Spanish watchdog raises objections to new electricity rate calculation system

CNMC says the mechanism is complicated and could lead to greater fluctuation in bills

The Spanish anti-trust watchdog CNMC has raised a series of objections to the government’s proposed new formula for setting regulated electricity rates.

Previously, rates were set partly based on the outcome of quarterly auctions in the wholesale electricity market. The new system is based on the average wholesale price during the customer’s billing cycle, which could be either monthly or bimonthly. Consumers with smart meters (those with the ability to discriminate on an hourly basis) will pay the market price at every given hour of the day.

Although the CNMC said the new system could lead to fall in the rates paid for those with smart meters, it also pointed out that it would also be accompanied by greater fluctuations in electricity bills and would be difficult to implement.

The watchdog also said that utilities would need to start an educational drive for consumers on where to consult electricity market prices for the next day. It promised to set up a system on its website to allow consumers to check if their bills have been correctly calculated.

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