Electricity bills rising on average by up to ten euros.

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First it was said that electricity bills in January could rise by as much as 30%, now it is reckoned they could be up by 20%. So that's perhaps the good news for more than 277,000 consumers in the Balearics which have contracts subject to regulated prices rather than ones regulated by the open market.

Endesa says that the price increase only affects 35% of the bill related to energy consumed. The remainder is for the tariffs that are fixed by the government and which are frozen and for taxes. There is likely to therefore be an average increase of between eight and ten euros.

The government is meanwhile is ruling out special measures to reduce the price of electricity, Mariano Rajoy noting that the price is at 2015 levels. He said yesterday that there is no intention to lower rates, which are frozen, or to amend the system of wholesale pricing.

The government calculates that the price of electricity will increase, compared with 2016, by 100 euros a year (around eight euros per month). Last year, the prime minister notes, was "exceptionally good" because of the fall in the price of oil. It was also an exception, as the price of oil has risen steeply and this affects the price of electricity. "I would like the price to go back down as it did in 2016, but not everything in this life or in this world is determined by a government: Spain's or any other."

Other European countries are also being affected by an increase in electricity prices. Rajoy observed that the current price per megawatt hour (as of yesterday) is 89 euros. In Italy and Switzerland it is 110 euros and in France 109. He therefore denied that Spain has the third highest wholesale price.

There is, he explained, a complex situation related to the French nuclear power stations and a lack of water and solar energy in recent months. More rain, he suggested, will help to improve the situation and lower prices. He nevertheless accepted that it is a "worrying" issue that has an impact on households and on business competitiveness.