Bi-monthly Electricity Bills to Return in April

From April, customers with a contracted power supply not exceeding 15 kw, mainly households and SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises), will again be able to choose to receive their electricity bill every two months with the bill being based on actual meter readings. The Government’s objective is that this measure will ensure the customer pays “only for what they consume.” A royal decree regulating this proposal, which was presented to the National Energy Commission in January, almost a year ago, was given the go ahead by the Council of Ministers last week.

Customers can choose to keep the monthly billing system, introduced in late 2008, where one in two bills are based on estimates of consumption, and which has led to “a significant number of complaints” from customers due to “the complexity of the rules of consumption”, the Ministry of Industry said in a statement.

Diario Sur reported that the new rule states that the billing of consumers covered by the TUR tariff, the only one fixed by the Government, shall be made by the electricity companies “based on actual readings carried out bi-monthly by the distributor of each area”.

For those who opt for monthly bills, the energy distribution company will continue to conduct a bi-monthly meter reading and in alternate months where no actual reading takes place the customer “will be billed according to the procedure for estimating power consumption” as previously.

To facilitate bills being made on actual consumption, users can provide the meter reading in the event that the distributor is unable to, a facility which already exists for other utilities, such as gas or water.