Pressing the switch is easy, but if the bulb lights up it is, among other things, because a huge network takes the electricity from where it is generated to your home.
In Spain there are more than 43,000 kilometres of high voltage lines (slightly less than the circumference of the Earth) and more than 5,000 substations that ensure that electricity is distributed at the proper voltage. Keeping these infrastructures in good condition is not cheap. The necessary money is obtained from the access rates.
That is why one of the items on your bill is the access fee, referred to by the acronym ATR (Third Party Access to the Network).
If you are connected to the electricity grid you will have to pay an access fee that will affect both the fixed term of the bill (power) as well as the variable term (consumption). If you are on the regulated market (PVPC rate), the cost will be broken down. If you are on the open market, the cost of the rates will be included in the price per kW of power and per kWh of consumption.
Wherever you live, whatever your electric company, whether you are on the free market or on the regulated market... the cost of these rates will always be the same and will always be decided by the Energy Ministry.
Electricity access rates
When choosing your electricity rate you have complete freedom. However, you cannot choose your access tariff. It will affect you either way depending on other factors you can choose:
- Contracted power: all powers below 10 kW (the vast majority of households) will have a 2.0 access rate. Those between 10 kW and 15 kW will have a rate of 2.1. Above 15 kW, and as long as you remain in low voltage, the access rate will be 3.0. These are the access rates that a domestic consumer will have. As the rate number increases, so does the price.
- Time discrimination: all access rates mentioned above have a "last name" depending on whether or not they have time discrimination. If they do not, they will have an A after the number (2.0A and 2.1A). If they have time discrimination in two periods (peak and off-peak), they will have a DHA after the number (2.0DHA and 2.1DHA). If they have discrimination in three periods (peak, off-peak and super off-peak), they will have a DHS after the number (2.0DHS and 2.1DHS). The exception is 3.0A, which always has three periods (peak, mid-peak and off-peak.