The majority of Spanish households (63%) do not know in which market (free or regulated) they have contracted the electricity supply and 22% do not know the power included in their electricity contract either. In fact, only one in four knows the difference between the two modalities, according to the National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC), which also indicates that in the case of gas users this percentage falls from 25% to 18% .
The CNMC estimates that during the first half of 2020, the average monthly electricity expenditure of Spanish households increased by 14% compared to the same period of the previous year, which translated into a 5% increase in the bill, which reached the 49.8 euros, taxes included.
If we differentiate between households that have contracted the supply in the regulated market (also called PVPC, Voluntary Price for the Small Consumer) and those that have it in the free market, the average monthly expenditure of the former is 37 euros while that of the seconds is 56.3. The calculation has been made without taking into account the consumption of the beneficiary families of the social bond or including the expenses in other billable services such as insurance or maintenance fees
Despite the increase in electricity consumption recorded during the confinement, those who are in the free market have paid less than during the first half of last year. With a consumption of 172.2 KWh / month, the average bill was 41.4 euros, almost four and a half euros more than from January to June 2020, when consumption was 188.1 kWh / month. On the other hand, households that have a contract in the free market have increased both their average spending and their consumption; In mid-2019, the monthly expenditure was 52.7 euros and the consumption was 186.8 kWh and this year it was 3.6 euros and 27.6 kWh / month more.
The CNMC warns that “direct comparison of the expenses invoiced between both contracting modalities would not be adequate, since, in addition to total consumption, the electricity consumption patterns of each segment can be very different.” As an example of this disparity, he assures that in the free market, households contracted an average power of 4.3 kW while in the regulated market it was 4.1 kW.
However, if the regulated prices for power and electricity consumption in the regulated market are assigned to the average consumption obtained from the free market bills, a hypothetical monthly expense of 40.5 euros is obtained, that is, 15.9 euros less ( 28.2%) than what was billed on average to households in the free market. However, these data should not be taken as a valid reference to make contracts or change rates, which vary depending on the type of consumption of each household. To make particular estimates, the CNMC makes available to users a comparator of electricity and gas offers in both markets.