Posted by Mencey
Most people with an electricity supply here in Tenerife will be confronted with a monthly electricity bill of byzantine complexity which is aggravated by the 3-tier charging system introduced from the beginning of July. The bill smothers you with information, yet the simple basic question “How much does a unit of electricity cost?” remains unanswered, at least the answer is not explicit. I have been pondering the bill received today and have determined the following figures. I would welcome some input from readers because it is quite possible that I am misreading it.
Put simply, the bill is in three parts:
- Fixed monthly cost for the supply of a particular capacity, typically between 5 kW and 10 kW
- Variable cost dependent on the consumption and the time of day of consumption
- Taxes on the above which are small and can be disregarded to keep it simple.
The consumption cost is complicated because the electricity costs different amounts depending on the time of day. There are three tariffs, and I estimate the cost of each thus:
- Peak periods 10.00-14.00 and 18.00-22.00 weekdays —> € 0.23 per kWh
- Middle periods 8.00-10.00; 14.00-18.00 and 22.00-24.00 weekdays —> € 0.14 per kWh
- Cheap periods 0.00-8.00 and weekends and public holidays —> € 0.10 per kWh
The electricity cost during the middle period is just slightly under what the cost used to be during all 24 hours of the day, but the peak period cost has jumped by about 50%. This monthly cost increase is offset slightly by an overall reduction in the fixed monthly cost, so the total monthly bill should not show any alarming increases. It is perfectly obvious that any machine used during the night is going to be cheaper than used during the peak period (very roughly a bit less than half the cost), but it is not always easy to arrange this. The bill seems to tell me that if I had used electricity at night or weekend instead of the peak period, I personally would have saved about € 10 in the month of June.
Another important cost might be a period of time during which the power being used exceeds the contracted capacity. As I understand it, the cost of a unit during that period is astronomical and might trigger a power failure, but I have no information. If anybody could throw some light on this, it would be useful.
Tenerife has abundant sunshine, and my own personal view is that it is a disgrace that the island is not self-sufficient in power and still imports fossil fuels to keep the grid going. We need politicians which have the interests of the island at heart, not personal involvement with present energy production. If anyone is thinking of becoming more self-sufficient in energy, this must be applauded, but the reality is that it would be risky leaving the electricity supply entirely, and the standing charge per month would remain even with no electricity consumed. This is roughly a third to a half of the total bill.