SPAIN’S controversial new electricity bill came into effect on June 1, and the first official figures have just been published.
According to statistics made public by the Spanish Electricity Grid, customers with the so-called PVPC tariff have been landed with a 50% increase in cost during peak times.
In addition, consumers’ union Facua reveals that average prices have shot up by 42% over the first week in June, and that if those figures were calculated over the whole month, bills would hit €86 – the third most expensive average monthly charge in history.
The debate regarding the new electricity charges has been raging for over a week, with consumers facing hugely inflated bills while major supply companies declared up to eight times more profits last year – due mainly to increased demand as a result of lockdowns and teleworking.
Both providers and the Spanish government insist that the aim of the new ‘peak’, ‘low’ and ‘average’ rates at different times of the day is to alleviate pressure on the grid by encouraging consumers to use more power at off-peak times, thus also reducing reliance on back-up generators that burn natural gas to produce electricity and, as such, generate large amounts of CO2.
However, angry customers are complaining that the time periods set out by the boards are unrealistic and impossible to follow.
As reported previously by The Olive Press, electricity is now much more expensive from 10am to 2pm, and then again from 6pm to 10pm, Monday to Friday. Average rates are now applied from 8am to 10am, 2pm to 6pm, and 10pm to midnight, Monday to Friday.
Low times, i.e. the cheapest, are from midnight to 8am Monday to Friday, and all day at weekends and on bank holidays.
In other words, the busiest times are now the most expensive, coinciding with when most people are at home cooking meals, using the washing machine and dishwasher and, once the summer kicks in, turning on the air conditioning.
Consumers are therefore advised to restrict their use of these devices to the weekend or outside peak times, where possible, to avoid nasty surprises at the end of the month.
The figures released today (Tuesday June 8) reveal that the busiest time on the electricity grid is 9pm, when the price now stands at €0.24 per kilowatt per hour – 50% more expensive than before the new billing system came into effect.
Prices this week then dropped to €0.13 at average times and €0.11 during low periods.
Experts reveal that the government first had the idea of introducing the new bill two years ago, and it is simply ‘bad timing’ that it has coincided with an increase in the cost of electricity due to a surge in demand as a result of the post-coronavirus economic recovery, and a four-fold rise in global gas prices.
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