SPANISH gas suppliers will have to charge most households 4.2 percent less than what they had been allowed to charge from today, the government said yesterday.

Electricity suppliers will be allowed to charge 2 percent more than before, Spain's industry ministry said.
The “tariffs of last resort” or TUR's, are set for clients who buy 10 kilowatts or less of energy, which is the case for most households, and come into force on July 1 to replace fixed electricity tariffs and help deregulate Spain's electricity and gas sectors further.

Spanish power generators E.ON, Iberdrola, Enel unit Endesa, Gas Natural unit Union Fenosa and EDP unit Hidrocantrabrico are the only utilities permitted to provide the last resort tariff. The Balearic government yesterday complained about the lack of information which has been provided by Madrid about the new rates and the free market.

Consumer groups are advising consumers to study all the offers available before signing up to a new electricity provider, make sure any contract is agreed to in writing and to not waste electricity at home.

This week, the Balearic Commission for Consumer Coordination, on which sits a number of local politicians, has been meeting to devise a public information campaign to help local consumers understand what the new free electricity market involves and what it really means for the consumer.

Most groups are adamant electricity bills are going to rise.

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