According to data from OMIE, the operator that manages the daily and intraday electricity market in the Iberian Peninsula, the price of electricity in the wholesale market will rise again today for the third consecutive day (in this case 6.75%) until reaching a daily average of 89.94 euros per megawatt hour (MWh), close to 94.99 euros last Friday, the second highest figure in history after 103.76 euros on January 11, 2002.
The prices of electricity in the wholesale market continue to rise in the midst of the cold wave but the transfer to the bill paid by users will not occur with the same intensity. It must be taken into account that the cost of energy production has a weight of just over 30% in the receipt (the rest are taxes, transport and distribution tolls, subsidies for renewables and other costs) and that more than 60% of Asturian households are in the free electricity market, so the price they pay is the one that the marketers have offered them for a given period. Yes it directly affects consumers with regulated tariffs. According to the simulator of the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC), in the first twelve days of January the electricity bill for a consumer with a contracted power of 4.4 kilowatts and an annual consumption of 3,000 kilowatt hours received At the regulated rate or Voluntary Price for the Small Consumer (PVPC), it would reach 55.30 euros, 35.35% more than the cost of the invoice for the first twelve days of 2020. And among the users with a regulated rate are all the beneficiaries of the social bonus, who have to take advantage of the PVPC in their habitual residence to be able to access discounts of between 25% and 40%.
According to data from the Ministry for the Ecological Transition closed to October 2020, in Asturias there are 28,130 beneficiaries of the electricity social bonus. Of these, 21,157 are beneficiaries by income criteria; 4,368 per large family; 2,492 for being pensioners with a minimum benefit and 113 for being highly affected by the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. All of them will have greater difficulties in paying the bill by raising the price just when there is greater electricity consumption due to the cold wave. Prices have skyrocketed due to the fall in the production of renewables, the strong increase in demand (which has, for example, made the Soto de Ribera coal plant work again after months of shutdown) and the rise in the gas price, which is setting prices in the wholesale electricity market.
The Government Spokesperson, Maria Jesus Montero, yesterday described the rise in electricity as “a specific circumstance, limited to the storm” that occurs throughout Europe. Asked about the electoral promise of the PSOE on a future reduction of VAT on electricity bills, Montero pointed out that Spain is warned by the EC for the use “in an abusive or excessive way” of the reduced and super-reduced VAT.