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Spain's Misleading Electricity Discount Offers

Source: FACUA - Sun 27th Jan 2013
Spain's Misleading Electricity Discount Offers

The FACUA-Consumers in Action website has reported how the "discounts" offered by a number of Utility companies actually results in the average bill being 11% more expensive than before any such "saving" are applied.

The uncovers the misleading advertising and the fraudulent practices committed by its salespeople, who usually promise that extra services will not result in increased, and that tariffs will remain fixed for a given period.

FACUA investigated various offers from Iberdrola, Endesa, Gas Natural Fenosa, HC Energía and E.On ahead of the Last Resort Tariff (TUR) applied by the Government at the start of the year.

The report analysed the individual "tricks" used by each company :

Gas Natural Fenosa

Offers a 15% discount on the TUR for the first year, which represents a saving of €1,53 per month for a user with 4,4 kW supply (the most common). The catch is that this is conditional on the hiring of an electrical faults and appliances helpdesk that costs €4,44 a month.

A further other offer from Gas Natural Fenosa increases the discount to 20%, saving €1,61 for the same user. But it requires the recruitment of a repairs service and other housing repairs, adding both €8,88 per month.

Therefore, with the 1st offer the bill increases by 3,6% (€2,91 per month) and with the 2nd it grows by 8,5% (€6,84 per month).

However, after the first 12 months the discount no longer applies and the bill is 5,5% more expensive than with the TUR (€4,44 a month) in the 1st case and 11,0% (€8,88 a month) in the 2nd.


also offers a discount of 15% on the TUR during the 1st year - but there are no savings because it requires the service of an electrical helpdesk which during the first 2 months costs €1,99. So the intermediate user´s bill increases by 0,6% (€0,46 a month).

However, the biggest trick used by Endesa comes after the user has been with them for 12 months, because the discount expires and the support feature more than doubles in price, to €3,99 per month.

This results in an increase of around 4,7% over the TUR (€3,99 a month).


has an identical tariff to the TUR, in which the contracts are so-called "payment protection services" that cost €0,96 per month, increasing the average monthly bill by 1,2%.

But it´s main offer is a "discount" of 10%, which applies to a rate that is more expensive than that set by the government, and when applied, the difference below the TUR is only 2,5%.

Furthermore, the contracts include the aforementioned "payment protection service". So, if the consumer falls victim to the false advertising of its salespeople, they will end up paying 6,8% more (€5,50 per month) than they would with the TUR.


offers a 12% discount on the TUR, but the condition is that €1,91 per month is paid for a "home support service". So, an average bill increases by 0,9% (€0,69 per a month).

The Company also increases the discount to 20% if the consumer opts for e-billing. In this case, the intermediate user ends up paying practically the same as they would with the TUR, with a difference down to only 0,2% (€0,13 per month). Those who have a lower consumption, at less than 366 kWh per month, will be at a disadvantage when compared to the TUR.

HC Energias

is the only one of the 5 companies that offers a discount in the price of energy consumed, although it is only 2% on the TUR, on the condition that the consumer opts for 2-billing. For the average user, the savings result to 1,7% (€1,40 monthly).

In some communities, the company also offers the option of a 4% discount per kWh, on condition that e-billing is used, as well as the contracting of a "repairs service", billed as 2 x €37,76 for the first year.

The average consumer would therefore pay the same as they would with the TUR, 0,4% less than with the TUR (€0,34 per month).

In the 2nd year, the additional service of HC Energia costs €75,52, so to obtain energy savings, the consumer pays 4,3% more (€3,49 a month) than with the TUR.

Recommended Reading

FACUA : Electricity Discounts

Comment on this Story

Lol - We just did ! (Credits to FACUA, of course...)
Tumbit - Admin - Sun, 27th Jan 2013
You couldn't write it, could you?
David - Sun, 27th Jan 2013

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