I’ve been dreading doing this article because the changes to the billing system for domestic electric and supply are a nightmare to understand, let alone explain. But here goes …
Starting at the beginning of this month, the whole system changed (it was complicated enough even how it was) but now everybody is stuck on a variable pricing system depending on the time of day. Needless to say, when you most need to consume electricity, the price per hour is at its highest.
The Government is trying to sell it as a good deal because the fixed charges are lower, they point out, but that little reprieve is wiped out by the higher price of energy consumed.
It doesn’t matter who is billing you (ie, which company) nor whether you are already on a PVPC contract (Voluntary Price for the Small Consumer) as opposed to a fixed contract, this change will affect everybody.
Peak hours: Monday to Friday excluding national public holidays, from 10.00h to 14.00h and from 18.00h to 22.00h.
Intermediate hours: From Monday to Friday from 08.00h to 10.00h and from 14.00h to 18.00h and then 22.00h to 23.59h.
Cheap-rate hours: from 00.01h to 08.00 and 24 hours a day on weekends and national public holidays *.
* They have to be ‘national’ bank holidays; regional or local ones don’t count as this is a nationwide system imposed by the Central Government.
The terms used in Spanish are topographical: peak, plains and valley hours, but it doesn’t make much sense translating it directly, so we have used peak, intermediate and cheap-rate.
But it doesn’t stop there because you can also change your contact for variable wattage; ie, the maximum kilo-wattage that you can use at any given moment.
Therefore, you can opt to have a higher wattage delivery (peak power) from 08.00h to midnight or lower-wattage delivery (valley power) from midnight to 08.00h and 24 hours a day on weekends and national bank holidays.
The Government says that with these changes it intends to adapt the system to the ones used in other European countries, by reducing fixed or standing charges and increase the charge for electricity consumed, which would favor better, energy consumption; ie, less.
Who will benefit from this? Well, those that charge their electric cars during the night, as well as those that have holiday homes which are uninhabited most of the time (no consumption and cheaper standing charges). Those that want to iron their clothes after midnight could also make a small saving… Weekends are going to turn into ironing and washing days, that’s for sure.
However, with the summer upon us, aircon use is going to be much more expensive, that’s for sure.
Anyway, if there is an electricity company that can explain in English how it all works, I guess it is Evergreen Electrica, so why not contact them?