The Government will extend its battle to control one of the main triggers of inflation into 2023: the electricity bill. The charges borne by households and SMEs on their receipts will drop a further 9.21% in January, although throughout the year it is possible that an additional surcharge may have to be added to the receipt to prevent the system from incurring in deficit, an extreme explicitly prohibited by the electricity sector law. For the rest of consumers, apart from domestic consumers and smaller companies, the drop will fluctuate between 5.35% and 17.06% depending on the power they have contracted.
The proposal raised this Tuesday by the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge in the draft order that establishes the prices of the electrical system charges, applicable as of January 1, 2023, will have to be corroborated in the coming days in the Official State Gazette (BOE). This reduction will be added to those already applied during 2022, which represented a reduction of more than 50% with respect to the 2021 charges. The objective is clear: whatever happens with the price of electricity in the wholesale market, the households pay less in the part of the bill that does not depend on this variable.
The charges are, along with tolls, regulated fixed costs that are added to the pure cost of the kilowatt hour (KWh) consumed, as well as equipment rental and taxes. Its destiny is to cover the premiums for old renewables —current wind and solar projects not only do not need that crutch, but are the most profitable—, as well as part of the extra costs of extra-peninsular electrical systems and the system deficit.
However, some pieces are still missing to square the whole puzzle of next year’s electricity bill. To make this proposal, the Ministry has been forced to include in its income forecast corresponding to the 7% tax on the Production Value of Electric Power for the coming year. However, this is suspended and everything indicates that it will continue like this as of January 1. “If the previous tax suspension were to be extended beyond December 31, 2022, an equivalent compensation must be provided to the electricity system for the loss of income that said suspension would cause, as already reflected in the successive suspensions of the aforementioned tax in the past, an endowment additional”, reads verbatim in the proposal.
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