Why is turning on the washing machine at dawn cheaper again?

2 weeks ago 12
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01/07/2022 at 07:20 CET

David Page

The new year starts with draft changes in the electric bill. The withdrawal of some of the measures of the plan shock that the government applied to contain the rise in the bill has made that from January 1 to recover the large differences in the final price of electricity depending on the time of day it is consumed and now it is not the same for the customer’s pocket. what time is the consumption, after months in which those differences had been diluted. With the new changes, it is again cheaper to put the washing machine at dawn.

On June 1 there was a true revolution in the electric bill of all consumers with the application of different prices in the regulated part of the receipt in different time slots, the hours with less demand (early morning) being cheaper and the hours in which the greatest consumption is concentrated are more expensive.

In mid-September, the government’s measures to cushion the rise in bills, which included drastic cuts in the regulated part of the bill, reduced these price differences between hours to a minimum. And now the withdrawal of these extraordinary discounts It leads to the different time slots being noticed again. Three draft changes in the invoice of all clients in just six months.

Point, valley and plain

The objective of the reform that entered into force in June with different hourly price bands It was to encourage customers to transfer part of their electricity consumption to times of lower simultaneous demand to avoid saturation of the system and make unnecessary new investments in expanding infrastructures.

Then, different price ranges began to be applied in the regulated part of the receipt: off-peak hours (from 00:00 to 08:00 hours), flat hours (from 08:00 to 10:00, from 14:00 to 18:00, and from 22:00 to 00:00) and hours Peak (from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.). That was on weekdays, because on weekends all day I was treated as off-peak.

The regulated part of the bill is made up of the charges – which are set by the Government and which are used to pay the remuneration for renewables or to pay the debt of the electricity system – and the tolls – established by the National Markets and Competition Commission. (CNMC) and that finance the costs of the transmission and distribution networks. And with the new system that came into force in June, charges and tolls were much more expensive in peak hours, somewhat more expensive in flat hours and in off-peak hours they were cheaper to encourage more efficient customer consumption.

With the entry into force of the new model of time slots It did not take long for controversy and jokes to jump out about the need for consumers to get up at dawn to turn on the washing machine or to iron in order to hunt down those hours of the day when electricity was cheaper, even pushing the Government to clarify that the new rates sought to gradually modify consumption habits to make them more reasonable, but that there had never been any asked users to disrupt their daily lives. “I would not recommend that my mother get up at 2 in the morning to iron & rdquor;” Vice President Teresa Ribera went on to say.

Better after eating?

Since the new rate started and throughout the summer, the most common was that the strip with the cheapest electricity of the day was between 4 and 6 in the morning and that the most expensive was between 8:00 and 10:00 p.m. As a result of the combination of the prices set by the wholesale market by the hour and of the different charges and tolls at each moment.

The difference between the cheapest and the most expensive hours was wide, and on many days the final price -measured in euros per kilowatt hour- was doubled between one and the other, as shown in the Red Eléctrica records of hourly prices for customers covered by the regulated rate (or Voluntary Price for Small Consumer, PVPC).

In mid-September, the Government launched a shock plan to cushion the rise of the electricity bill in full wave of exorbitant increases, which in addition to a strong tax cut (which began to be applied in July) included a drastic cut in the regulated part of the bill. The Ministry for Ecological Transition applied a temporary reduction of 96% of the charges included in the electricity bill and, with this, it practically left the price differences between the three hourly sections without effect.

The price range between the most expensive hour and the cheapest hour was significantly reduced once the impact of the charges was diluted to a minimum with the reduction decreed by the Government. Exceptional days were recorded in which the graph of the hourly evolution of electricity prices was practically flat and the advantages of shifting consumption to moments of lower demand were almost completely blurred. In addition, between mid-September and the end of December, in almost a third of the total days that have elapsed, the cheapest time of the day stopped registering at dawn to be placed between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

New Year

With the wholesale electricity market still runaway and with the futures market anticipating that high prices will persist this year, the government has decided to maintain the tax reductions from the receipt until April, but withdraw the extraordinary discounts on electricity charges from January 1. New charge sheet for 2022 eliminates that one-off rebate, so as of January they are applied normally again and, with this, there is an increase in the receipt of all Spanish electricity customers in relation to what they paid until December 31.

The order of charges published in the BOE entails strong increases in all customer rate segments, for all time frames and both in the charges that apply to the power term and that applied to the energy consumed in relation to those that they were paid until the end of the year.

The Government emphasizes, however, that its proposed positions for next year represents a reduction in relation to the average of positions for the whole of 2021 (including the eight and a half months of normal charges and the three and a half months of extraordinary rebate). According to government calculations, for households and SMEs the reduction in charges will be 32.8% in relation to the whole of last year and for the rest of types of consumers the reduction ranges between 33% and 28% depending on the segments tariffs. In parallel, the CNMC has established a 4.6% reduction in tolls for this year, the other leg of the regulated part of the bill.

With these new changes in the regulated part of the invoice and the end of some of the extraordinary measures, the differences between peak, flat and valley hours will once again be noticed in the final price paid by customers. Since January 1, the variation between the cheapest and the most expensive hours has widened again (this week, in several days the difference between one and the other has caused the amounts to double). And, of course, it is again clearly cheaper to put the washing machine or iron at dawn.

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