“Do right, save light!”
Electricity prices in Spain are among the highest in all of Europe, exceeded only by Denmark, Germany, Belgium, and Ireland. According to Statista.com they have steadily climbed from 17.28€ per 100 kilowatt-hours in 2010 to 23,83€ in 2018, with peaks reaching up to 100€ or more per 100 kilowatt-hours and costs fluctuating on a daily basis.
As Stephanie Horsman highlighted in her article Bring On the Sun, high energy prices are deemed problematic as Spain's average income is also among the lowest. Many locals and expats face difficulty paying their electricity bills so anything that can keep costs down is welcome.
Why Are Prices So High? #
There are many factors that contribute to the rising costs of electricity in the country, one of which is the current environmental conditions. In an interview with Ontier, Eloy Márquez revealed that the environment and the weather can affect the prices due to a growth in demand. Particularly hot summers or cold winters mean higher consumption for air conditioning and heating which, in the Balearic Islands, is often electric, too.
Another culprit is the shutting down of nuclear plants in France. Since it's more profitable for Spain to import electricity from other nations and export the power it produces, the stoppage in part of the nuclear plants became a huge contributing factor to the exorbitant energy prices.
While Spain is actively working on keeping the costs of energy down, you can save by taking appropriate measures and figuring out the factors that cause their high electricity bills to rise more than usual.
What Factors Contribute to Your Electricity Bill #
Bad wiring: Sometimes, it's not your usage that's the problem—it's your faulty wiring. There may be some damage within your electrical system that needs further inspection and repairs. If in doubt, enlist the help of a licensed electrician to apply troubleshooting measures.
Using old appliances: Continuing to use appliances past their prime is a big no-no. Old appliances usually hog energy compared to new energy-efficient models. You might think you're saving money by not investing in replacements, but the old appliances that are still hanging around your home may be sucking you dry.
Failure to do maintenance on appliances: Electrical appliances need proper maintenance to function efficiently. When they're not cleaned or taken care of, they will not work as you expect them to, and when they are forced to work harder, they're going to use more energy. Be sure to do things like cleaning your refrigerator's coils, changing your air conditioner’s air filters, clearing the lint trap in your dryer, and installing a dimmer switch on lights.
How to Reduce Your Costs #
Figure out the different energy time slots: As The Local pointed out, there are six different energy time slots with varying prices for consumption. You have the option to choose between two different types of power rather than just a single one. In the hours of less consumption, using lower power can make a difference in your energy bills. Generally, on weekdays, the later in the day it is, the more expensive the electricity you use will be. The cheapest time slot runs from midnight to 8 am, and will be 20 percent more expensive come 8 am to 10 am, the same rate as 2 pm to 6 pm and 10 pm until midnight. Meanwhile, the costliest time slots are from 10 am to 2 pm and 6 pm to 10 pm. It should also be noted that weekends and public holidays fall in the cheapest time slot.
Use free charging points for electric vehicles: In this day and age, reducing carbon emissions is a huge concern for many individuals. Since Tesla Motors produced the first highway-legal all-electric car in 2008, Daydreaming in Paradise explains how public opinion has shifted to embrace this more environmentally-friendly form of transportation. In fact, Electrive reports how Spain is in the process of subsidizing electric mobility with a €45 million package called MOVES, including the development of public and private charging infrastructure. However, depending on the size of your battery and the number of cars, charging your vehicles may be contributing to your high electricity bill. As an alternative, Majorca Daily Bulletinreports how there will be over 500 new public charging points for the Balearics in the next two years. Two hundred of them will be rapid ones—the type that can fully charge your vehicle in 15 minutes—and will only charge around €5 on average.
Double-Check Your Energy Provider Readings #
According to the National Commission on Markets and Competition (CNMC), 70 percent of Spain’s electricity consumers don't understand how billing works. You may be paying for something that you're really not using. If you suspect that you are being made to pay for more than you consume, we recommend to seek help from an electrician to confirm that your meter is faulty and appeal to your electric company to get a refund. Moving forward, you should always check your bill before paying and make sure that the invoice matches what's in your meter.
Spain is already making strides in renewable energy deployment, with WindEurope noting that the country is Europe's leading market for onshore wind. But don't just depend on governmental efforts to reduce your electricity expenditure. You should still make it a point to take the necessary steps needed to lower your monthly energy bills.
Or, how about going solar? Now is the perfect time to upgrade your property. Check out our profile of Solysia.
#livinginspain #electricity #budgeting #Mallorca #Majorca
By Susan Carpenter
4 May, 2020