Reduce Your Electric Bill

It’s all too easy to forget to check your electric tariff on a yearly basis, and companies know this. Most households are paying over the odds for the power they use. Follow our simple guide and starting saving money today.

The basics

Electricity bills in Spain have the following fixed components that you need to pay even if you don’t use any electricity. These are:

  • Power capacity: The rate you have contracted in kW x days x price.
  • Rental of metering equipment
  • (Optional) maintenance contract

Additionally you’ll need to pay for your consumption and the special electricity tax. Both fixed and variable costs are subject to VAT at the current rate.

Reducing the fixed part of your electric bill

The higher the power capacity rate on your bill, the more you’ll pay every month. Companies tend to put customers on higher kW rates than they need.

Take a look at your consumption for the previous year (to take into account seasonal highs) and compare with the kW rate on your bill. As a rough guide:

  • Small/medium sized home with gas heating and electrical appliances: Contract 3.45kW
  • Larger home and / or air conditioning units: Contract 5.75 kW
  • Larger homes with heavier electrical consumption (eg. heating): Contract 10.35 kW

(Additional rates exist between those shown above).

Important!

  1. Don’t rush to drop the rate as usage is limited by the trip switch. If you’ve never had any problems with your trip switch on days with the heaviest electric use (air con, washing machine, etc) then you’re probably paying too much and can safely drop down a level.
  2. When you reduce your power capacity there is a charge of approx. 11€, but if you find you really need more power then you’ll be charged up to 50€ to increase it.
  3. Some providers may decide that when you request a change you’ll also need a new “boletín eléctrico” (electrical installation certificate) which costs around 50€.

Saving: 30-60€ per year (for each level reduced, after charges) 👍🏻

Changing tariff

Electricity tariffs are a nightmare, with well over 100 different tariffs available.

In many cases the average household would be better off contracting the government-regulated tariff (known as PVPC). This tariff is only available when you have contracted a power capacity of 10kW or less. Eight companies in Spain offer the PVPC tariff, along with free market tariffs, including Iberdrola, EDP, Endesa and Naturgy.

Consumer organisations in Spain are constantly warning us about free market tariff offers and promos that, in reality, work out more expensive over a year. It’s essential to compare the PVPC rate with free market tariffs during a full year as introductory offers can be misleading. 

Comparing electric tariffs option 1: Use our free online comparison service

Use our online comparison service available in English with our partner Watiofy.

There’s no obligation to sign up to anything, just input your details for a detailed report showing all your options. 

Comparing electric tariffs option 2: Use the official website

Using the official website is quick and easy, but it’s only available in Spanish. You’ll need the following data to hand:

  • Your postcode
  • Power capacity in kW
  • Estimate of annual consumption
  • Choose whether you would like to see rates with additional services

Results are shown for the full price you’d pay in the first year and the second year (as many companies have 12-month introductory offers).

Changing tariffs is easy and free, you’ll need to locate your Unified Supply Point Code CUPS number on your bill – an alphanumeric code starting with ES – to quote when speaking with the company.

Remember..

Don’t forget that there are lots of new and smaller companies, you don’t need to go with one of the well-known names. Even if a smaller company stops trading, your electricity will never be cut off. Why? Smaller companies don’t generate power, they simply buy and sell it on the free market. One of the big companies always has overall responsibility for the supply and they will be identified on your bills.

If you’re wondering about green energy, it’s available but with a catch. As all electricity is supplied via the national grid, you can’t guarantee that your household supply comes from green sources. Over time we should see this change as demand for green energy increases.

Saving: Between the cheapest and most expensive tariffs, over 200€ per year 👍🏻

Are maintenance service contracts worthwhile?

Well, it depends. Do you have a separate boiler contract? If so, then you may find that you’re paying twice for the same thing.

Remember, lots of special tariffs come with a mandatory maintenance contract. If your home is quite new, you may be paying for nothing. For older homes it may be worthwhile.

Saving: Around 10€ per month 👍🏻

MSS Tips

More ways to save:

  1. Regulate your air con and heating. The recommended temperature for your home is 18 to 21ºC. Changing the setting by a couple of degrees means more savings.
  2. If you have a maintenance contract and change provider, the maintenance contract will NOT be cancelled by your current supplier. The maintenance contract is included on your normal bills “for your convenience”, but is actually a separate contract. If you decide to cancel your maintenance contract, you must specifically inform the company.

Related Post: Bottled Gas in Spain: All You Need to Know