Bottled Gas in Spain: All You Need to Know
There are still many areas in Spain that don’t have access to town gas. Some families prefer to use bottled gas and only pay for the gas they use. Find out all you need to know about bottled gas below.
Traditional vs lightweight bottles
First of all make sure you know the difference between the two main types of bottled gas (known as bombona de gas).
Traditional metal heavyweight bottles contain 12.5 kg of gas and weigh around 26 kg when full. They are subject to the government-fixed official price, which is reviewed every two months. Prices cannot change by more than 5% on each review.
Lightweight plastic bottles contains 12kg or 12.5kg of gas, are 50% lighter and are not subject to the fixed price. As suppliers charge different prices, compare and save. On average lightweight bottles cost around 3€ more than traditional bottles.
Smaller lightweight bottles are also available (around 6 kg gas content). However the price per kilo of gas is considerably higher.
If you’re new to bottled gas you’ll need to sign a contract with a local supplier. This certifies that your gas installation is safe (more info on mandatory inspections below). Minimum documentation required:
- Your ID
- Property contract (ownership or rental)
- Building gas inspection
You’ll be asked to pay for the new contract along with a deposit for the first bottles and an inspection of the gas installation (if required).
Once you’ve received your first bottles you’ll normally not have any issues if you want to change supplier, however check the contract in case you’ll tied in to a minimum number of deliveries.
Where to buy?
Although you can purchase all types of bottles at your local petrol station, it makes sense to have heavyweight bottles delivered. But watch out for scams!
When ordering a delivery make sure you first of all check the current official price (here) and if you’re quoted a different price query it, or call another company.
You might decide to pay with a 20€ note for one bottle (or 40€ for two bottles) and expect the correct change. Excuses of not having any change, or just asking for a tip for leaving the bombonas in your kitchen are commonplace.
The price includes delivery to your home (kitchen/balcony) so it’s your choice whether to round up the price or not. If you decide not to and the deliveryman becomes aggressive, report the incident to the company.
Is bottled gas cheaper than town gas?
If you can choose between town gas and bottled gas the latter will always be cheaper as you avoid fixed charges.
But bottled gas has disadvantages:
- A dedicated space in your home is required to store new and used bottles.
- Need to check consumption regularly (to make sure you don’t run out mid shower!).
- Reorder bottles in time to avoid a break in supply.
As town gas reaches more homes across rural Spain, there’s still some time to go until bottled gas becomes a thing of the past.
Every five years households are responsible for contracting the mandatory inspection for fixed bottled gas installations.
If you don’t know when your next inspection is due, contact the distributor Repsol (or Disa in the Canaries). You can also ask for contact details for official gas inspectors in your area to compare prices.
Never accept an inspection from someone who calls at the door that you’re not expecting. At best it’s a scam and you’ll lose your money, at worst they could tamper with your gas installation putting you in danger.
The rubber tube that connects the gas bottle comes with it’s own expiry date. If the inspection is due soon, ask to change the tubes too and get it included in the price quote.
Installations that pass the inspection will be certified. If your installation doesn’t pass the test the company will inform you what needs fixing. In cases of imminent danger, the installation will be sealed and you won’t be able to use it.
The cost of the inspection can be anywhere from 50€ to 125€, depending where you live. Ask for two or three separate quotes from authorised technical inspectors and when you pay always request the invoice.