On June 1, 2021, a new electricity bill format entered into force in Spain for domestic users which came with significant changes in the price structure, but above all with a new billing system where three billing periods clearly differentiated were distinguished throughout each day.

This was a change that theoretically came with the intention of helping us save on the bill at the end of the month and available to users with a Voluntary Small Consumer Price (PVPC) who had contracted less than 15 KW as peak maximum power (most Spanish households).

This system of time slots made it clear what times of the day it was most expensive and cheapest to use electricity in the home, helping us consumers make plans to turn on the most expensive equipment and appliances. energy guzzlers at the times most suitable for us in order to minimize expenses.

However, a few months later, once the summer of 2021 had passed, the famous headings of the electricity bill were no longer valid and the initially clear differentiation between periods with different tariffs faded in favor of a complex distribution. incomprehensible to the average user and it ruined any plans we could have made for our devices.

Original time slots on June 1, 2021

The reason why these time slots have stopped working seems to be due to the measures taken by the Executive in mid-September 2021 to reduce the electricity bill. For this, a decree was promulgated in which the special tax on electricity was lowered from 5.11% to 0.5% and the loads on the electrical system were reduced by 90% until the end of the year.

“Theoretical” time slices in the electricity bill

These temporary changes to special taxes and charges on the electricity system ended at the end of the year, and since we’ve just started a new one, the infamous deadlines set in the spring have been reimposed, which we can see if we go directly to the page of the Spanish power grid site where the price charts are displayed by hours and for each day of the week.

Thus, the three basic time slots known as “tip, flat and valley” are again fixed in theory and have a somewhat particular distribution distributed alternately at different times of the day, largely conditioning what we will pay at the end of the month. houses.

Thus, the peak period is the one during which the cost of tolls and charges is the highest, being between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.-10 p.m. The flat part has an intermediate cost and is between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. and between 10 p.m. and midnight. Finally, the valley fare is the cheapest and operates between midnight and 8 a.m. as well as every hour on weekends and on public holidays.

As we said, these are the theoretical sections, because if we look at what the charts show us, in reality the timelines are not as clear as we would like, although they are much more than those that existed in the period from September to December 2021.

As can be seen from the data provided by Red Eléctrica Española, over the past week, Monday through Friday, different time slots are now drawn more clearly, perhaps not as specific as the “castle males” as we are. planes in the summer, but enough so that the electricity consumption in the different periods represents a clear difference in terms of costs which even double on certain days between the most expensive and the cheapest time.

On weekends in theory we should have a stable “valley” price throughout the day, which seems to be moderately true, as some Saturdays and Sundays there are also ups and downs in the cost of the weekend. electricity with differences which almost multiply by 10 the price between the most expensive hour and the cheapest hour, as for example what happened on Sunday January 9 with a price for 3:00 p.m. of 0.036 € / kW against € 0.30 / kW at 7 p.m.

How to know which hours will be cheaper and what their price will be

With the sections running again, more or less, we can get an idea of ​​when it will be more economical to make heavy use of electricity at home, although if we want to know exactly how much each kilowatt will cost us we can go directly to the website of the Eléctrica Española Network and check out the graph showing the price of electricity in euros per kilowatt for PVPC tariffs every hour of the day.

The graph shows the values ​​for Peninsula, Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla and uses a green, yellow and red color code on the X axis depending on whether the price exceeds a certain numerical value.

If we click the mouse at any point on the graph, the cost at that exact moment is displayed in the lower area, which can help us estimate how much it will cost us to turn on a specific device. Thus, we have a very good option to plan the daily cost of electricity and know when it is cheaper to turn on the oven or turn on the washing machine.

More information | Spanish electricity grid
Pictures | Daniel Herrond