How to cut electricity costs for your Spanish home when the new rates kick in

In case you didn’t know, new electricity rates will take effect from 1 June 2021, and if you’re not careful you could be running up higher bills than you have previously. So we have some useful advice to help you keep your electricity costs down for your Spanish home.  

The new rates are divided into three time slots – peak, flat and off-peak.  So as consumers, we should choose carefully when to use our electrical appliances in order to keep our energy costs down.  

What are the time slots?

Weekdays

P1. PEAK/hora punta (highest rate): 10am – 2pm; 6pm to 10pm

P2. FLAT/hora llana (medium rate): 8am – 10am; 2pm- 6pm and 10pm to midnight. 

P3. OFF PEAK/hora valle (cheapest rate): midnight to 8am

NB. Weekends and national holidays are all off-peak.
Once the new rates come into force, you will most likely notice some variation of your electricity bill – for better OR worse! 

The Andalusian Energy Agency recommends taking the time to both review your electricity contract and consider changing providers with better rates, but also to review how you use electricity in your home in order to make the best choices and reduce consumption as much as possible. This could really impact your electricity bill and how much you pay over a year.  

What are the highest electricity-consuming appliances and how can you keep costs down? 

  • FRIDGE – can consume up to a third of all the power in your house! So if you have a holiday home, turn off the fridge while you are away. Never leave it open and defrost regularly to keep it working efficiently. 
  • WATER HEATER – can also be a very high user of electricity so choose the times you turn on the water heating and try to keep this to off peak times where possible. 
  • TV – yes the TV is second to the Fridge! LED TVs are the cheapest to run. But you can save money making sure that you turn OFF your TV rather than leaving it on standby. 
  • TUMBLE DRYER – another serial offender. Not so much in summer months, but it can seriously dent your bank balance if you use it during peak hours… Try to only use your tumble dryer when necessary and during off peak times.  Luckily in our part of the world we get to dry our washing in the warm breeze for most of the year!
  • ELECTRIC HOB – these are much more expensive to run than gas hobs. Use smaller pans where possible. Always put lids on to avoid wasting heat.
  • AIR-CON – try to only use it when you really have to. Ceiling Fans are a great alternative. Choose the air-conditioning system that is the most energy efficient. Old air-con systems may be using a lot of energy compared to new more energy-efficient ones… Using the Air-con in reverse cycle for heating is however very cost efficient. 
  • HEATERS – Oil heaters and storage heaters are the most efficient if you have to use them, but a good log burner or pellet burner is a lot cheaper!  Gas heaters are also good… at least you know how much a gas bottle costs and you are in control of how much it is costing you. The new generation heaters are quite cost efficient too. 
  • DISHWASHER –  Great news is the dishwasher is one of your least energy intensive appliances, often using less energy than washing up using hot water in the sink!!  Use the eco programs where possible. They take longer, but use less energy. Again, run your dishwasher at night in off-peak time. 
  • KETTLE – Make sure that you only boil the right amount of water that you’re using to avoid wasting energy.
  • LIGHTS – Half the time we don’t even realise they are on!  Try to remember to switch them off, and use  energy efficient bulbs.

Savings of up to 150 euros per year can be achieved by simply using the dishwasher, washing machine and the water heater during off-peak hours.  You don’t have to be up in the middle of the night, simply install a low -cost timer switch. Many appliances have a delay function too, so that you can turn them on to start running in a couple of hours… 

Time to get more energy savvy!!