There has been ample warning that January's electricity bills will be higher. | - BirgitH


Electricity bills for January will rise 26%, by around 14 euros, compared with January 2015. This will be the average increase for small consumers of electricity - around 12 million households in Spain.

According to the National Competition Commission, the bill for a consumer on a contract for 4.4kW will go up (on average) from 51.97 euros last year to 65.59 euros. This takes account of fluctuations up to 29 January.

The bill reflects the increase in the wholesale market this month, with prices touching levels not known since December 2013. The price was 91.88 euros per megawatt hour on 25 January. The average for the month has been one of the most expensive ever - at 71.40 euros.

The high prices have coincided with the cold weather in Spain (and Majorca) and have sparked off an intense political and social debate. They have reopened the whole discussion about the electricity sector and the operation of the wholesale market.

The energy minister, Álvaro Nadal, has ruled out a change to the system because of the reform of the sector that was carried out during the previous period of government.