New Three-Tiered Electricity Tariffs “Impractical” For Families

Prince Christian (left) with his family in the summer

Families with children find the new electricity rates impossible, says FEFN. Credit: Franne Voigt

The Spanish Federation of Large Families (FEFN) has criticised the new electricity tariffs saying the three-tiered system of rates is impractical for families with children.

THE new system of peak, flat and valley is “good theory but absurd in practice,” the FEFN said in a statement.

“It is absurd in practice, because putting the washing machine or the dishwasher on, or ironing clothes at night is something that an average family cannot normally do,” said Jose Manuel Trigo, president of the FEFN.

“A family with children cannot wash their clothes at 12 at night which is when they have to rest. We are talking about working families who have to get up early the next day, and who consume in a basic way such as washing the dishes or the family’s clothes. You can’t leave all this for the weekend, especially if you are dealing with large families. It’s unthinkable,” he added.

The FEFN joins a chorus of consumer organisations who are against the new system and have called on the government to reduce VAT on electricity instead, which at 21 per cent is one of the highest VAT rates on electricity in Europe.

An analysis carried out by consumer groups OCU and Facua indicated that most households would see increased bills under the new rates.

Peak prices, for example between 9pm and 10pm, will be 116 per cent more expensive than during off peak hours before 8am.

Three times sections have been set for the new electricity tariffs: peak, flat and valley.

The peak period, in which the cost of tolls and charges will be higher, will be between 10am and 2pm and 6pm and 10pm; the flat section, with an intermediate cost, will be between 8am and 10am, 2pm and 6pm and between 10 pm and midnight; the valley rate, the cheapest of the three, will be between midnight and 8am and at all hours over the weekends and holidays.

The change will apply to electricity rates for power below 15kw, which means households and small and medium businesses will be affected.

Millions of people, including thousands of British residents in Spain, who have less than 15kw contracted, will change to a single tariff regardless of the tolls they were paying before.

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Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.