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Understanding your Spanish electricity bill PDF
Wednesday, 14 July 2010 00:00

... if you get one!

By Paul Whitelock

In the light of all the controversy that is currently raging about electricity, eg overcharging, bank accounts being ransacked by several direct debits coming all at once, no paper bills sent through the post, charging the increased VAT rate on electricity consumed before the VAT increase, it might be useful to take a look at your bill and what some of the headings or sections mean, and then complain.

Potencia (Power)
This is the amount of contracted energy your house receives, measured in kilowatts (1kW = 1000 W).  Contracts vary, eg 2.3, 3, 4.4, 5, 10 kW.  Probably most of us have inherited what the previous owners of the house had, which may not be enough.  If your system trips out at times, that means you need to increase your contracted potencia.  The best thing to do is tot up the amount of energy you need by looking for the rating on the plate on the base of all the appliances you might have on simultaneously.  If that total exceeds your contracted potencia, you need to request more from your electricity company.

Resumen (Summary)
This is a summary of the bill, with details of the date of the bill, the billing period, the number of the bill and the total amount due.

Consumo Eléctrico (Electricity consumption)
This shows the last two readings
Lectura real – actual reading
Lectura estimada – estimated reading
There is usually a bar graph showing recent consumption and your average daily cost of consumption.

Facturación (Billing)
Producto (Product)
This indicates the type of supply you have contracted, eg
Tarifa Eléctrica Simple – basic tariff
Tarifa D/H (Discriminación Horaria) – this is a cheaper off-peak tariff.  If you change to this tariff but use power outside the off-peak period, the rate for the peak power is higher than the basic tariff!

The Facturación section then lists your actual consumption in kilowatt hours (kWh) multiplied by the price per kWh; the charge per day for the contracted power; electricity tax; and IVA (VAT) giving you the corresponding total amount payable.

Datos de pago (Payment Details)
If you pay by domicilación (direct debit), this section shows your bank details.  You should check that these are correct.

Final comment
If there’s anything you do not understand, or don’t like or disagree with, COMPLAIN!  Just get una hoja de reclamación (complaint form) from your supplier, fill it in, date and sign it and hand in one copy to the company.  Make sure you get the other two copies stamped and keep them safe.  The company is obliged by law to respond within 10 working days, failing which they will be fined. If their response is unsatisfactory, you have the right to go to arbitration.

See also (Day)light robbery!

© Paul Whitelock



Paul Whitelock

Paul is a Joint Honours graduate in Spanish and German, a qualified teacher (PGCE) and has a Member of the Institute of Linguists (MIL) qualification.

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