The government will remove tens of thousands of companies from the regulated electricity tariff

The government is planning an in-depth screening of the number of companies still covered by the Small Consumer Voluntary Price (PVPC), the regulated electricity tariff.

The stock covered by this rate modality is mainly households. But, according to sources in the sector, there are also “tens of thousands of company contracts” still in the PVPC that will not benefit when the legal reform proposed by the Environmental Transition Ministry comes into force. .

In a draft decree out for consultation that plans to put more weight on futures markets in the formation of the PVPC to make it less volatile, Teresa Ribera’s department also suggests that as of January. In 2024, they can only benefit micro-enterprises: those with fewer than 10 workers or an annual turnover of less than 2 million euros.

However, company contracts will be left out – including SMEs and, it is said, some large companies in the sector – which are now covered by the PVPC for small office supplies, for example.

Currently, the only limitation to qualify for this regulated rate is that this supply has a maximum of 10 kilowatts (kW) of contracted capacity. The vast majority correspond to households, but there are also companies among them. how much There is no official estimate and the government has not specified the number of contracts that will be lost after the reform takes effect in early 2024.

Neither does Aelec, the employers of the big electricity companies, who in the past have demanded just that: keep SMEs out of the PVPC. The association, which said in a letter to questions about the issue that it was “assessing the issue”, also called for the rate modality to be a true indication of shelters for vulnerable people or halve maximum capacity. he.

Sources in the sector explain that a significant number of the company’s contracts are covered by the regulated electricity rate, although proportionally very few: “The figure is residual in relation to the total volume of PVPC customers, we are talking about tens of thousands. across Spain,” these sources said.

In the analysis report of the draft Royal Decree, which the Ministry submitted for public discussion, it is stated that about 10% of the points supplied under contract up to 10 kW are owned by companies.

Given that around 9.2 million stocks are covered by the PVPC, “the number of micro-enterprises eligible for the PVPC will be 881,360,” says the ministry, recalling that 95.8% of companies in Spain fall into this category.

Energy expert Pedro Fresco, director of the ecological transition of the Generalitat Valenciana, believes that the measure is likely to affect a limited number of companies because “in the end, these are contracts with very little capacity” that remain in the PVPC. It can be, he notes, “some companies that work in offices with different locations, or in small stores of some chain,” for example, in telephone.

The proposal put out for consultation by the ministry provides that “temporarily all companies will continue to supply PVPC until the contract renewal, in which they will have to confirm their micro-enterprise status.” To do this, they must submit a responsible declaration, which will be supervised by the National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC).

To justify this measure, the executive authorities point to a 2014 European directive that requires the liberalization of the electricity market, allowing only “public intervention in determining the price of electricity supply to domestic consumers and micro-enterprises”.

The government recalls that until 2021, “the PVPC tariff offered more competitive prices to end-users compared to fixed-price systems in the free market”, according to a consistent analysis by the CNMC, although since then it has increased as a cost. Energy is quoted at the wholesale market hourly price.

This connection with the daily market forced the so-called Implementation of the Iberian solution, which has allowed prices to drop since coming into force in July. This Wednesday, in the context of the saturation of Spanish regasification plants and high levels of storage filling, which caused a sharp drop in gas in the Iberian MIBGAS market, the price paid by customers in PVPC will be at the lowest level since. October 2021.

The PVPC reform is part of the sweeping changes the executive is preparing to the Electricity Bill, which is set to be reformed to make it less variable from 2023. The most imminent change came in a new ordinance that was approved this Tuesday. by the Council of Ministers, by charging €3,000 million to the state budget, which includes gas assistance (by creating a new subsidized rate for neighborhood communities with central heating) and the extension of the electric and thermal social bonus.

The package provides that the new electricity bill will in future include the average consumption of homes in the customer’s neighbourhood, allowing them to compare it with their neighbours. In addition, it regulates information on tax cuts that currently apply to VAT or electricity bills, and from December transparent reporting on how the Iberian mechanism is used will be mandatory. wholesale market to make consumers aware of its benefits: The government estimates savings of €3,000 million since its launch in mid-June.

Source: El Diario

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