What are electricity resellers?

The electricity distribution companies and resellers work together, but they do not have the same functions. The resellers buy electricity from the distribution companies and then bill the final consumer.

Since the opening up of the energy market in Spain in 2009, the two figures that can operate in the electricity market are electricity distributors and resellers.

Users can freely choose with which electricity reseller they want to sign a contract. They end up doing so based on the best offer or conditions; rates; whether they are offered renewable electricity; or whether they receive good service or get good references. However, they cannot choose the distribution company in charge of delivering electricity to their home or workplace, this depends on the geographical area and users have no choice.

"Users can freely choose their electricity reseller.”

Types and functions of electricity resellers

In Spain there are more than 250 resellers. Within these, there are two types:

  • Free market resellers, which can set their own prices, offering unique rates and proposing additional services.
  • Reference resellers, which are those authorised by the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism to apply the regulated PVPC rate (Voluntary Price for the Small Consumer). Here the price of electricit depends on supply and demand.

Resellers acquire the electrical energy they need to supply their customers in the wholesale market for distribution companies. The energy is bought in the OMIE auctions and, from there, they can prepare their offers and promotions based on the price per watt/hour.

The resellers also bill you for your consumption and carry out certain procedures requested by their customers under supervision by the distributor. They can be said to be the intermediaries between the distributors and the final consumer.

Among their functions are all those related to dealing directly with the customer: offering the best rates, sending electricity bills, advising the consumer and answering all their questions and queries, as well as speeding up many of their usual procedures.

The rate for each home depends on the reseller, and what is paid on each electricity bill depends on the contracted rate.

Your reseller's contact details appear on your electricity bill, because they will be the ones you deal with, mostly. 

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When to contact the reseller?

Each consumer can choose with which company they want to contract their electricity, and should contact it when there are problems with the bills, with payments or to request improved rates or to report irregularities when applying those rates.

For other common procedures, such as raising or lowering the contracted power, changing to a rate with or without time discrimination or changing the owner of the contract, you must also call the reseller, which will then process the request with the distributor.

Similarly, and although this is not your direct responsibility, you can contact the reseller to file a claim for incorrect consumption, or when bills are estimated and meter readings are not performed. The reseller can handle the arrangements with the distributor on behalf of the customer

When to call the distribution company?

Distribution companies offer their infrastructure to transfer electrical energy from the generating stations to the points of consumption. In Spain they are appointed by the Government for each geographical area.

These companies (according to their appointed area) are responsible for fixing any faults that could affect the energy supply. They are also responsible for installing electricity meters (which can be digital or smart meters), carry out their periodic reading and cut or restore the electricity supply as appropriate.

The distribution company must be called in the event of a network failure; to register new supplies; for cancellations, or for processing an installation's CUPS code. It is the first digits of this code - which appears on the electricity bill -  that indicate the applicable distribution company for your area. 

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