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Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced on Thursday, October 13th a raft of new measures designed to help combat the rising energy prices, which will only increase as the autumn and winter months draw nearer.

Then on Tuesday, October 18th, the government announced more details on who can benefit from some of these measures and exactly what the income thresholds will be. 

Around €3.0 billion will be released from the state budget to protect people from rising energy prices and is expected to help up to 40 percent of households in Spain. 

From handouts for heating costs to new rates for those with shared central heating, here’s a breakdown of all the new and improved aid packages. 

New energy rate for buildings with shared central heating

The government has approved a new TUR tariff (or last resort rate) for those who live in buildings with shared central heating and are being affected by rising energy prices.

This will be applied on a quarterly basis and remain in place until the end of 2023. It is expected to help around 1.7 million households who will see their bills reduced by half of what they would normally pay.

In order to contract it, your building manager will have to contact the energy company and provide the details of the contract holder, the address, the CUPS code and the bank account number to see if the building is eligible for the reduction. 

At the end of 2021, the government introduced a new law for those with shared central heating, stating that these must be replaced with individual metres. Building managers and communities of neighbours had until mid-2022 or early 2023 to install the necessary systems. As of May 2023, each neighbour in buildings with communal heating in Spain must pay exclusively for their own heating consumption.

READ ALSO – Shared central heating in Spain’s buildings to end soon: what you need to know

An improvement in the electricity benefit

Those households who already receive the bono social eléctrico will get a further discount on part of their energy bill from 60 percent to 65 percent. Those who are considered to be in an extremely vulnerable situation will also be able to get a further reduction from 70 to 80 percent.

The amount of energy available for a discount has also been increased to 15 percent. This means more of your electricity consumption will now be discounted. For example, families without children or individual claimants will now have 1,587 KWh discounted, up from 1,380 KWh, families with one child will go from 1,932 kWh to 2,221.8 KWh, families with two children will go from 2,346 KWh to 2,697.9 KWh and large families will go from 4,140 KWh to 4,761 KWh.

Finally, pensioners will have 2,221.8 KWh discounted, up from 1,932 KWh. 

On October 18th, the government released further information, confirming that this will be available to families (two adults and two children) with incomes of less than €27,720 per year, people who live alone and earn less than €16,800 per year. 

An increase in the heating benefit

Known as the bono social térmico in Spanish, this is a handout for vulnerable households to help pay their energy bills. The minimum amount will be raised to €40, but the average amount of aid has been almost doubled to €375.

This is an annual benefit to help pay for heating, hot water and cooking and is directly linked to the bono social eléctrico. It is specifically designed for those with low income, state pensioners who don’t live with other working family members and those on Minimum Vital Income.  

READ ALSO: At what time of the day is electricity cheapest in Spain?

A new temporary category for vulnerable families

The government will create a new temporary category for vulnerable families who will now be able to benefit from a 40 percent discount on their energy bills. It is designed for working households with low incomes, however, the exact requirements have not yet been released.

This measure is expected to help around 1.5 million families across the country.

The ability to compare energy bills with your neighbours

Energy bills will now include information on the average consumption of your neighbours, specifically, those who live within the same postal code as you. This means you will now be able to compare to see if your energy consumption is above or below the average and how it changes over time. This should help you to save energy or to check if you’re paying a lot more or less than everyone else. 

A change in the regulated electricity rate 

There will also be changes in the regulated electricity rate, known as the Voluntary Price for Small Consumers (PVPC), starting in 2023. Up until now, this rate depended entirely on the wholesale market. It means that it will be possible to stabilise electricity rates so that they’re not so volatile. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your bill will be cheaper.