The Government has again extended the deadline, which ended on Monday, October 8, so that users who benefited from the old electric social bond request the one that is now in force. This is established by the decree law of urgent measures for the energy transition approved last week, which sets a moratorium until December 31 for consumers to request this discount on the receipt of electricity for groups identified as vulnerable.
The previous government already had to extend the period from April to October to encourage the beneficiaries of the bond to request its renewal. During these months, the discount continued to apply. An important part of them has nevertheless lost this right from last Monday. These are those who received the bonus for having a contracted power of less than 3 kilowatts (kW), as confirmed by the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC) and published this Wednesday the newspaper Five days.
This change is due to the fact that the social bonus designed in 2017 is based on income criteria, while the previous one, in 2009, included as potential beneficiaries those who had a contracted power of less than 3 kW, regardless of their income. Here are some keys to know who has the right to request the new bond and how to do it.
What is the electric social bond?
The social bonus is a discount on the final amount of the receipt that is applied to the users who receive the regulated rate (the Voluntary Price for the Small Consumer or PVPC). It is available for supplies with contracted power lower than 10 kW and provides three sections of discount, 25%, 40% or 100% depending on other criteria.
Who can request it?
The reform of the social bond that the Government undertook in 2017 introduced new rental criteria to request the discount. LThe regulation now distinguishes between vulnerable consumers, vulnerable vulnerable and at risk of social exclusion. The first they benefit from a reduction of 25%, and they are those who charge less than 11,279 euros per year (1.5 times the IPREM), an amount that goes up if there are minors in charge or there are exceptional circumstances, criteria added by the new decree: some member of the family has a disability of 33% or higher, victims of gender violence or terrorism, dependence or single-parent families. Also benefit from this discount large families and pensioners for retirement or permanent disability with minimal benefit. If they receive other income, the annual aggregate amount should not exceed 500 euros.
Severe vulnerable consumers are recognized with a 40% discount. Their income is half of what vulnerable consumers perceive. On the other hand, when social services fund at least 50% of the amount of the user's receipt, it is considered at risk of social exclusion and its supply can not be interrupted. The CNMC and the Civio Foundation have launched an application so that users can know if they have the right to request the bonus.
Where is it requested?
The social bonus is requested from the same company that provides the supply. In the peninsula there are six reference marketers that offer the regulated tariff (Endesa, Iberdrola, Gas & Power – before Gas Natural SUR-, EDP, Viesgo and CHC), one in Ceuta (Electric Lighting Company of Ceuta) and another in Melilla (Teramelcor ).
The new royal decree obliges marketers to inform users who have not yet requested it that they have time until December 31 to request the renewal of the benefit under the new conditions.
What documents must be presented?
Being entitled to the social bonus does not imply that the discount is applied automatically. It is necessary to present a series of documents and go through a process that can be complex. The first is an application model, which can be found on the pages Web of the marketers, supplemented by a photocopy of identity documents, enumerations of family members, certificates that prove that they are large families or that they accredit the other circumstances provided by law.
Who has not renewed it loses the right?
Those users who benefited from the old social bonus have until December 31 to request renewal, provided they meet the requirements established by the new decree. According to the latest figures from the regulator, in May 2018 there were 2.4 million consumers benefiting from the social bonus, 1.5 million of them having contracted power of less than 3 kW. Only 650,000 consumers had been able to benefit from the new model at the end of August, according to the CNMC.
One of the large electric companies ensures that 75% of its customers who are beneficiaries of the bond is due to having a contracted power of less than 3kW and has already lost the right to the discount if they have not requested it again in compliance with the new requirements. If the renewal is solved in a positive way, they will enjoy the reduction of which they have not benefited in the subsequent invoices.
What is the thermal bond and who can ask for it?
One of the star measures of the new decree is the thermal bond, a discount on the gas bill. The beneficiaries of this measure are the same who are entitled to the electric social bond and access will be automatic. The amount of the reduction depends on the degree of vulnerability, but also on the geographical area – the regulation recognizes six different climatic areas – in which they are located.
Will you change the social bonus again?
Maybe Although the new social bond has just started to move, the government and Podemos, in the agreement they have reached to try to get ahead with budgets for 2019, ensure that they will address a profound reform (another) of the social bond. Among other things, they want access to be only for low income criteria, although they claim that they will be able to make exceptions such as single-parent families. According to the wording of that agreement, large families would be left out, unless their income is low.