Recent cold weather is a factor in the increased bills. | Carme Fontestad

The price of electricity has gone up significantly since the start of the year. Up to 12 January the price per megawatt hour on the wholesale market rose to 62.87 euros. At the same time last year the price was 45.11 euros. The difference is therefore 40%. Compared with the first twelve days of December, there was a 1.5% rise.

If the price continues to rise it could surpass the 71.4 euros that was the maximum in January 2017. The previous highest had been 70.22 euros in 2008. The higher prices have coincided with the first really cold weather of the winter, while there has been a fall in the production of renewable energy - wind power in particular.

Over the second half of 2018 there was an increase in price related to requirements to decrease CO2 emissions. In order to counteract this increase, the Spanish government last month approved the six-month suspension of the 7% electricity generation tax and an extension to the special tax for hydrocarbons in order to defuse the so-called "green cent" that is borne by gas generating plants.

Nevertheless, the price to consumers is, according to calculations by the National Competition Commission, going up on average by around eight per cent.