Bloomberg News

Spain Power Bills Will Rise as Much as 7% on April 1, Soria Says

March 27, 2012

Spanish consumer power bills will rise as much as 7 percent next month, enough to cover just a fraction of the revenue shortfall in the electricity system, Industry Minister Jose Manuel Soria said.

Power companies and the state will have to fund more than 80 percent of the cost to eliminate the so-called tariff deficit under regulations due to be unveiled on March 30, Soria said.

“Consumers can’t cover the whole adjustment,” Soria said today in an interview on Spain’s Antena 3 television. “That would mean an increase in power bills of up to 40 percent.”

Spanish homes and businesses were allowed to run up debts to utilities of 23 billion euros ($30.7 billion) as successive administrations agreed that power suppliers should book more revenue than they were permitted to collect.

The gap widened during the past five years, swollen by subsidies added to customer bills to support renewable-power plants, energy-efficiency projects and coal mines as well as for poorer families and consumers on the country’s islands.

Some of those extra charges may be stripped out of power bills as another measure to narrow the deficit, Soria said today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Sills in Madrid at bsills@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net


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