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Endesa - Electricity, Gas, People

What are tolls or access tariffs for electricity and gas?

Published on September 28, 2018

They form part of your bill and serve to fund the supply grids that allow energy to reach your home. You will have one type of access tariff, depending on the power you have contracted or your annual consumption.

Though it may sometimes seem tremendously complicated, in reality, understanding an electricity or gas bill is simple. What you pay for is divided into two large sections:

  • Power: measured in kW and explains what your electrical or gas installation is capable of producing. Obviously, the more power you contract, the more home appliances that can operate. It is commonly called fixed term, given that unless you decide to increase or decrease your power, this amount will be the same every month.
  • Energy: Measured in kWh and reflects the electricity or natural gas that you have consumed during a period of time. It is common to call it variable term, given that this figure will vary as you consume more or less electricity/gas.

Then, there are access tolls, also called access tariffs. They represent approximately 40% of what you pay on your bill and their cost “infects” both power and energy.

But, what are tolls?

Making electricity and gas reach your home Behind that journey, there is a complex infrastructure that requires maintenance. Tolls or access tariffs were invented to pay what the cost of transporting energy to Spaniards’ homes.

The cost of tolls or access tariffs is set by the Government and represents around 40% of your bill.

If you want to be connected to the electrical or piped natural gas grid, you have to pay tolls. It doesn't matter which company you are with or where you live. If you are on the open market, the cost of tolls will be included in the price of kW of power and kWh of consumption. If you are on the regulated market (PVPC rate), it will be broken down. Regardless, the tolls will be the same.

The cost of the tolls or access tariffs is decided by the competent Ministry responsible for Energy. Its impact is distributed throughout the entire bill (both fixed term and variable term) to protect the viability of the system, even in times of low energy consumption.

Types of tolls or access tariffs

Though tolls are the same for the entire country and it does not matter if you are on the open or regulated market, not everyone pays the same.

You cannot choose your access tariff; rather, it is set by other aspects of your contract. Your toll depends on your power contracted (in the case of electricity) or your annual consumption (in the case of gas).

  • Electricity: most homes have less than 10 kW of power, and so their access tariff will be 2.0. There are three types: simple (2.0 A), which has an hourly breakdown in two periods (2.0 DHA) and that which has an hourly breakdown in three periods and is used especially for electric cars (2.0 DHS). If someone needs more than 10 kW of power, they will follow this same scheme but with the 2.1 access tariff, which logically, will be more expensive. Those with power greater than 15 kW will have 3.0.
  • Gas: here, the power contracted is not important, rather, the annual consumption and pressure of the supply is what counts. We will only focus on the pressures equal to or less than 4 bars, which the vast majority of domestic consumers have. For these pressures, the access tariff will be 3.1 in annual consumptions lower than 5,000 kWh and 3.2 in consumptions between 5,000 and 50,000 kWh per year. There are many more rates (3.3, 3.4) but almost all Spanish homes have between 3.1 and 3.2.

To give you an idea: a home that uses gas for hot water and heating has an annual consumption of 9,000 kWh. However, if heating is separate from natural gas, consumption drops to 3,000 or 4,000 kWh per year.

You cannot choose your access tariff. It is set for you depending on your power or consumption.