FACUA considers it ridiculous that the electric so-called social tariff meant for winter is being delivered in summer

The association criticizes this measure, which provides financial assistance with heating and hot water expenses, and judges it to be a simple patch as opposed to an actual solution for users who struggle to pay their bills.

FACUA considers it ridiculous that the electric so-called social tariff meant for winter is being delivered in summer

FACUA-Consumers in Action considers it ridiculous that the new electric so-called social tariff, a financial aid for heating and hot water expenses during winter months, is being introduced in June, in the dog days of summer, according to a Government's announcement.

"Direct aid to deal with the payment of the heating in the middle of June and summer temperatures. This is Spain", commented the general secretary of FACUA, Olga Ruiz, upon hearing the announcement. The association criticizes how the assistance to cope with the heating and hot water expenses during winter arrives with months of delay, when it no longer provides any solution to people who have had problems paying their bills.

The Government announced this week that it will begin to distribute the aid to all those consumers who requested it during the past year. Specifically, 1,091,455 checks between 25 and 123.94 euros will be delivered, depending on the degree of vulnerability. It is a single payment intended to finance the energy expenses for heating, hot water, and cooking during winter. According to the government, the initial plan was to deliver the social tariff in January or February.

FACUA criticizes that the procedure for this measure and the ridiculous quantities of this new thermal social tariff have not been addressed in depth, which will not solve in any case the problems faced by consumers who struggle to pay their bills. A single payment of between 25 and 124 euros is insufficient to cope with the high energy costs.

The association considers this measure a simple patch, that is in all aspects insufficient, and calls on the current functioning government, as well as the one constituted facing the new legislation, the intervention of the sector, so that their executive branch is charged with periodically setting prices based on the real cost of energy production; and commit itself in a clear and unambiguous way to adopt forceful measures to cheapen the inflated bills that users endure.

The requirements to access this new aid are to be beneficiaries of the electric social tariff or to have completed the application before December 31, 2018. In total, more than 1.4 million requests have been processed, of which a total of 1.09 million have been finally formally approved.

According to the government, the delay in implementation of the thermal social tariff has been due, to a large extent, to the delay in the approval of the General State Budgets (PGE, according to its initials in Spanish) for 2019, which prevented the use of 80 million euros that PGE collected for the implementation. Thus, the Ministry for the Ecological Transition (Environment) has had to carry out a long bureaucratic process with the Ministry of Finance and the Comptroller General of the State to introduce the tariff to the public.