A friend of mine was commenting on the electricity "factura" and the huge increase in cost that he has had over the last couple of years. I did ask him if he had any increase on the consumption, but he affirmed that he was using the same amount of power as previous years.
It is a well known fact that the electric energy bill has risen about 60% since
2007 for the vast majority of consumers in Spain. One of the elements that explain this rise is that the fixed concept for the contracted power within the electricity bill. This measure assured
negative consequences to the pocket of the consumer and the environment. In addition to the negative impact on the personal economy, the environment also suffers. It is a kind of quasi flat fee,
where two-thirds of the bill are fixed, and only one, variable.
Hindrance on energy saving.
This new structure of charge (or levy) greatly hinders the implementation of systems of energy saving and efficiency.
With the implementation of this method of billing any saving awareness of electricity power is thus relegated.
Electricity production in Spain is based mostly on the use of coal and oil, which obviously generate carbon dioxide (CO2). In addition these emissions implicate changes in the climate; the use of fuels fossils also involves the delivering of chemical substances and harmful gases for the environment and worsens people's health.
The electric bill that pays the majority of citizens has increased by about 60% since 2007. However, the average income of Spanish households has decreased from that year in an 8.5%, according to data from the Institute National Statistics (INE). The consequences are easy to deduce: it has become very difficult to assume the cost of electricity, to the extent that around 1.4 million homes have suffered power cuts for non-payment of the electricity in Spain in 2012, more than double in the year 2006.
One of the factors explaining this rise on the electricity bill even if it is used the same power is the way in that it is billed now: the weight of fixed concepts has increased, while the variable cost has decreased. Consumers pay electric bill a fixed item, which is called "the contracted power", and one variable, the monthly consumption.
The "contracted power" is the maximum power that can be consumed in a same time.
On this issue, the companies point out without a bit of shame that this measure is necessary to offset the decline on consumption of energy in Spain and the costs of maintenance for the main infrastructures to bring electricity to each household.
Obviously if you opt for a very high "contracted power", many devices and electrical appliances can be operated at the same time, but obviously the fixed cost in the electricity bill will be higher, even when all appliances are switched off.
How to pay less for your electricity bill.
To lower the contracted power is a decision that each consumers can take to reduce the electric bill and to also reduce a greater environmental impact. To do this properly, it is recommended to follow the following four steps:
Calculate the savings that can be assumed. The average consumption of a home in Spain per year could be, according to the Institute for the diversification and the savings of energy (IDAE), are: the price of the fixed "contracted power", which is independent of the consumption that is made by the user, has gone from 21.8 Euros per kilowatt-hour in February 2013 to 42 Euros in February 2014: an annual surcharge of 114 Euros for an average contract of 5.7 kw which is what most people have opted for.
For example, in a home where it has a 100 W of lighting at the same time at night; a washing machine of 2.000W and other 1.000W for other appliances, is using a total simultaneous power of 3.100 W (3, 1kW) so therefore you could contract 3.3 kW of power.
The power to be hired is decision of the client, according to the equipment that is available at home.
How is that reflected in the electricity bill expressed in €/kW/month. For example, with a contracted power of 6.6kW almost €20 a month goes on the concept of contracted power and we know that this concept is paid even if the house is empty.
The power is controlled by the ICP Interrruptor de Control de Potencia (Power Control Switch), which you will find next to the general electric box usually inside the home. This switch, also called limit switch, disconnects, automatically if the contracted power is exceeded.