Answering the previous question can turn into a nightmare if you don’t know how the Spanish Electricity Network works nor the energy rate that you have contracted. According to the Household Panel held by the National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC) in the third trimester of 2016, the 44.2% of Spaniards were unaware of the type of electricity tariff they have contracted in their houses. In order to save on the electricity bill, it is essential to know the rate that you have contracted, and to plan, as much as possible, your energy consumption in terms of it. So, when should you use the washing machine?
First of all, if you do not know the electricity tariff you have contracted, you should find out which one is the one you have hired. How? Look at the bills you have received, or contact your energy company.
Do you know the energy rate you have contracted? Then you can jump to the next information and find out when it is convenient to do the laundry.
Currently in the Spanish energy market there are two different markets: the free market and the regulated market.
- Free market
In the free market, the price of kWh is fixed by the marketer and this is kept unchanged. In this way, the consumer knows in advance how much each kWh will cost.
Even though it looks like this market is not very saving-friendly, the energy companies and launching very affordable offers to attract customers. The important things to take into account when choosing a tariff in this market, is to avoid additional services and permanence fees.
- Regulated market
In the regulated market, the price of kWh for households with less than 10 kW contracted power varies depending on the time and day: according to the supply and demand of energy there is, or the type of energy that was produced. This new system to determine the energy price that entried into force on April 1, 2014 is called the Small Consumer Voluntary Price (PVPC). This way, kWh prices are set by hour and these hourly prices are available on the Red Eléctrica España (REE) or Tarifaluzhora from 8:30 p.m. on the previous day.
Thanks to the intelligent meter boxes used to count the energy we consume and when we consume it, the kWh prices that will be applied to our consume will be those mentioned above, which vary every hour. By 2019, all households with a PVPC rate are expected to have an intelligent meter box.
Are you one of those who do not yet have one? As there is no exact data of electricity consumption according to the consumption hour, the profile of an average consumer that is made weekly by the REE is applied. When the user already has an intelligent meter box properly connected to the self-management system these readings will change from being estimated to actual readings of user consumption.
The different PVPC rates that the user can contract are:
- General rate
At this rate kWh prices do not vary significantly during the day, although they are usually cheaper at night. This rate is indicated for people who have a continuous consumption of energy throughout the day.
- Time discrimination
Time discrimination rate offers a cheaper kWh price during night hours, in exchange for a more expensive daytime price.
o 2 periods
The time discrimination rate in two periods divides the 24 hours of the day in two: valley and peak time zones. In the valley time zone, the price of kWh is cheaper, while during the peak, the price is higher.
Which are those time zones? The period varies according to the season in which we are. The schedule for this rate is:
- Valley: 11:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
- Peak: 1:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
- Valley: 10:00 p.m. - midday
- Peak: midday - 10:00 p.m.
o 3 periods / Super Valley Rate / Electric Vehicle Fare
This rate establishes three periods throughout the day: super valley, valley and peak. The super valley schedule is the time when the kWh is the cheapest, and the peak when it is the most expensive. That is why if our intention is to save on the electricity bill, and in this case to know when we should do the laundry, this should be done during the super valley schedule.
Which are those time zones?
> Super valley: 1:00 a.m. - 7:00 a. m.
> Valley: 11:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
> Peak: 1:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
If you hace a PVPC tariff, you have to consider many more factors. A BAT and a POD can help you monitoring your consumtion and they can give you clues for a better saving.
Now you know the different options offered by the market, it is up to you to hire the electricity rate that best suits your needs.
* This information may not be subject to the changes of the Spanish electricity system.