Anti-corruption accuses Iberdrola of a maneuver in 2013 to "harm" consumers in more than 80 million

The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office accuses a subsidiary of Iberdrola and four directors of causing damage to other companies and consumers of 107,340,000 euros in 2013, a damage that fell to more than 80 million euros in the clients of the electricity companies.

“Iberdrola, in order to cause an increase in the price of electricity and harm consumers, devised and put into operation a system to increase the price of the energy it sold, beyond what should result from the free competition of supply and demand”, says the Anticorruption letter. "The damage was caused to consumers amounting to 107,340,000 euros for variable price contracts and fixed price contracts by the insurance companies that covered them," he adds.

In his letter, the prosecutor Antonio Romeral asks for two years in prison for the four directors and a fine of 84,891,272 euros as "forfeiture of the profits obtained." In addition, the defendants will compensate the amount of the damage, 107,340,000 euros jointly and severally to the electricity marketers and the rest of the natural and legal persons who prove that they have suffered these artificial price increases.

Prosecutor Romeral explains how Iberdrola's maneuver took place: Between November 30, 2013 and December 23, 2013, the company increased, "without legitimate cause to justify it, the price of electricity offers corresponding to its hydroelectric plants in Duero, Sil and Tajo, at a level above the daily market price that prevented operations from being matched, despite the increase experienced in those days by the prices of electricity in the spot market, which placed it at an optimal opportunity cost. This situation determined the withdrawal of the programming of the aforementioned plants, that is, they stopped producing energy”.

Romeral attributes the operation to the management team of Iberdrola Generación SAU: Ángel Chiarri Toscano, Director of Energy Management; Gregorio Relaño Cobián, responsible for Optimization, Resource Management and Trading; José Luis Rapún Jiménez, Head of Asset Management; and Javier Paradiñas, responsible for Short-Term Markets and Global Generation. For all of them he asks for the aforementioned two years in prison for a crime related to the market and consumers.

Iberdrola, explains the prosecutor, broke "the order of merit of the plants in the production dispatch, caused the reduction of electricity generation of the Duero, Sil and Tajo hydroelectric plants, and, as a consequence, that the purchase operations were married with energy from combined cycle plants, which are higher cost and in a higher price range, situated between 80/90 euros/MWh compared to the average price of energy from hydroelectric plants, located in 45/55 euros/MWh”.

The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor explains that as of December 24, 2013, the change in weather conditions "due to strong storms and wind", caused the reduction in the price of energy due to the "important contribution of renewable sources".

“The consequence of the artifice devised and carried out by the defendants was the increase in the price of electricity by at least 7,156 euros/MHw, which caused damage to the demand of at least 107,340,000 euros, having taking into account that the same in the period subject to accusation was 15,000 GWh and that the highest cost arising from Iberdrola's action, as we have previously indicated, was 7,156 ", adds the prosecutor. And he concludes: "Iberdrola dispatched 2,965,779 megawatts in the period that concerns us, which meant a profit of 21,222,818 euros."

Anti-corruption considers 18 marketers harmed, the one with the least value of 993.35 euros and the one with the most for more than 6 million. In total 10.5 million losses for the marketers.

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