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Why is turning on the washing machine at dawn cheaper again?

The new year starts with draft changes on the receipt of the light. The withdrawal of some of the measures of the shock plan that the Government applied to contain the rise of the bill has made that from January 1 to recover the large differences in the final price of electricity depending on the time of day it is consumed and now it is not the same for the customer's pocket. what time is the consumption done, after months in which those differences had been diluted. With the new changes, it is again cheaper to run the washing machine at dawn.

On June 1 there was a true revolution in the electricity bill of all consumers with the application of different prices in the regulated part of the receipt in different time slots, being cheaper the hours with less demand (early morning) and more expensive the hours in which the greatest consumption is concentrated.

In mid-September, the Government's measures to cushion the rise in the bill, which included drastic reductions in the regulated part of the invoice, reduced these price differences between hours to a minimum. . And now the withdrawal of those extraordinary discounts leads to them being noticed again the different time slots. Three draft changes in the invoice of all customers in just six months.

Point, valley and plain

The objective of the reform which came into force in June with different price ranges per hour was to encourage customers to transfer part of their electricity consumption to times of lower simultaneous demand to avoid saturation of the system and make unnecessary new investments in expanding infrastructures.

They then began to apply different price ranges in the regulated part of the receipt: off-peak hours (from 00.00 to 08.00 hours), flat hours (from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., and from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m.) and peak hours (from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.). That was on weekdays, because on weekends the whole day was treated as off-peak time.

The regulated part of the receipt is made up of the charges – set by the Government and used to pay the remuneration for renewables or to pay the debt of the electricity system – and the tolls – established by the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC) and that finance the costs of transmission and distribution networks. And with the new system that came into force in June, charges and tolls were much more expensive in peak hours, somewhat more expensive in flat hours and in off-peak hours they were cheaper to encourage more efficient customer consumption.

With the entry into force of the new model of time slots it did not take long for controversy and jokes to jump out. on the need for consumers to get up at dawn to turn on the washing machine or to iron in order to hunt down those hours of the day when the light it was cheaper, even pushing the Government to clarify that the new rates sought to gradually modify consumption habits to make them more reasonable, but that users had never been asked to disrupt their daily lives. “I would not recommend that my mother get up at 2 in the morning to iron,” said Vice President Teresa Ribera.

Better after eating?

Since the new rate started and throughout the summer, the most common was that the strip with the cheapest electricity of the day was between 4 and 6 in the morning and that the most expensive was between 8:00 and 10:00 p.m., as a result of the combination of prices set by the wholesale market by the hour and the different charges and tolls of each moment.

The difference between the cheapest and the most expensive hours was wide , and many days the final price -measured in euros per kilowatt hour- was doubled between one and the other, as shown in Red Eléctrica's records of hourly prices for customers covered by the regulated rate (or Voluntary Price io for the Small Consumer, PVPC).

In mid-September , the Government launched a shock plan to cushion the rise in electricity bills in the midst of a wave of exorbitant increases , which in addition to a strong tax cut (which began to be applied in July) included a drastic cut in the regulated part of the bill. The Ministry for Ecological Transition applied a temporary reduction of 96% of the charges included in the electricity bill and, with this, practically eliminated the price differences between the three time sections.

The price range between the most expensive hour and the cheapest hour was significantly reduced once the impact of the charges was diluted to a minimum with the reduction decreed by the Government. Exceptional days were recorded in which the graph of the hourly evolution of electricity prices was practically flat and the advantages of shifting consumption to moments of lower demand were almost completely blurred. In addition, between mid-September and the end of December, in almost a third of the total days that have elapsed, the cheapest time of the day stopped registering at dawn to be placed between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

New Year

With the wholesale electricity market still runaway and with the futures market anticipating that high prices will persist this year, the Government has decided to maintain the tax reductions of the receipt until April, but withdraw the extraordinary discounts on electricity charges from January 1. The new charge sheet for 2022 eliminates that exceptional reduction , thus that as of January they are applied again normally and, with this, there is an increase in the bill of all Spanish electricity customers in relation to what they paid until December 31.

The order of charges published in the BOE entails strong increases in all customer rate segments, for all time sections and both in the charges that apply to the power term and that applied to the energy consumed in relation to those that were paid until the end of the year.

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