Switching electricity companies is a complication in the minds of hundreds of thousands of Portuguese. It is understandable.
For decades there was only one electricity company in Portugal. It was EPD. There were no doubts or confusions. It was the same price for everyone, the bill came, paid and it was done.
In this week’s report in Contas-saupança, I explained what the regulated electricity market is and how to do it if you want to change your contract to a tariff with a price set by the government. But, unlike gas, it doesn’t always pay to switch to the regulated market. You have to do the math first.
What is the regulated electricity market?
In 2006, the government decided to open the door to other companies that wanted to sell electricity. There is always an up-to-date list on the website of ERSE, the Energy Services Supervisory Authority. Type google “erse simulator”, then use the simulator or click here interactive price list of commercial energy offers.
Choose the company whose prices you want to know and compare with the value you have on your invoice. I’m going to show you how to do that.
Let’s go back to 2006. The former EDP was then split into two companies: EDP Serviço Universal (that was the regulated market, where there was only EDP with a price set by the government) and EDP Comercial (which sets the prices that want, when you want). At that time many people switched to EDP Comercial and even today they think they are in EDP in the regulated market and they are not, they are in the free market.
To end the confusion, the electricity company in the regulated market (the former EDP) is now simply called SU Eletricidade (SU stands for Universal Service).
So if you are not sure whether you are on the regulated or liberalized market, it is very simple: if your invoice has this logo, it is on the regulated market (and is protected by the state); if it’s different, it’s because it’s in the liberalized market and subject to big price swings up and down.
To mute or not to mute?
Now the really important question is whether or not I switch to SU Electricidade (that is – I remind you – the electricity company of the regulated market)?
The answer is the one you probably like the least: it depends. You have to look at your bill and do the math. But it’s not complicated.
On the regulated market, in this SU electricity, ERSE annually sets a price for electricity for the following year. And every 3 months he makes small adjustments.
At the time of writing the report, the price of kWh in the regulated market (by clicking on “Regulated tariff traders”. Click on “next” and then on “View prices”) was €0.1599/kWh . The price of the contracted power (per day) depends on what you have contracted for. For 3.45 kVA that was € 0.1662.
Knowing this, now is the time to look at the line on your bill with the price of kWH and compare it to 0.1599 for SU electricity.
Let’s give some examples using the ERSE simulator, choosing the lowest offer from each supplier. At commercial EDP, the kWh supply was € 0.2282. 40% more expensive than on the regulated market.
In the case of GALP, each kWh (ie every 1000 watts) cost €0.1942, 21% more than with SU Electricidade.
In contrast, Endesa – this month – had a lower kWh price than the regulated market. It was €0.1450.
And Goldenergy had the kWh at € 0.1465, also under SU Electricity.
And MEO Energia had the kWh at € 0.1408, but with a very high contracted power of 34 cents.
In both cases, don’t forget to take into account discounts and promotions that can lower your invoice amount.
Contact your company and ask if they have a regulated market rate. If not, you can switch to SU Electricity.
Attention to the contracted force
Another thing that can lower your bill is the contracted equity you have. It is a fixed amount per day that allows you to connect more or fewer devices at the same time, without the table tipping over. There are thousands of customers who pay more than necessary.
A saving of 9 euros per month by reducing the contracted capacity means more than 100 euros that remains in your pocket every year.
But the main criterion for you should be the kWh price. I remind you of the 16 cents to keep it in your head. Above is expensive, below is cheap or normal.
To quickly find out whether it pays to switch to the regulated market, take a look at a small paragraph on your invoice. See this every month.
On this mandatory line you can read how much less you would have paid if you had switched to SU Electricity. See if your discounts compensate for what you pay more for SU Electricity (Regulated Market).
If you say you would pay a lot less if you were in the regulated market, do this:
Go to sueletricidade.pt, click on “Create a new contract”, fill in your details, send your most recent invoice and other documents if necessary, and that’s it. You do not need to do anything further or notify your old company. This makes it part of the regulated electricity market.
Here is the link to watch or watch the video report on the SIC Notícias page: