Household electricity bills have increased by up to €1,000 in two years
The increase in the electricity bill has been suffocating many families for months. According to a study by Cambridge Econometrics, in the case of Spaniards with more income, this payment would have skyrocketed by 1,012 euros a year, while households with fewer resources would have suffered an increase of 550 euros. This report also highlights that for consumers with less income, this increase in the bill supposes a penalty of 73%.
Another interesting fact from the Cambridge Econometrics study is that the proportion of energy expenditure with respect to total households has increased considerably since 2020. Thus, an average household with the lowest income will dedicate 8.8% of its total expenditure this year to energy, while that percentage was 5.6% in 2020.
With regard to Catalonia, Catalan households allocate 9.6% of their income to pay the energy bill, with the average monthly expense on gas, electricity and fuel standing at 210 euros. This is reflected in the study 'The energy bill at home', carried out by the Mutua Propietarios Group, where it is also appreciated that the most vulnerable households are those that, in proportion, allocate more income to pay for energy, even using the 25% of the total.
From the consumer associations they describe the situation as "worrying" and recommend that citizens learn more and better about the possibilities offered by the market. Esther Lorente, delegate of the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) in Catalonia, recalls that "we have been asking for some time to apply measures to somewhat alleviate this increase in the price of energy, such as VAT reductions, tax exemptions, etc. We have also asked Indústria to inform us how many families have the social bonus in Catalonia, because we see that there is a lack of knowledge on the part of the people and we believe that not all the information is being given and that the procedures should be expedited.
Regarding the help of the social bonus, the general secretary of Facua-Consumers in Action, Rubén Sánchez, comments that “although it has been increased by the Government, there are still deficiencies. An institutional information campaign is necessary so that there is more knowledge on the part of consumers and also force the electric companies to send communications to consumers, as well as increase the mass of consumers with these aids.
Sánchez also believes that “although the Government has carried out many initiatives to compensate for this price increase, we believe that they are insufficient. It would have to go further and, for example, bet on price intervention.
Consumer associations recommend getting information and surveying the market
In order to face the winter, 70% of Catalans –according to a study by Grupo Mutua Propietarios– state that they are willing to comply with the measures suggested by the central government within the Plan + ES (Plan More Energy Security), with which which is intended to provide homes with more security to face energy prices.
According to the general deputy director of strategy, clients and alternative channels of the Mutua Propietarios Group, Laura López, "the current situation requires households and communities of owners to reflect towards a more efficient and responsible energy consumption model that contributes to preserving resources ».
From the OCU, Esther Lorente admits that «winter will be difficult in many homes, also due to the gas problem. If you are not in a regulated market operator – which is the cheapest – it will be more expensive, reaching double or triple the bill.
Consumer organizations recommend that citizens be well informed. «They should see if they can request the social bonus, investigate the market through comparators, etc. The problem is that the majority of consumers do not compare and believe what the commercial for their electric company has sold them," laments Rubén Sánchez from Facua. Esther Lorente also recommends that consumers "take a good look at their bill, use comparators, check the contracted power, see if they are on the free or regulated market, look at the real needs of each family nucleus and if they have the lowest rate." economic”.
Change of habits
The study by Grupo Mutua Propietarios also shows that the households consulted state that they will change their habits to use less energy, including actions such as closing the blinds at night (88%), turning off the heating while they sleep (82%) or keeping the home at a maximum temperature between 19 and 21 degrees (76%). To a lesser extent, 59% of those surveyed affirm that they will change the car for public transport. To try to meet these commitments in the best possible way, the Catalans have already anticipated carrying out works at home. Among the main improvements made are some that entail a faster economic return, such as changing light bulbs for LED lighting systems (76%), energy-efficient appliances (59%) or window insulation (51%).