June 13, 2021

how to save with the new electric bill

Not turning on all the appliances at the same time, adjusting the contracted power to the new tariff structure or avoiding consumption as much as possible at peak hours (the most expensive). These are the recommendations of the National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC) to consumers regarding the new electricity rate that will come into effect on June 1.

A bill of electricity that changes by the hour: the invention of José Manuel Soria that has been maintained until today

A bill of electricity that changes by the hour: the invention of José Manuel Soria that has been maintained until today

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An experience with which, according to the regulator, Spain is going to introduce a pioneering model with respect to other countries, as you did with the hourly prices of the semi-regulated rate of the Voluntary Price for Small Consumers (PVPC) that it implemented in 2014.

The impact on the bill of the new system will depend on each case. In general terms, according to the CNMC, for the majority of households the regulated component of the bill will be reduced by 6.7%, which would imply a final saving of approximately 3.3% for some 19 million consumers. On the contrary, the bill for tolls and charges will increase “slightly”, about 2 euros per month, for those already receiving tolls with hourly discrimination: about 10 million.

Currently taxes are 21.4% of a household bill, energy weighs 24.1% and the rest are those two regulated components: the tolls set by the CNMC to pay the networks (22%) and the charges established by the Government (premiums for renewables, deficit of the electricity system, extrapeninsular …), which represent 32.6%.

With the new system, and according to the organism’s calculations, if an average domestic consumer (with a contracted power of 4 kW) cut its power to 3.5 kW in the peak period and that of the valley to 2.3 kW, “it would obtain a reduction of the regulated component of 6.8% ”, which would translate into a final saving of the bill of around 3.4%, given that this regulated part (made up of the so-called tolls and charges) represents around half of the receipt.

The CNMC points out that avoiding simultaneous consumption of household appliances “could induce savings of between 200 euros and 300 euros per year, for a consumer with high electrical equipment”, if the contracted power at peak times were adjusted to the new model.

If the consumer, in addition to adjusting his power, transfers a small part of the consumption of the peak period to the flat and valley, “the savings in the regulated component of the bill could exceed 15%”. The CNMC recommends shifting ironing (one of the activities that consume the most electricity) to off-peak periods: thus, ironing in the flat period instead of at the peak “would reduce the cost by 38 euros / year”.

Three distinct periods

The new rate applies price discrimination to all domestic consumers with three time zones: peak, flat and valley. The prices of tolls and charges will be different between the time periods, both for power and energy consumed.

The peak period, in which the cost of tolls and charges (the regulated part of the receipt) will be higher (95% more expensive than the valley), will be between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. hours; the flat section, with an intermediate cost (25% cheaper than the peak), will be between 8 am and 10 am, 2 pm and 6 pm and between 10 pm and midnight; and the valley rate, the cheapest, will be located between midnight and 8 in the morning and will be applied during all hours of weekends and holidays.

With the new system, all consumers by default will maintain their current power, but will be able to contract two differentiated powers: one at peak, from 8 in the morning to 24 at night, and another valley, from 24 hours to 8 in the morning , and all hours on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays. In the face of possible changes, the consumer will have information on their maximum powers for hourly periods on their bill.

The objective of the new structure is to move towards the decarbonization of the economy, incentivize efficiency and facilitate the deployment of self-consumption and the use of electric cars: that the consumer “gets involved” and “makes smart consumption”, they explain from the regulator .

The new time periods have been distinguished based on the costs of the system (the so-called load curve) and how consumption increases or decreases them. As the consumer adapts his habits to these prices so that his bill, “there may be modifications” and “probably the hours will have to be differentiated”.

The CNMC recognizes that with the introduction of hourly energy prices in the PVPC “no change was noticed”, although it emphasizes that the year has 8,760 hours and here it is a matter of establishing three periods and “it is much easier to know when it is more expensive to hire and consume the power ”.

In the PVPC, for which the limit of 10 kW of contracted power is maintained, the reference marketers will directly apply the new tolls and charges. For those in the free market, the impact will depend on how the variation in the regulated component of the invoice is transferred to the marketer. The marketer “must communicate the changes sufficiently in advance and in a clear and transparent way,” recalls the agency.


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