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Electricity suppliers - and how to change them

- Updated: 13/01/2011

As of July 1st 2009 new legistlation opens up the market with regards to the supply of electricity and enabling consumers to change electricity suppliers...

Electricity suppliers - and how to change them

Since July 1st 2009, electricity suppliers in Spain have been sending out letter to their customers advising them of changes to legislation and how they can change electricy supplier if required.

As in the UK a decade or so ago, the idea is to open up the market to other providers and them to buy the power from the major electricity companies and then sell it on to consumers. This (In theory anyway) should eliminate any monopoly and as a result standards of customer care and competitive pricing should follow.

So far so good, but there are a number of questions to ask yourself before making a decision on which supplier to choose. Furthermore there is also a price increase expected over the Summer of 2009 – and nobody seems to know yet how much that will be, or how it will affect the tariffs passed on to consumers in an open market.

The majority of the letters that have been sent out offer the consumer 3 Options :

- To change over to one of the new Suppliers of electricity (The companies which will be allowed to sell electricity after 1st July). There are currently 18 suppliers appointed and some of them are already supplying electricity in Spain, so if they are already supplying you they will doubtlessly try to retain your business! So it could be worthwhile to get in touch with each company to find out their rates, or just to wait for them to contact you with their offers.

- Next there are a short list of 5 Suppliers , which are all current providers in Spain (depending on where you live) and they are described as “ Last Resort Suppliers “ - who are obliged to supply electricity at a price no higher that fixed by the government. These companies currently offer no more than a 2% discount on the government tariff, and an automatic formula to set the new TUR rate – Tarifa de Último Recurso or Last Resort Tariff – will largely depend on the result of a ‘power auction’ between the new electricity suppliers due to take place in the second half of June. The TUR companies are Endesa, Iberdrola, Unión Fenosa, Hidrocantábrico and EON.

- Finally you can elect to take no action at all. This will means that you will automatically stay on your current tariff if you fail to move to a different provider before 1st July. It means your supply and invoices will come from a TUR company which belongs to the power group from which you currently contract your electricity supply.(So in short , nothing much should really change)

As part of this re-structuring a new tariff has been introduced - The ‘Tarifa Social , which applies to the owners of homes with a contracted power supply below three kilowatts However to be eligible for this the property must be a main residence and it must be fitted with a power limiter.

Understandablly this is a complicated issue for many Non-Spanish and the best advise is simply to wait and see what offers are made available after the new legislation takes effect. As in the UK , there is no deadline on when you have to choose who to buy your electricity from , and as a default you will simply remain a client of your current provider until you decide otherwise.

Comment on this Article

my electricity bill doubled from Nov to Dec a bit confused as nothing extra was on or added. has anyone else had this problem ?
Brad - Thu 1st Feb 2018
We always recommend using (and sticking with) the main electricity distribution company in your area regardless of all the so-called cheap tariffs they offer. Where we are based on the Costa Blanca, that is Iberdrola. This is simply because if you have a problem it can be a nightmare to resolve. BETTER THE DEVIL YOU KNOW!
Sparks Electrical Services - Sat 24th Sep 2016
For legal issues with utility companies it's best to use a solicitor.
Sparks Electrical Services - Sat 24th Sep 2016
Confused to say the least!! My husband has in the last few months has received various bills from the last provider and the new , both with differing amounts for the same usage. Which is the best way to challenge them both.
Patricia Macgregor - Fri 23rd Sep 2016
I am told that Endesa is cheaper than Iberdrola for ordinary household electricity use. Is this correct?
Arrowsmith - Fri 24th Jul 2015
Les : Of all the places in Spain you have to have chosen the Town with perhaps the most complicated situation ! Although Iberdrola are the Electricity provider for the Town, the Infrastructure itself is actually owned by a small local provider (their offices are at the back of Las Ocas). Because this company paid for the first infrastructure to bring electricity to the Valley it is written into law that they are able to claim a percentage / surcharge on the tariff. You would be better off speaking with them in the first instance as to what your options are !
Tumbit - Admin - Sat 14th Feb 2015
Who are the electricity suppliers in my area (Jalon) and how can I find out their tariffs?
Les Power - Fri 13th Feb 2015
Stick with the devil you know !
Tony Poole - Tue 1st Oct 2013
Are there any comparison sites for electricity in Spain ? (like go compare, uswitch, etc what we have in the UK )
Louise - Mon 30th Sep 2013
I switched to Iberdrola and discovered I was being charged as though I did not have an ICP when I have one. I emailed them to be told to sort it out with Sevillana/Endesa who I was with before. Do not change to Iberdrola !!
Mark Milner - Wed 27th Mar 2013
Has anyone had firsthand experience of going through this process - with favourable results ?
Peter Simpson - Wed 18th Jul 2012
Are you paying 80 euros per month on a fixed monthly payment, or is this for your actual useage ? - You could also try changing your tariff
S White - Fri 16th Sep 2011
I have a small 2 bed apartment no air con or ceiling fans and my bills are 80 euros a month !! compared to my neighbours who have air con etc whose bills are around 30-40 euros a month I spend half the year in the uk and have emailed iberdrola but all they say is that the bills are for usage even when the house is locked up and will do nothing can anyone help ? thank you
Carolyn - Fri 9th Sep 2011
we haven't bothered changing from Iberdrola as yet, here in Bizkaia. One thing we would like to do though concerns the "potencia contratada" which refers to the max power rating. It's normally 4.6kW which is deemed enough for the average Spanish household. That's because few of them use the oven! If you do & then have another electric ring on high, you may find the circuit trips, just when you're doing some work on the computer!! You can get the rating increased provided you have the "boletin de electricidad" which is supplied when an electricity system is first installed.
Paul Attard - Wed 24th Aug 2011
I looked into changing suppliers very briefly a year ago when my bills started to shoot up. I shopped around and prices seemed to be much of a muchness, but I was able to reduce my bills with Iberdrola by changing my tariff. Might be worth looking into that.
Mr Grumpy - Thu 23rd Jun 2011
Since the date has long gone, is there anyone out there who has changed from Iberdrola to another company and was there a great saving. My recent invoice was 75 euros dearer than the same time last year with no extras!
Diane Hayes - Tue 14th Jun 2011
Whilst it is true that there are more than just these 3 providers, between them they seem to cover more than 90% of the country. None of them operate nationally (yet) : In very general terms Iberdrola cover large parts of Eastern, Western and Northern Spain ; Endesa are very strong in Catalonia and Union Fenosa were traditionally strong in the central part of the country. This is a very fluid situation and it remains to be seen exactly how things will change in the coming months.
Tumbit - Admin - Mon 2th Aug 2010
I see you list Endesa, Iberdrola, Unión Fenosa as the top 3 companies in Spain. Do they all operate nationally across Spain?
Anita Brown - Mon 2th Aug 2010
Thank you for responding to my query. I have visited the recommended site and now think I understand - I have certainly moved forward anyway, many thanks - very good site!
Max King - Fri 21st May 2010
Max, I have found an interesting site that may be able to answer some of your questions on ICP's - just open up Google-Translate and then paste this link into the box that appears... Please let us know how you get on !
Tumbit - Admin - Thu 20th May 2010
Very interesting!- I have just received a registered letter which says I must have an ICP fitted. On checking I find I already have an ICP so not sure what to do - any ideas? We are with Endesa. I went to the Endesa office in Los Boliches and failed to see anyone after a 3 hour wait.
Max King - Thu 20th May 2010
Judith, unfortunately many people are finding themselves in a similar situation after such a cold winter. It might be worth contacting your supplier and asking if you can pay a higher monthly charge during the summer months in order to take the sting out of the winter payments. I assume that you are also receiving your Winter Fuel Allowance (from the UK) that you entitled to as being Pensioners ?
Tumbit - Admin - Tue 13th Apr 2010
We are with Endesa for our electricity, and back in November changed to what we thought would be a better and cheaper tarrif i.e. TUR Discriminacio Horaria! With the very cold winter, and even though we put a time clock on our water boiler, are bills are huge. We have a 4 storey village house, totally electric, 5 economy radiators etc. Our last bill for 26/02/10 upto 24/03/10 was 339.25 with 2 of the radiators switched off! I got Endesa to check the meter and they said it was all ok! We don't know what to do, as pensioners we cannot afford to carry on! We have purchased a calor gas heater and are going to get 2 more for next winter, but they cause condensation! Any ideas?
Mrs Judith Wilkinson - Mon 12th Apr 2010