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ELECTRICITY

How to check your electricity consumption in real time in Spain

People in Spain are paying the highest electricity prices on record currently. Here's how to check your electricity consumption in real time to keep on top of how much you're spending.

How to check your electricity consumption in real time in Spain
How to check your electricity consumption in real time in Spain. Photo: Victoria Heath/Unsplash

War in Ukraine has pushed electricity prices in Spain to the highest rate on record – €544 per megawatt hour (MWh) on Tuesday February 8th.

Between 7pm and 8pm on Tuesday, Spaniards will pay €700/MWh for electricity, truly outlandish rates.

A year ago, the average price per megawatt hour was just €45.44, although over the course of 2021 the price did first double and then quadruple that rate as the Covid-19 pandemic, inflation, adverse weather and a volatile natural gas market all formed the perfect storm for consumers.

And yet, those sky-high rates pale in comparison with what people in Spain now have to pay, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine proving to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Logically, Spain’s 47 million inhabitants are now looking for ways to keep a watchful eye on how much electricity they’re consuming at home and at their businesses.

If this is the case for you, here’s how you can monitor your home consumption in real-time over the internet.

Firstly, please be aware that your home must have a smart meter installed in order for this to work.

These are the new models that have replaced the old traditional ones and are being installed and transmit the data so that you can follow it online. 

All you need to do is to go to the customer area of the distributor that provides your electricity or its corresponding app. This should be the company that sends you electricity bills each month.

If you don’t know your distributor, then you can look for the CUPS (Universal Supply Point Code) code on your bill – this is a series of numbers in which the first digits indicate the distributor.

Where to find your CUPS code. Image: Endesa
 

Here are some examples of codes that correspond to different distributors: Nedgia ES0230, Nortegas ES0229, Redexis ES0238, Endesa ES0031, Iberdrola ES0021, and Union Fenosa ES0022.

You can check here to see Spain’s 333 different electricity distributors. 

Electricity distributors in Spain per region. Image: Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y de la Competencia

Once you have identified your distributor, you can access the website and log on. If you are not yet registered online, you can go ahead and do so. You may need to input some information which should be included on your most recent bill, such as your CUPS code and other identifying numbers.

You may also need to scan in and upload an ID document in order for them to identify you.

Once you have registered and logged on you will need to click on the button that says something similar to ‘meter consultation’ or ‘online access to the meter’, which will give you access to the data.

Where to see your electricity consumption in real-time. Image: Screenshot

Whether on the web or via the app, you will be able to see the power capacity you have contracted and the power you are consuming displayed in real-time and letting you know how much you’re spending on electricity at that given moment.

Electricity consumption online. Image: Screenshot

If you don’t have a computer or access to the app, or you don’t have a smart meter installed at your home, you can also always call your company and request information on your current electricity consumption.

READ ALSO: 11 ways to cut costs as Spain’s electricity rates beat all-time price records

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MONEY

Black Friday in Spain: What you should be aware of

Here's what you need to know about the Black Friday sales in Spain in 2022, from when they start to which retailers are offering discounts and why the sales aren't always as good as they're made out to be.

Black Friday in Spain: What you should be aware of

Black Friday is the day when some of Spain’s biggest retailers hold huge sales and give massive discounts (or so they claim) in the run-up to the start of the Christmas shopping season.

The tradition originated in the US as it was held the day after Thanksgiving.

READ ALSO: Where Americans can celebrate Thanksgiving

While Spain doesn’t generally celebrate the American Thanksgiving holiday, it does however go in for Black Friday in a big way, along with many other countries around the world.

Spain began getting in on the Black Friday action in 2011 when the regulations on promotions and sales changed.

When is Black Friday?

This year, Black Friday will be held on Friday November 25th, but many companies and online retailers decide to hold sales throughout the month or even extend them for a whole week instead of just one day.

For example, tech store MediaMarkt began giving discounts on November 1st and will continue its sales until November 30th, while Mr. Wonderful began its discounts early too on November 18th.

Inditex group (which includes clothes stores Zara, Pull & Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Oysho and Stradivarious) will publish their discounts online on Thursday November 24th.

Many stores will also extend their offers until Monday November 28th, which has become known as Cyber Monday. On this day, more tech companies and online retailers will be offering discounts too.

What will there be discounts on?

There will be Black Friday sales in Spain on everything from fashion and beauty to sports equipment, homeware and technology, among others.

Businesses are also allowing the return periods to be extended until January 6th 2023 or even into February, so that people can start their Christmas shopping early.

Spanish stores such as Mango, Zara and El Corte Inglés will all be having sales, as well as international and online retailers such as Amazon and Primark.

Swedish furniture giant Ikea will be doing something a little different this year, having a Green Friday where they’ll buy back some of your old furniture. 

According to a study by online marketing company Webloyalty, it is expected that online spending will grow by 25 percent compared to 2021, despite the rise in the cost of living and the financial squeeze many are experiencing.

Are Black Friday sales in Spain really that good?

Research conducted by Spanish consumer watchdog OCU over the past seven years has proven that many shops put the prices of their products up before Black Friday, so that the discounts they then apply aren’t really bargains for shoppers, but businesses get to capitalise on the shopping frenzy. 

In 2021, OCU spent 30 days writing down prices for almost 17,000 products in 52 stores. Almost a third of them rose in price (32.5 percent of the products), 11.8 percent of which cost less in the week of Black Friday. Overall, an average price rise of 3.3 percent was calculated.

There’s even a Twitter hastag #timofertasBF ( abit like ‘ripofferBF’) where user post the products that claim to be on discount but really aren’t.

Therefore, when it comes to big purchases in particular, make sure that you’re familiar with the average price of the product before Black Friday by comparing prices online. That should help you to ascertain whether you’re actually getting a good offer. 

If it’s a top-of-the-range product that’s just been released, don’t expect it to be on sale, and if it is, you should be suspicious.

Watch out for Black Friday scams

Be aware that while Black Friday can mean some great bargains, it’s also a day that brings out scammers and people who are waiting to steal your personal details.

In the past, there have been situations where second-hand items never arrive, the setup of fake online stores and discounts that contain malware.

You should particularly look out for phishing scams, where people try to steal your identity or personal details and fraudulent text messages.

Experts agree that there are several ways to protect yourself against potential Black Friday fraudsters including avoiding suspicious links or online shops you’re not aware of, using only official websites, creating strong passwords, not trusting any discounts that seem way too good to be true and using online security software.

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