Most homes in urbanised areas have a choice of electricity suppliers, although in rural areas it is unlikely for there to be more than one supplier. In some remote areas no mains electricity, or a limited service, is available. Households can install a generator.
There are different electricity providers in each autonomous region and as such the price is likely to vary from place to place. The Town Hall (Ayuntamiento) can provide information on the local suppliers of electricity, water and gas.
Spain's standard electricity supply is 220 Volts (V), 50 Hertz (Hz) AC, although in some older properties it is still possible to find 110 V supply or a combination of the two.
Note: A country's available voltage is printed on the glass of a light bulb, or the light bulb packet.
Spain uses the standard European two-pin plug and socket.
All domestic goods sold in Spain have a compatible two pin plug attached. For appliances with foreign plugs, adapters (enchufes or adaptador) can be bought or the plug can be changed. Adapters are widely available at most large supermarkets in tourist destinations, and electrical shops and DIY stores also usually stock them.
Some electricity suppliers offer a "Time of Day Rate" which provides reduced rate electricity during off-peak hours. Generally, customers choosing this option will have to have a new electric meter fitted. Prices for this service vary between companies and it is advisable to enquire with the local supplier for further information.
Spain operates a power rating system (potencia) where a household calculates its average usage and the supply received is based on this. This can cause small blackouts if too many appliances are used at once.
It is worth knowing that during peak electricity usage periods and storms the electrical supply may be cut; this happens regularly in many regions. A supplementary generator or UPS system for computers can be installed at a business or home that depends on power.
A power surge protector is also recommended to protect appliances (computers, TVs, fax machines) from damage when the power supply is resumed.
It is necessary to have a contract with the local electricity company in order to receive electricity. In general, the information needed to get power connected is the following:
First-time connection for a new-build house:
For all electrical connections:
Once the contract is set up, bills will be received by post or can be viewed on the supplier's website, showing the total amount that will be debited from the bank account.
To cancel the contract it is necessary to write a letter to the supplying company asking them to stop the service. Attach a copy of the passport identity page or NIE number.
The electricity supply in most of Spain is 220 volts AC with a frequency of 50 hertz (cycles).
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