Changes to your electric bill in 2021

This year there are changes coming into force for any household that has the Government-regulated electricity tariff (PVPC) and less than 15kW contracted. Even if you don’t use this tariff, take a look at our info to see what’s happening.

What are the changes to be introduced?

Companies will begin to charge households on the PVPC tariff for energy use during three time periods:

  • Horas punta (most expensive): From 10-14:00h and 18-22:00h on weekdays
  • Horas valle (cheapest times): From 0-8:00h on weekdays; 24h on weekends and national holidays
  • Horas llano (intermediate tariff): From 8-10h14-18h and 22-24h on weekdays

The fixed part of every bill that corresponds to the power capacity will be reduced in price. But the most expensive energy use tariff at peak hours will be considerably more expensive than current rates. This means that to save money you’ll need to plan ahead.

What will this mean for you?

For most households in Spain, contracting the PVPC tariff is usually the most economical. With the new breakdown based on the time period you could save on your bills by planning in advance to use the most expensive home appliances at the cheapest times.

Most washing machines and dishwashers allow you to programme the start time, in some cases up to 20 hours ahead. If you tend to use these daily, it could make sense to programme them for use during the early morning. If you use these appliances less often, aim for weekends when the tariff is cheaper.

The new tariff system will also allow users to choose the power capacity for different times of the day. However consumer organisations have said that the savings would be minimal for this concept.

If you only use your home in Spain during a few months, you will probably end up paying less per year. This is because the fixed part of your bills will fall in price.

If you’re currently on a free market tariff, check whether you’re paying over the odds already. Read our dedicated post here on how to save on your electric bill.

When will this new system start?

Originally the plan was to introduce the new tariffs on 1 Apr 2021. However most of the big suppliers have said they are not ready yet so it has been pushed back to 1 Jun.

Using your smart meter

Practically all homes in Spain now have a smart meter. This may be inside your home, or with other meters if you live in a flat or gated community.

Having a smart meter comes with the following advantages:

  • All your bills will show the actual reading rather than an estimate*
  • Any issue with your electric supply should be relayed immediately to the company. This means that when there’s a problem you should only be without electricity for as little as necessary.
  • You can request an adjustment in the power capacity without the need for a technician to visit your home.
  • If your meter is inside your home you can check the energy use at different times of the day. By doing this you can learn exactly what you’re spending.
  • It is harder to tamper with the installation.

* If you’ve opted for contract with a monthly fixed amount then at the end of the year you will either be billed for the difference or receive a refund if you’ve overspent.