your new chosen company,” he explained.

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11 COMMENTS

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  1. This article is factually incorrect.

    If you use above 10Kw (mainly small businesses, hotels etc) then you will pay a 5% surcharge if you do not change electricity supplier. By November, that charge could increase to as much as 20%.

    If you are under the 10kw usage, like most family homes are, then you will be automatically moved to a new supplier at the TUR rate (the electric rate set by the government) and you will pay no monthly surcharges. The move to a new supplier will be done on your behalf. If you are an expat and speak little Spanish, then I would move to a company that has a English website – such as http://www.iberdrola.es, which is where I have just moved to (not because of savings, but because of the fact that their website is very good and is in English, and they have some English speaking staff.) I have had my supply changed and have even moved over to a fixed monthly fee, like in the UK (amended at end of year based on under/over payment.)

    I wish the Olive Press would do more research before rushing out and publishing these sorts of stories.

  2. Mark, thank you for your comments and your clarification of the situation as you have experienced it. As the writer of the article “Electric Shocker”, however, I take exception to your remark that the OP should do more research before rushing out … these sorts of stories.
    In fact, I spent a considerable amount of time researching this article, because I wanted to provide an increasingly bewildered non-Spanish speaking group of residents (the OP readership) with a clear explanation in advance of 1 July, when de-regulation begins.
    Unfortunately, neither Sevillana Endesa nor Electrica de la Serrania de Ronda were able or willing to provide me with any information, when I visited their offices last week.
    I visited all 15 websites of the free-market companies and not a single one had any information about the de-regulation. Of the 15 sites, only seven had an English website.
    I spoke to a representative of the task force sub-contracted by Iberdrola, who was also unable to shed much light on the matter. All he was able to confirm was that at the moment you need to have a supply of above 10 kwH to choose a new company, which probably excludes all domestic consumers. He also told me that he and his 30 colleagues on the task force had to MEET IN PERSON with customers in order to effect the change!
    I don’t know where you live, Mark, but maybe they’re more organised there than up here in the campo.
    Like you, the OP’s recommended supplier is Iberdrola, because of their “green” credentials. For interested readers the number of the Iberdrola taskforce is 952 22 32 53. Ask for Bruno, who speaks English (allegedly).

  3. Paul, the issue is not how I personally see it, the issue is as I have explained it to you. If I read your article and headline, it immediately informs me that I will be “forced” to pay more from July 1st. This is sensationalism without merit – the statement is just plain incorrect.

    Homeowners rarely use more than 10Kw of power. The normal range is 3-6 Kw. A small business may use more than 10kw, however. As I stated in my reply, the 5% surcharge is only for people who use more than 10Kw and the vast majority of homeowners do not fall into that category, unless you are Mr Kilroy-Silk with a bling 20 bedroom property with all the lights left on all day and night.

    No normal expat homeowner is likely be forced to pay any surcharge because their usage does not fall in this high usage bracket. I reiterate again to you that it is people who use more than 10Kw and who fail to change supplier that will get the 5% surcharge each month from July 1st to the end of 2009 (at which point the surcharge may become 20%). Existing expats who do nothing will stay on the standard government (TUR) set rate with no fine/surcharge.

    Which part of this do you not understand Paul?

  4. I’m not sure that you need to patronise me, Mark. I understand everything you’ve written and am grateful for the information. You don’t need to re-iterate anything; what you write is perfectly clear and very helpful. All I can say is that you are lucky that you were able to get clarification, wherever you live. Maybe you should do my job and me yours!
    My point was that my article was not frivolous since I spent several hours researching it. It is a fact that if you do not change or get changed automatically, you will pay more! That is not sensationalism, but it is making sure that readers read the article, which they clearly have, judging by our bulging postbag and phone calls, all of which have been very positive. The only two negative ones are from you and the monsyllabic Paul Wright.
    Nevertheless, thank you for your guidance, which we shall be pleased to consider for publication in next week’s Olive Press.

  5. Dear Mark, did you used to persue a career in politics in the past ?? Only you seem to have real difficulty in acknowledgeing when you are wrong. It really isn’t a big pill to swallow is it ? You may well have taken several hours to research this, but the plain fact seems to be that you got it wrong. In the words of a famous Disney character, ” If you can’t say somethin’ nice, then don’t say nothin’ at all “

  6. Merlin, I have my latest bill in front of me. No surcharge was made, and if anything, the bill is cheaper because of the removal of the dubious “excess consumption” charge that was frequently applied previously.

    I took one minute to research this issue. I’m not wrong, your wizardry is just flawed and you cannot understand simple concepts such as utility bills. I have not been “forced” to pay a 5% surcharge, so the Olive Press’s article simply remains incorrect.

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