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ELECTRICITY

The cheapest rates Spain’s electricity companies don’t want you to know about

Finding a cheaper tariff is one of the best ways to counteract skyrocketing electricity bills, but a leading consumer watchdog has warned Spain’s electricity providers are not always open to telling customers about the best deal they can get.

cheapest rates electricity spain
Finding the more affordable rates can be difficult to do, and often Spanish electricity companies make them deliberately difficult to get hold of. Photo: Colin Behrens/Pixabay

Like in many parts of the world, inflation triggered by the war in Ukraine has made the energy market incredibly volatile and sent household electricity bills soaring in Spain. The average bill reached €158 in August, an eye-watering increase of over 60 percent compared to 2021.

To give you some idea of just how much prices have risen in Spain, in August of 2020 the average electricity bill was €64, in 2021 it was €93, and in August 2022 €158.

According to recent figures from Eurostat, electricity bills in Spain have risen eight times more than in France and four times more than in Germany. Whereas the average Spanish household paid 60 percent more in August compared to 2021, in France it rose by just 7.7 percent and in Germany 16.6 percent.

The Spanish government has tried various methods to ease the burden on households. In June the tax (IVA) on electricity bills was cut from 21 percent to 10 percent, and then it was quickly reduced again from 10 percent to 5. The European Commission agreed to cap gas used for power generation at €40 per megawatt-hour known as the ‘Iberian Exception’, with the price limit projected to average out at €50 over the coming 12 months.

READ MORE: Spain to cut electricity tax by half to ease inflation pain 

The Spanish government predicted the measure — which will be in effect until May 31st 2023 — would lead to a reduction in household energy prices of up to 20 percent, yet it has done little to limit the rise of electricity bills so far.

READ MORE:

Unsurprisingly, many Spaniards are now seeking ways to cut down on their bills, whether it be by using the washing machine at certain times to take advantage of off-peak hours, or limiting their use of air-conditioning.

Another method of saving on electricity costs is finding cheaper tariffs.

Yet finding the more affordable rates can be difficult to do, and often the electricity companies make them deliberately difficult to get hold of. That’s according to Spain’s Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU), which have identified some of the cheapest tariffs on the market today. 

Understanding peak and off-peak

Spanish electricity companies offer different prices depending on the time of day you use your electrical appliances. The tariffs are often broken down into hora punta (peak time), hora llana (flat time), and hora valle (off-peak).

If you live in Spain, this is why you might’ve heard the incessant spinning of washing machines through the night in recent months. Nowadays many people simply wait until the weekend, when the tariffs are always off-peak.

So, if you’re thinking about switching, which are some of the best electricity rates you can find in Spain?

Repsol Tarifa Largo Plazo

According to the OCU, the Repsol Tarifa ‘Largo Plazo’ can only be found via this link, because the offer is actually hidden on the Repsol website. And for good reason, too. The Repsol tariff is among the best offers the  market in terms of price per kWh consumed, although the power for off-peak time is a little more than some of the other offers on the list.

The tariff is non-permanent, with a fixed price rate for 3 years.

kWh Prices

Price per kWh consumed: €0.17/kWh.

Peak hours: €29.90 per kW.
Off-peak hours: €29.90 per kW.

Iberdrola Online Plan

The Iberdrola Online Plan, which you can find here, is only available until September 30th, so be sure to take advantage of it as soon as possible.

Using Iberdrola’s online tool, you can select a kW rate and it will give you price estimates for the different values. If you’re environmentally minded, Iberdrola’s Online Plan claims to use 100 percent green electricity, so you can enjoy renewable energy and reduce your CO2 emissions.

There’s also 14 hours of savings during the night up until mid-morning.

This plan is only for customers who take out the contract online, as the name suggests, and features entirely electronic billing.

kWh Prices

Price per kWh consumed: €0.159353 + metered gas cost (in August €0.161529 /kWh).
Price per kW contracted during peak hours (fixed term): €30.66747.
Price per kW contracted during off-peak hours (fixed term): €4.104338. 

Not the prices will be revised in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) on January 1st. 

Octopus Energy

Octopus Energy tariffs are not permanent and is all done online, which allows you the flexibility to move around again in the future if you come across a better offer. Octopus offer two fixed prices:

Octopus 3: price per kWh consumed during peak hours is 0.254 €/kWh; at flat time 0.209 €/kWh; and at off-peak hours 0.185 €/kWh.

Octopus Relax: price per kWh consumed of 0.212 €/kWh.

kWh Prices (both Octopus tariffs) 

Peak hours (fixed term): €32.85.
Off-peak hours (fixed term): €6.57.

Iberdrola Special Plan

The Iberdrola Special Plan offers a 15 percent discount during the first year, and its kWh prices for both on and off-peak are competitive with other cheaper tariffs.

kWh Prices

Price per kWh consumed: €0.178662 (minus the 15 percent extra discount) but plus a gas metering cost (which in August was €0.161529/kWh.)

Peak hours (fixed term): €30.52381
Off-peak hours (fixed term): €3.512901

Endesa ‘One Luz’ Tariff 

Endesa is currently offering the ‘One Luz’ tariff, which offers a 10 percent discount on consumption and an additional 10 percent reduction throughout the first year.

kWh Prices

Price per kWh consumed: €0.189 (plus the 10 percent +10 percent discount) + the metered gas cost (which in August was €0.161529/KWh).

Peak hours (fixed term): €33.86.

Off-peak hours (fixed term): €7.9973

Total Energies

Another interesting option is Total Energies, who offer entirely personalised pricing plans. Basically, Total Energies want to attract your business by outdoing your current rate. In order to receive a quote and see how it stacks up against your current provider, you simply upload a copy of your current bill to the website and Total Energies make an offer, often bettering your current rate.

If they make an offer, Total Energies promise a discount lasting for 4 years, although the price on which the discount is fixed is only valid for 12 months.

READ MORE: 11 ways to cut costs as Spain’s electricity rates beat all-time price records

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For members

TAX

EXPLAINED: What are Spain’s new regional tax breaks?

Seven Spanish regions have announced tax breaks which act as an extra benefit to the income tax reductions announced by the national government recently. Read on to find out what they are and how they could help you save.

EXPLAINED: What are Spain's new regional tax breaks?

With Spain gearing up for local elections in May 2023 and a general election expected at the end of next year, regional governments and the left-wing national government are immersed in a tax war to sway the voting balance in their favour, with the official message being to help people across the country deal with the consequences of inflation and the rising energy and daily costs.

The biggest news so far has been that the national government has decided to reduce the income tax of people earning up to €21,000 ($20,200) per year, while introducing a new “solidarity tax” for those with more than €3 million.

READ MORE: How much will you save with Spain’s national income tax cut?

Spain’s Personal Income Tax (IRPF) is a state tax, but half of its collection is controlled by the autonomous communities.

As such, each region can change its income tax brackets and the reductions will apply to the 50 percent of IRPF collected by the regional government. It does not represent a reduction in the overall income tax rate, but it certainly helps.

In recent weeks, several regions have announced tax breaks as well, but unlike those announced by the country’s Tax Minister María Jesús Montero, they’re not all related to income tax for low earners alone.

Madrid

Madrid has announced that it will reduce its regional IRPF by 4.1 percent. It is scheduled to come into force at the beginning of 2023 and is aimed at helping its citizens “face high inflation and the rise in energy, fuel or food prices,” according to the local government.

Once it is fully approved this year, it will be added to the tax validated by the Community of Madrid and which will mean an estimated collective saving of more than €300 million.

Madrid also recently announced that from Q1 2023, new autónomos in the region will have their social security fees paid for by her government for their first year of being self-employed. If their monthly earnings are below minimum wage in the second year (€1,166 gross a month), they will also have their social security fees covered by the regional government.

READ ALSO: New self-employed workers in Madrid to pay no social security tax

Valencia region

In late September, Valencian regional president Ximo Puig announced several financial reforms, which will make taxes in the region more progressive.

The biggest of these reforms was a reduction in the regonal income tax rates for those earning under €60,000 gross a year. This is estimated to help 97.4 percent of Valencian taxpayers or 1.34 million workers.

The new income rates will be retroactive and apply to earnings from January 1st 2022, so will be applied to the 2022 annual income tax declaration next year.

READ ALSO: Spain’s Valencia region lowers income tax for yearly earnings under €60K

Balearic Islands

On Monday, October 3rd Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced several fiscal incentives for the Balearic Islands.

The 2023 General State Budget will incorporate new specific tax deductions for the Balearic Islands. This will mean a deduction of 90 percent of the tax base in the corporate tax and income tax for non-residents for investments that promote job creation in the region.

There will also be a bonus of 10 to 20 percent for the sale of assets produced in the Balearic Islands within the industrial, livestock, agricultural and fishing industries.

Both of these are due to come into effect on January 1st, 2023. The Balearic Government estimates that these incentives will mean savings of €208 million for 47,000 companies and 71,000 self-employed workers.

Galicia

The government of Galicia has also announced certain tax breaks for its residents, including lowering personal income tax, from 9.4 to 9 percent, for those who earn below €35,000. This will also be in effect retroactively from January 1st, 2022.

Galician regional president Alfonso Rueda has also decided to reduce its wealth tax for residents with worldwide assets above €700,000 by a further 25 percent to reach 50 percent.

Andalusia

In Andalusia, the authorities will reduce the IRPF rate by 4.3 percent. It will affect all taxpayers and will be applied retroactively from January 1st, 2022 and will be reflected in the personal income tax return filed next year.

Andalusian regional president Juanma Moreno also announced that Spanish nationals and foreigners who reside in the southern Spanish region or have a second home there, and whose worldwide assets are above €700,000, will receive a 100 percent tax deduction on the region’s wealth tax. In other words, they will not have to pay any tax on their assets as is the case in almost all of Spain’s regions.

Murcia

Murcia will reduce its regional personal income tax by 4.1 percent, a measure which it estimates will benefit 330,000 residents, resulting in total savings between €8.5 and €10 million. It will affect 96 percent of those required to submit the income tax return, according to the regional government. 

Castilla y León

The regional government of Castilla y León has approved a draft law on tax reductions, which will allow personal income in the first tax bracket to be lowered by 5.3 percent.

Aragón, Cantabria and Navarra

Although the northern regions of Aragón, Cantabria and Navarra have not yet announced tax breaks, all three of them are currently contemplating it.  

In late September, Aragón’s regional president Javier Lambán admitted that it was a “possibility” if the four parties that make up his government agree.

In Navarra, the government is working on an “extraordinary deduction” on personal income tax for those who earn less than €32,000 gross per year.

The leader of the Cantabrian region Miguel Ángel Revilla also stated that “If the tide goes that way, we are not going to be left out”.

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