Will the government's goal of paying a tariff like the one in 2018 be achieved?
With the latest measures taken by the Government, it will be possible for consumers in Spain to pay an average tariff similar to that of 2018. The challenge now is for everyone to do so, including those with a regulated tariff, linked to the wholesale market.
For the latter, it would be important to update the regulated tariff to protect the 10.5 million customers to which it applies from market volatility, as well as to develop other measures to protect other types of customers from the volatility of the wholesale market. It should be emphasised that the problems arising from the increase in wholesale prices mainly affects the customers exposed to the pool, including those who have contracted a regulated tariff.
In addition to this update to the regulated tariff that the entire electricity sector has been requesting for years, has Endesa proposed any other measures to contain the rise in prices?
We have always been willing to propose solutions. We have always been committed to dialogue and this will continue, because we know that we are an important part of the solution.
What have we proposed to the Government?
- Firstly, to attack the key to the problem which is the rise in gas prices. How? With regulatory measures that enable the price of gas to be around 20 euros, which would drastically reduce the wholesale price.
- Secondly, a change in the settlement of renewable energies that do charge the pool price (Recore, renewables, cogeneration and waste). A part of renewable energies (almost 80%) is regulated and falls within this Recore system. The market price is estimated every three years and a premium is added to ensure profitability. After three years, the premium is reviewed and adjusted for the future. At the moment these renewables are charging much more than expected, because they take their price from the daily market. This will be compensated by reducing the specific remuneration from 2023. If the settlement is changed so that the adjustment is made within each year, about 6,000 million euros could be recovered in advance, this corresponds to the next six months.
What would you say to those who believe that Endesa is making a fortune out of this price increase?
I would simply ask them to look at the facts: The reality is that Endesa has reduced its profit margin in the generation and marketing of electricity by 15% in the first nine months of the year, so we are not making a fortune or doing well out of these skyrocketing prices.
As to whether we are making a fortune or not, I believe that making a profit is a symptom of the sustainability of the system and a guarantee for the future, in the electricity sector and in any sector. In our case, these profits are used to fund investments that have amounted to thousands of millions, and the return we get can be considered as reasonable.
So who benefits from the rise in the price of energy in the wholesale market?
Those who are benefiting from the price increases in raw materials such as oil, gas and others are the countries and operators that control the global extraction and distribution of these raw materials. Not those of us who are end users.
There are other agents who have benefited: Producers of renewable energies who are under a regulated scheme that guarantees them a certain profitability. That is why one of the measures we have proposed is to bring forward the payment period for the settlement of the extra income that these producers receive, as I explained before.
Energy poverty is a reality in Spain, so part of the measures adopted by the Government are aimed at helping the most vulnerable families. What is Endesa doing in this regard?
Our commitment to society will lead us to contribute approximately 90 million euros to finance the Social Bonus this year. We have also signed 127 agreements with institutions in Spain designed to assist thousands of vulnerable families and that no clients in that situation will have their energy supply cut off and they will be able to afford to pay their bills.