If your Spanish electricity bill seems indecipherable or you have trouble understanding the information that appears there, keep reading. Here we explain how to read it.
To save on the electricity bill you have to know how to interpret it. The first step is to know if the company belongs to the regulated or free market. In the regulated, there is no loss: all bills are the same. In the free market, on the other hand, each company has its own design. To know in which market our trading company operates, you just have to look at the logo on the invoice and check if it is one of the eight reference companies (regulated market). And then? You have to look at five concepts, which are the ones that are actually paid. We tell you about them here, as well as each section of an electricity bill.
Five things that make your electricity bill more expensive
Contracted power. It is the maximum amount of electricity that can be used at the same time. It is a fixed amount, so it does not change according to consumption, as the concept of energy does. Thus, if much more power is contracted than is needed, the user will be losing money. According to Red Eléctrica Española, the average power contracted by a Spanish household is 4.4 kW.
Energy consumed. This item includes the access toll, which is what companies charge for transporting and distributing energy and which, according to the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC), represents about 41% of the bill.
Tax on electricity. 5.127% rate established by the Ministry of Industry, which is applied to the costs of contracted power and energy and is destined to public funds of the State.
VAT. It is 21% and is added to the total bill.
How to read an electric bill (and understand it)
To explain this, we use as an example an invoice from the Iberdrola company in the free market because it has the largest market share and, therefore, represents the invoices of most of the consumers.
Titles in Spanish
2. Datos del consumidor.
3. Datos de la factura:
4. Resumen de la factura.
5. Evolución del consumo.
6. Datos de suministro.
7. Detalle de factura:
1. Company logo. Identifies the company that issues the invoice, that is, the marketer. Here you can check if you belong to the free market or the regulated one.
2. Consumer data.
3. Invoice details:
• Invoice number. Tax identification number.
• Reference. Unique code that is assigned to each invoice. It is asked if a claim needs to be made.
• Date of issue.
• Billing period. Billed time interval. It can be monthly or bi-monthly.
• Type of reading. Your position depends on each company. It is necessary to distinguish whether it is a real reading (the one that the meter marks on the specific date) or an estimated reading (if there is no meter data). The latter may be less accurate because it is based on previous consumptions. An estimated and a real invoice is usually alternated, because the meter reading is taken every two months.
4. Summary of the invoice. Exposes the breakdown of the amount. Pay attention to the following aspects:
• Energy. In this part of the document, under the concept "energy" the fixed price of the contracted power (kW) and the consumption (in kWh) are added. It also includes the electricity tax (5.1127%).
• Services and other concepts. Here comes the meter rent, which will automatically be added to the bill each month, and those extra services contracted. A smart meter ranges between 0.81 and 2 euros per month and an analog one, between 0.62 and 1 euros. If the meter is purchased, the price is around 200 euros, excluding administrative verification costs.
• VAT. The Value Added Tax (or IGIC, in the Canary Islands) is 21%, and is calculated on the total amount of electricity (energy, power and electricity tax).
5. Evolution of consumption. It is a graph that shows the evolution of consumption in the last months or the last year. It usually highlights whether the measurement of each month has been real or estimated, in addition to calculating the average daily consumption.
6. Supply data. In addition to the user's bank details, the payment method and the meter number, it provides these others:
• Hired potency. Fixed amount that is paid, even if there is no consumption.
• Access toll. Rate set by the Ministry that varies depending on the contracted power. If it is less than 10 kW, it will put 2.0. If there is hourly discrimination, it will be 2.0 DHA. In April 2021 it was unified under the 2.0 TD and corresponds to an hourly discrimination rate in three periods.
• CUPS. Code that identifies the facility and location. It is maintained, even if the marketer is changed. It is necessary for company changes and to analyze rates in the CNMC comparator, as it varies depending on the postal code.
7. Invoice detail:
• Billed power. The power is multiplied by the number of billing days and the price of kW / day.
• Energy consumed. It is calculated by multiplying the kWh consumed by the price established in the tariff. If there is time discrimination, the energy will be broken down by expense during peak hours and off-peak hours.
• Electricity tax. It corresponds to 5.1127%, and is applied to the sum of energy and power. If you have the social bonus, it will appear as "Social Bonus Discount", just before this tax.
8. Consumption. Meter readings are made every two months, so one month the reading is estimated. Some bills calculate the actual energy consumption for the period by subtracting the current (actual) reading from the previous (estimated) reading.1. Company logo. Identifies the company that issues the invoice, that is, the marketer. Here you can check if you belong to the free market or the regulated one.