Two-Monthly Electricity Bills

Just as consumers are getting used to the idea of a monthly electricity bill, it has now been decided to switch back to two-monthly ones. Gone, then, will be the ‘estimated readings’ so that you will only be charged for what you have actually used.

This Ministry of Industry decision, which will affect the 24 million domestic consumers in Spain, has still not gone through the administrative pipeline, but it is just a matter of time.

The monthly system came into being in September 2008 and was applied not only to electricity bills, but also to all ‘basic services;’ i.e., electricity, gas and land-line phones, despite opposition from the electricity companies, claiming that they did not have the resources to carry out monthly meter readings. Consequently, the Government authorised the electricity companies to apply estimated readings on alternative months.

Readers might also remember that the electricity companies tried to dishonestly charge extra when prices went up half way through a two-monthly period by including both months on the new higher rates – they were later forced to return the extra money charged.

The new Decreto Real, however, will give consumers the option to continue with monthly readers or swap over the 2-monthly ones.

The various consumers’ rights organisations have praised the new move, as have the electricity companies, as it will save them quite a bit of money on the administrative side.

(News: Spain)

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