Thousands of electricity customers are receiving bills at nearly double the normal value, due to a new rule appearing on electricity bills called “Mibel Adjustment Mechanism”. If you don’t know what it is, this week’s Savings Account (in the newspaper da Noite, on SIC) explained it to you and we’ve put together a tip on how to “escape” that expense.
Some (not all) are already paying the adjustment mechanism
The customers of GALP, Iberdrola, Muon and some other smaller companies were the first to feel the worst effects of the war in Ukraine on energy prices. I mentioned these companies because it was the invoices that reached me the most in recent weeks. And there are companies that will last until January, before they start charging this new amount. Please note that this supplement to your electricity bill is not for electricity companies. They only charge and then deliver to gas stations.
By law, they are the ones who have to pay out of pocket if they don’t charge. Here we go.
why the adjustment?
Let’s start at the beginning. Electricity is produced in various ways: in dams, by wind, solar panels, coal and gas plants. And since gas is at very high prices, the price of electricity is getting higher and higher.
The problem is that many companies that sell you electricity before the war agreed with you on a price per kWh, and now they have to buy much more expensive electricity than they expected.
That is why a mechanism has been created to slow down electricity prices a bit. It is called the adjustment mechanism. Without this new formula, the price of electricity would rise to even higher prices. In principle, gas-fired power stations will lower the price slightly, but the consumer pays the difference. It is a kind of shock absorber for the price of electricity. Without this mechanism (too complicated to explain), your electricity bill would skyrocket even further. It is about 10-15% less than what you should pay.
It is Legislative Decree 33/2022 and may apply to all contracts entered into or extended after April 26, 2022.
O The value is charged by the suppliers – but not for them – and is later transferred to gas-fired power producers to offset the increase in costs.
And that is already happening in these companies. As you can see here on this September GALP bill, there is a new rule (in addition to the regular kWh price) of an additional 19 cents per kWh, bringing the values almost double from previous months.
On an Iberdrola bill the value is another 16 and a half cents and on a Muon bill it ranges between 13 and almost 24 cents per kWh.
There are customers who say on the Facebook page of Contas-poupança that they have received invoices of 200 euros or more without waiting and without being informed of the application of this new line.
For example Sandra sousa says he has already received an invoice of €238.00 from Iberdrola in July and another in September of €206.00. However, it has already switched operators.
Edgar Nascimento says: “For the price before the addition of Mibel I would pay 45 euros, with the updated rate it will be 91 (electricity only)”.
And Ana Filipa says that the bill went from 82 to 106 euros.
Should they warn customers or not?
SIC contacted GALP, who replied that it does not have to notify customers 30 days in advance because “The Mibel adjustment is not the result of a contractual change proposed by the suppliers, but of the direct application of the Legislative Decree 33/2022, in addition to the fact that prior notification by letter would not be possible, since (…) the value (…) is calculated monthly (…) and displayed immediately.”
In fact, this is another problem for Portuguese consumers. The value of this adjustment varies each month and also varies from company to company, depending on the type of electricity you buy and the number of customers you have. In other words, it’s Russian roulette. You never know in advance how much you will pay and that will be the case until at least May 31 next year.
Do you remember the president of Endesa who spoke of an increase in customer bills of about 40% as a result of this adjustment mechanism? Well, if it isn’t, it seems… Everything he said in that interview is actually happening.
The government explained at the time that without this adjustment mechanism, electricity would rise even more and pointed to the regulated market as an alternative.
If you switch to the company SU Eletricidade, the government guarantees that – for the time being – this new rule WILL NOT BE APPLIED.
The problem is that we now run the risk of getting a flood of customers who want to return to SU Eletricidade, and with good reason.
Obviously traders are complaining about unfair competition because it is the state and our taxes that will pay the difference in the regulated market.
Not all companies are adopting the MIBEL adjustment: EDP, Endesa and Goldenergy, for example, have already indicated that they will not apply this adjustment mechanism as of December 31, but none have promised what it will or will not do in 2023. have to wait and find out.
Therefore, there is currently only one clear way to escape this rule on the invoice: you are only safe from the MIBEL adjustment if you are a customer or switch to the company SU Eletricidade, the only company on the regulated market .
The price of light in the regulated market
In January, ERSE proposes that the kWh value at SU Electricity increases by 1.1% to about 16 and a half cents and without the MIBEL rate. Do your math.
At the moment, until December, according to the ERSE simulator, there are still some cheaper alternatives on the free market such as Endesa and Goldenergy, but we do not know whether prices will increase from January and whether they will. apply such a MIBEL mechanism. This will make all the difference on your electricity bill.
A word of warning: If you’ve already received the payment plan and renew your annual contract after April 26, you’ll have to pay. It’s all perfectly legal, the companies say, even if you weren’t warned. Now that you know, don’t forget that you can switch companies before the next bill comes in.
You can view the report here or view it through this link on the SIC Notícias page: https://sicnoticias.pt/programas/contaspoupanca/2022-10-19-Pagou-de-luz-quase-o-dobro-do- normal –Saiba -how-escape-the-tuning-mechanism-b1cb6919