How to stop fearing and saving with the electricity bill?

Image result for electricityThe dreaded day has arrived, we enter our portal, we open the mailbox and … BINGO! There is the letter from our beloved electric company, what will it be this time? Will I have won some sort of draw?

Well no, against all odds it’s about the bill of light , and what is my face of amazement when I realize that, oh surprise! it has gone back up …

Why does not the receipt of light continue to rise and more now that winter comes?

What will have happened? What is the reason for this “exceptional” increase? surely it will be because of a war in a strange country, or perhaps it is due to another “debt” of the state with some figure of the electrical system. Nothing farther from reality, this time the blame has fallen on the weather.

As you read, this time the responsibility of Spaniards to pay 12% more on our electricity bill is of the weather, and is that going through one of the driest years that are remembered serves as a perfect excuse to justify the increase of the invoice in this year 2017.

– Surely the Government will have taken measures to deal with such a setback. Well, a priori it seems that no, maybe our best option is to invoke the God of rain, wait for us to listen and no one can think of another excuse to return to raise the bill of light next year.

But does Spain and the electricity bill really depend so much on hydroelectric power?

Well, the truth is that no. It is evident that our country can not risk its energy production to a scarce resource such as water. And a good proof of this is that only 29% of the renewable energy that we produce comes from hydraulic energy compared to 98% that produces a world power in this matter, such as Norway.

In other words, in Norway, as they have an abundance of water, they make the most of it, and here we blame the scarcity of a scarce resource for the increase in the electricity tariff. Would not it be better, I say, to look for an abundant resource within our borders and get the most out of the purest Norwegian style?

At this point, the bulb is turned on to a server, never better said. Spain is a world-famous country because of multiple factors, but the Sun may be the most relevant, do not you think?

Well, it seems that a brilliant mind of this country had this idea before me and I am sure that it intentionally took charge of putting all the obstacles possible to the exploitation of the most important energy resource that we have at our disposal.

Think about it for a moment, what would be the excuse to justify a new increase in electricity rates with a much stronger generation of solar energy ? They would surely end and it would be time to put the cards on the table.

How can we save on the electricity bill at the end of the month?

Luckily for us, it is not necessary to wait for that moment to come, it is in our power to take charge of our energetic transformation. With self-consumption solutions we protect ourselves against the constant rises in the price of electricity. Self-consumption will allow you to save directly on the variable term of your electric bill. In addition, in some cases you can lower the electric power contracted by reducing the fixed cost and also if you hire a rate with time discrimination you can maximize the savings on your bill even more .

It should be remembered that self-consumption is a right and to become the owners of our own energy depends solely on ourselves. We have the opportunity to be part of the energy transition as active members. Are you going to waste it?

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Save energy through mobile phone

Reduce heating costs and electricity costs with Smart Home

The guides provide general information. Product details of CosmosDirekt can be found on the respective product pages.

When the window opens, the heating is switched off. When you leave the home, all the lights go out, and so does the radio. Smart home systems help save energy. Especially in the household, where electricity is often wasted by negligence, such automatic solutions are useful. In the article we introduce the appropriate devices that you can use to save energy.

Table of Contents

  • Save energy with a smart home heating control

  • Reduce power consumption

Nobody likes to waste money, but many people do – mostly without intention or negligence – because the window is open for ventilation for a quarter of an hour, while the heating continues to boil. The TV is on standby all day, even though there is no one at home who could turn it on. Classic examples of how fast energy is wasted – and how to spend more money unnoticed than necessary. This is where smart home solutions come into play: you can save energy in the home even if you do not think about it. Thanks to intelligent networking, heating and power consumption can be limited to the necessary level.

You should know these terms

sensor Also referred to as a detector, transducer or probe. The sensor can detect certain physical (or chemical) properties: temperature, humidity, light, speed and the like. In the smart home they play an important role as signal generators: If a certain value is exceeded or undershot, this triggers a signal to a connected device.
standby English for “be prepared”. Therefore, also called standby mode for electrical appliances. The actual functions are switched off, but the device can be returned to the function mode without long waiting times. Energy is needed to maintain the standby mode. The consumption is lower than in the operating mode, but adds up over time.

Saving energy with a smart home heating control

The fact that it is possible to increase comfort with Smart Home is obvious: While you step into the shower in the morning, the heating control via Smart Home has already brought the bathroom to a comfortable temperature. Upon entering, the motion detector activates dim light and the radio plays quietly in the background. But Smart Home can do even more: if the last member of the family leaves the apartment, the controller will keep the heat output to a minimum, just high enough to prevent it from cooling down throughout the day. Then the heating control can bring the home back to comfortable temperatures by app or by time switch function, before the first family member comes home again.

These smart devices help save energy

70 to 80 percent of all energy costs are incurred for heating and hot water. For a 70 m 2 apartment in 2015, that was an average of about 1,000 euros, determined the nationwide heating mirror, a cooperation of the non-profit consulting company co2online and the German Tenants’ Association. With Smart Home it is possible to save up to 30 percent of these costs . Every year, that’s 300 euros more in your wallet , thanks to smart thermostats and intelligent heating control via smartphone. We introduce you to various smart home appliances that help save energy and increase comfort in the home.


A reduction of the living temperature by just 1 ° C pays off: you save about 5% to 6% of the heating costs.


The thermostat is simply plugged onto the valve of the radiator and integrated into the Smart Home system – it is ready for use. It automatically regulates the room temperature according to your specifications, which are stored in the heating profile of the room. The heating control can also be regulated by app or remote control. In general, a temperature change is possible directly on the thermostat. Remote access can even raise or lower the temperature while you are on the move. If there is a connection with a door and window contact, the thermostat automatically switches off the radiator when the door or window is opened. Only after closing the heater is reactivated.

room thermostat

The room thermostat can control several radiator thermostats in a room at once. The connection with the underfloor heating is possible. The commands are transmitted by radio, mounting with screws or tape. The heating control is done via the app or PC, by timer or manually on the device. As a rule, room thermostats with several temperature settings are programmable so that individual well-being temperatures can be set for the morning, the day and in the evening. In most cases, a humidity sensor is also integrated, which controls the temperature so that no mold can form. Networking with door and window contacts is also possible. Because the room thermostat can be mounted anywhere in the room, measure the temperature exactly where you want it.


The optimum temperature in living rooms is between 18 and 22 ° C.

Door and window sensor

This contact first checks whether the door or window secured with it is closed or opened. The status can be checked at any time via the Smart Home app, so that you always know if someone has gained access to the home unauthorized. When combined with a radiator or room thermostat, door and window sensors also help save energy. If there is magnetic contact, the heater can run. When the contact is released, the thermostat throttles the radiator. Many suppliers can use the heating control to determine when the sensor transmits its signals. Thanks to a programmed delay, it is possible to prevent the heating system from being shut down when the windows are opened for a short time and then restarted.

Humidity and temperature sensor

For indoors and outdoors, there are sensors that measure temperature and humidity and send this data to the central home control. The sensors are usually mounted on the wall and can measure temperatures from -20 to +80 ° C (outside) or from 0 to 40 ° C (inside). The relative humidity can be between 10 and 90 percent. The data is regularly sent to the control center or a networked weather station. In addition, programming with specific target values ​​is possible via app or directly on the device. If, for example, they exceed or fall below 2 ° C or 10% humidity, the heating control can regulate the thermostat by radio to prevent mold growth on the inside. For external sensors, for example, the connection to electric shutters is conceivable: If the outside is too hot or too cold, the shutters will automatically shut down. In summer, it stays cool inside and warm in winter.

The heating control automatically takes over the direction with profiles

Profiles can be set using the app or the software interface, which causes certain operations to take place automatically . For example, it is possible to automate the raising and lowering of the bath heating in the morning / evening. Many providers allow for a day-specific setting, which, for example, on working days, the profile is activated one or two hours earlier than at weekends. In this way, the right temperature can be assigned for the entire course of the day: cuddly warm in the presence, cool in the absence. In addition, “event profiles” can be defined: Only when all residents – whose location is detected via the smartphone GPS – have left the house will the temperature be shut down. If you have half an hour more time than usual in the morning, the apartment will still be warm.


Which Smart Home profiles are supported and how you create them can be found in the article Smart Home: Installation .

Frequently asked questions about smart home heating control

  • What information is displayed on the radiator thermostat display?
    If the radiator thermostat has been integrated into the smart home system, the display will show an existing network (usually with an antenna symbol). The current room temperature can also be read off. The level of the battery can also be identified by the symbol. Many also show on the display whether a time profile has been activated. Sometimes the time and day of the week are also displayed.
  • To which radiator can the thermostat be connected?
    Smart thermostats can be connected to all standard radiators . It simply removes the old thermostat knob and the new mounted. An exchange of the (through) valve is usually not necessary. Depending on the manufacturer, an adapter ring is required for installation. Many thermostats are compatible with the manufacturers from the outset. For underfloor heating , the simple radiator thermostats are not suitable – this requires special thermostats.
  • Is it possible to set the room temperature even if the heating control has been deactivated?
    Yes. The remote control of the Smart Home system can usually be used to change the temperature. The radiator thermostats themselves have thumbwheels or knobs that increase or decrease the room temperature. Please note: deactivating the Smart Home heating control also switches off the networking with other Smart Home components. This means that the data from door and window sensors can no longer be evaluated. When the heating control is deactivated, an open window will no longer automatically cause the radiator to be throttled.
  • Is it possible to prevent the heating from freezing when the batteries of the radiator thermostat are empty?
    Yes. For most providers, however, the frost protection of the radiator thermostat must be activated. Then the thermostat opens the valves by 15 percent when the batteries go to zero. Otherwise, the valve remains closed, so that the room is not heated unnecessarily when the batteries are empty. Some providers equip their radiator thermostats with a valve emergency position. Then the valve is automatically opened by 15 percent to prevent freezing. For frost-prone rooms, manual activation of the frost protection is recommended, as only then can further parameters such as a minimum temperature be set via the heating control.

What are the benefits of heating control via smart home?

  • You can always set the correct temperature in all heating periods and prevent overheating of the rooms.
  • You can set exactly the periods in which to heat or in which not or only slightly heated.
  • They can optimally regulate the humidity of each room and specifically prevent mold growth.
  • You can also use the app to regulate all functions on the go and to adjust the heating control to unexpected changes.
  • You save between 10 and 30 percent of your energy costs. That’s between 100 and 300 euros per year.

Saving energy made easy: Reduce power consumption with Smart Home

In addition to the intelligent heating control via radio control of power-hungry devices is the second domain of smart home solutions. Of course, the networked control can also contribute to the comfort : The smart socket activates the coffee machine when getting up – as soon as you enter the kitchen, you can expect the freshly brewed coffee. But at the same time, Smart Home helps you to reduce power consumption and thus reduce energy costs . We will introduce you to the key energy saving devices and give you tips on how to further reduce your costs.

Save energy with Smart Home: These smart appliances reduce the power consumption of your household

Fully automatic coffee machines, smart TVs, receivers, wireless routers, printers and laptops – in many households there is plenty of electronics that are only used for a few hours a day, but which are connected to the power grid around the clock. As the German Energy Agency calculated in 2010, the cost of the standby operation of home electronics amounts to an average of 115 euros per year . Particularly fatal: Many modern devices are not even signaled by a light that they run in standby. This also applies to chargers that remain in the socket after you have removed your smartphone or tablet. How high their power consumption is, is difficult to determine. The hidden costs can be quickly and easily tracked down with Smart Home. Saving energy cleverly is then quite easy.

Switching and measuring socket

This device is used to turn on and off electrical appliances. It fits into any normal household socket and can be used in a few minutes. By connecting to the control panel, the connected consumers – from the coffee machine to the radiators – can be switched on and off as required. In combination with a time control, the pot of coffee is brewed punctually every morning by the coffee machine. Or the motion sensor automatically turns on the lamp on the dresser when someone enters the room. Disconnecting the power line will help eliminate unnecessary power in standby with the Smart Switch and Meter Socket. The measurement function also provides information about the power requirement and transmits the values ​​to the app. This allows you to easily monitor and evaluate the energy balance of your devices on smartphones and tablets.


The adapter works in principle as well as the switch and test socket and can also be attached to any household socket. The status can be called up and checked on the go via app. Also, you can easily configure the timing and linking to other elements. In conjunction with the caretaker function, the plug additionally increases safety: then it can switch connected lamps on and off at random to simulate presence. Some providers also enable / disable the connected device directly on the adapter. A measuring function is usually not included.

Wireless wall switch

The wall button – sometimes called a wall transmitter – is an all-in-one switch. Just press the button when leaving the room and the radio in the room and the lights on the shelves and sideboards will go off. And all at once, a tour is no longer necessary. The combination with intelligent radiator thermostats can also be created to save additional energy because the room temperature is lowered. Cabling is usually not necessary, wall switches and wall-mounted transmitters work radio-based. This makes it easy to attach the switch to plaster or to the wallpaper – easily with double-sided tape or with screws at the desired location: next to the ceiling light switch or anywhere else. Per app, the wall button can be configured as desired.


How much power a household consumes depends not only on the number of devices, but also on the number of family members. A one-person household needs about 1,800 kWh, with two people the consumption already increases to 2,700 kWh, with three people to 3,400 kWh. For four people you have to expect about 4,000 kWh. Compare your last electricity bill with these values ​​- and formulate a concrete savings target.

Profiles simplify smart energy saving in the home

Even when saving energy, many functions can be controlled via profiles: Either you create a time profile so that the connected device is activated or deactivated at a certain time. Or you create event profiles . Then the motion sensor can turn on the lights – or you can use the wireless switch to turn off all connected elements at once.


You can find out which Smart Home profiles are supported and how to create them in the Smart Home: Installation article.

Particularly interesting are such time profiles for all who operate a photovoltaic system on the roof . If, for example, a washing machine or a tumble dryer are integrated into the smart home, they can be selectively activated by the control center if the solar system currently supplies a lot of energy. The time period can be set via app control, so that, for example, the laundry is finished when it returns. The exact time when the washing machine is turned on, however, determines the center – which gets information from outdoor sensors about sunshine and strength. The same applies if, for example, e-bikes or electric cars are connected. Then the central office regulates the charge according to the available solar energy. One step further goes one, if one integrates home battery storage. Then smart home also allows intelligent energy management , which makes you largely independent of the electricity supplier.

Benefits of intelligent energy saving at home

  • You stay in control of your power consumption and discover devices that unnecessarily drive up your electricity bills.
  • Increase comfort by turning your electrical appliances on and off automatically.
  • They reduce the costs of electricity consumption and avoid expensive back payments.

Tip: Modern security for your home

With the CosmosDirekt you can choose between the free devolo Home Control Starter Package * or 50% discount on a Nest Protect Smoke and CO Alarm ** when completing the Comfort Rate. So you make your home safe and protect it from burglary and other dangers.

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Modern security for your home

  • Fire , burglary , robbery , tap water, storm, hail damage
  • Your property will be replaced as new
  • 24/7 service and quick claims handling
  • Only until 31.05 .: with smart home device from devolo or Nest

more info Calculate contribution Back to the guide “Smart Home” To household insurance

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  • Call
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Available around the clock: 0681-9 66 68 00

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Experts say that Eiser’s profitability is 5% before the ICSID, compared to 7.3% of the reform

Experts say that Eiser’s profitability is 5% before the ICSID, compared to 7.3% of the reform

Image result for eiserThe experts of Brattle and BDO appointed in the international arbitration of the Ciadi against Spain about the cuts to the renewable facilities of Eiser Infrastructure Limited and Solar Energy Luxembourg calculate that the profitability of these investors was between 3.7% and 5%. % after the electrical reform in 2013, compared to 7.39% in the new legislation.

These considerations are included in the ICSID award referred to the parties last week, in which for the first time this institution pronounces on the cuts to renewable facilities in Spain, and does so in favor of the plaintiffs, who in In this case, they will be entitled to an indemnity of 128 million. The ICSID received about thirty complaints about this matter.

In the award, neither the expert appointed by the State’s attorney nor Eiser’s attorney included the economic returns of the plants in the percentage of “reasonable profitability” established by the Government. Brattle, designated by Eiser, figures the profitability of the solar thermal projects of the investor at 3.7%, while BDO, chosen by the State, does so at 5%.

“The real profitability before taxes of the plants is well below the target rate foreseen by the new regime,” says the award in view of these testimonies, before confirming that the Eiser facilities did not comply with the standard of “efficient” plants applied “retroactively” in 2013 by the Government.

In fact, the capital costs of the plants were about 40% higher than the level considered “efficient” by the reform. The complainant’s experts, from Brattle, attribute this difference to aspects such as the fact that the plants were owners, instead of tenants, of the land on which the projects were based.

The operating and maintenance costs of the plants also exceeded those considered efficient, even more so when in 2012 new taxes were approved that also levied the gas used by the solar thermal plants. As a result, the revenues of the facilities registered a decrease of 66% after the reform of 2013.

In 2014, one of the plants, Aires Solar, had operating income of 19.92 million, compared to the 27.76 million needed to respond to the company’s debts, while another facility, Dioxipe, received 7.79 million, against the 13.94 million needed to repay the debt.


The award shows precisely that the indebtedness of investors in renewables and their difficulties in repaying the debt after the cuts were not taken into account when defining the new remuneration regime for the reform.

In an interrogation, the director of the solar department of the Institute for Diversification and Energy Saving (IDAE), Carlos Montoya, confirmed that it was the Ministry’s officials who carried out the “estimations and crucial calculations” to define the remuneration standards “without take into account the real characteristics and production of the plants “.

“The new regime does not take into account the real costs, including the debt service, or the actual efficiencies of certain existing CSP (solar thermal) facilities,” the award states.

Montoya added during the hearing that he also used his personal knowledge based on a project or projects he had supervised, and “admitted in his testimony that the process was not based on a

Mathematical analysis of rigorous data, when stating that ‘if you look for […] an average or a mathematical formula, there is not one’ “, indicates the award.


The court ruling also describes the expectations on which Eiser decided to invest in renewables in June 2007. To do so, it carried out ‘due diligences’ and counted on the advice of Gómez Acebo

& Pombo. At that time, the main risk identified was that the project could not be built in the 36 months established in Royal Decree 661/2007.

The debt of the projects was equivalent to 70% of the capital in the case of the Astexol plant, and 63.5% in the case of the other two plants, known as Aste. In December 2011, Eiser valued its investments at 148 million euros.


The costs of the award, which include the fees of the arbitrators and court costs, amount to $ 956,159, of which $ 277,929 correspond to President John R. Crook, 177,439 to referee Stanimir Alexandrov and $ 123,964 to the other arbitrator, Campbell McLachlan .

The court has concluded that it is not the Spanish State that assumes the total cost, but that each party pays its own legal and other expenses, as well as the respective fee for the fees and expenses of the members of the tribunal and of the Accrued rights for the use of the ICSID.

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ICO-IDAE Energy Efficiency Line

ICO-IDAE Energy Efficiency Line

Image result for ICO-IDAEWe help to obtain a specific ICO Line for the Industrial, Commercial and Hospitality sectors (specific CNAEs) that carry out investments aimed at achieving an improvement in energy consumption.

At BBVA we offer the advantages that companies and entrepreneurs need to make their work easier.

  • Up to 100% of the amount approved by IDAE for each project.
  • Energy efficiency of the Industrial and Commercial sector: 3 million euros.
  • Renove plan for savings and energy efficiency in Hospitality: 1.5 million euros.

Apply for

  • Basic characteristics
  • Economic conditions

Beneficiaries :

  • Autonomous companies and companies belonging to the Industrial, Commercial and Hospitality sectors (specific CNAEs) that carry out investments aimed at achieving an improvement in energy consumption.

Sections :

  • Energy efficiency of the Industrial and Commercial sector.
  • Renove plan for savings and energy efficiency in Hospitality.


Until December 17, 2018 or until the consumption of available funds.

Bankable investments

The costs necessary to achieve the reduction of energy consumption will be financeable, which may include, among others, the following concepts: preparation of technical projects related to actions, costs of optional management, cost of civil works and installation of facilities; necessary equipment, materials and auxiliary facilities, transport costs, technical assistance and those directly related to the execution of the project, as well as those necessary for the legalization of the facilities and the obtaining of licenses from both professional associations and administrations; costs necessary to submit the application such as project, technical memories, certificates, etc.

The Projects to be financed require the prior approval of the IDAE.

In general, the investments to be financed may not be prior to the date of communication of the client’s request by the Financial Entity to the IDAE.

The maximum term of execution of the investments will be 24 months (Industrial and Commercial sectors) and 12 months (Hospitality sector).

BBVA financing through the ICO-IDAE Line Energy Efficiency 2017-2018. The granting of operations is subject to compliance with the requirements established in the ICO Line and prior authorization of financing by BBVA.

Maximum amount

Up to 100% of the amount approved by IDAE for each project, establishing the following maximum financing amounts per project:

  • Energy efficiency of the Industrial and Commercial sector: 3 million euros.
  • Renove plan for savings and energy efficiency in Hospitality: 1.5 million euros.

Financing modality

Operations can only be formalized by the loan modality.

Term of operations

The customer can choose between:

  • Energy Efficiency of the Industrial and Commercial sector: From 1 to 10 years (without lack or with 1 year of lack of principal).
  • Renove plan for savings and energy efficiency in Hospitality: From 1 to 5 years (without lack or with 1 year of lack of principal).

Type of interest

Fixed or Variable, varying the differential depending on the term of the operation.

Voluntary early cancellation

Voluntary early cancellation: Full or partial early cancellation can be made (reducing the fee). In general, the commission for voluntary early cancellation will be 1% for transactions formalized at a FIXED rate and 0.50% for operations at a VARIABLE rate. These commissions vary if the transaction is within the Law 41/2007, regulation of the mortgage market, depending on when the cancellation is carried out

BBVA financing through the ICO-IDAE Line Energy Efficiency 2017-2018. The granting of operations is subject to compliance with the requirements established in the ICO Line and prior authorization of financing by BBVA.

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Barcelona will assume the sewer rate of people in situations of energy poverty

Barcelona will assume the sewer rate of people in situations of energy poverty

Related imageThe municipal government of Barcelona has proposed to assume the sewer rate of people suffering from energy poverty , which means between 10 and 15 euros per year of the water bill.

The City Council also plans to assume the debt in this issue generated by the citizens in precarious situation as well as the renewal of the Bulletin of Recognition of Electrical Installations.

These measures, however, will have to go through the commission and the plenary session first, but the Councilor for Presidency and Energy, Eloi Badia, has assured that all the groups agree so far.

Badia will also propose to the Àrea Metropolitana de Barcelona to do the same with the municipal rate of waste treatment. The mayor has taken the opportunity to criticize Agbar charged against the consistory for not doing homework in this area when he knows that they have been working to approve this initiative for five months.

This is a measure to exempt families in a situation of energy poverty from the sewerage rate included in the water tariff, an issue that serves 7,476 households, equivalent to 18,690 people.

This measure would imply about 100,000 euros for the City Council to assume the cost of the fee, which represents about 7% of the bill.

The water bill includes five concepts : this sewer rate, the supply, the water fee – which depends on the Generalitat -, the VAT and the waste treatment rate – of the Metropolitan Area of ​​Barcelona (AMB) – -, concepts that are grouped in the same invoice to optimize the administrative management, Badia has defended.


They plan to take a proposal to the metropolitan council of the AMB so that the waste treatment fee is not charged to these families in a situation of energy poverty, something that will also be addressed after the summer and that would affect the entire metropolitan area.

The AMB would cover what these families will not pay for the rate , which represents 14% of the bill, and advocate that both the supra-municipal administration and the City Council settle the debt in sewage and household waste that accumulates up to 1,000 euros.

The councilor has argued that “there will still be elements on the receipt on which it will be worth reflecting” and depend on other administrations : the VAT, which regulates the central government and asks to reduce, and the canon, which depends on the Generalitat, which is studying the matter, according to Badia.

Free security accreditation

The City Council has negotiated an agreement between the Energy Agency of Barcelona, ​​the Municipal Institute of Social Services and the Gremi d’Instal·ladors of Barcelona, ​​which establishes a protocol for families with difficulties not to pay for the Recognition Bulletin of Electrical Installations (Brie), required to change the contract or its owner.

Asked by the journalists, Badia pointed out that they have treated about 200 cases of families that have found themselves in the situation of having to pay for this document and can not afford the cost, since it costs about 100 euros, which the City Council will assume, with a approximate cost of 20,000 euros.

Months working with Agbar

He assured that the City Council has been working on this issue with Aigües de Barcelona for at least five months , and regretted that the society accused the municipality of not subsidizing the fees of its competition when it knew that the municipal government was already analyzing it: “It seems that the campaign has been more to dirty a measure that I think we should all celebrate. “

Badia, who voted against the accounts of Aigües de Barcelona, ​​has argued that the benefits should be used to lower rates, and Ortiz has asserted: ” We are talking about basic supplies , goods that are provided in other places as a common public service. We are not talking about buying and selling shoes, we are talking about having access to water “.

Energy advisory points

The Energy Advisory Points (PAE) have attended since 2015 to 4,626 households , added to those served by social services, reach 7,476, Ortiz detailed, which has explained that 1,921 supply cuts have been avoided and have been carried out 658 urgent interventions in homes with “severe deficiencies”.

Has specified that 75% of those served in the PAE are not users of social services , so he has asked the central government not to set this requirement to access social bonds, and noted that the advice points have driven some 50 community workshops, which aim to intensify during the summer, when energy poverty also influences health.

Check here more news of Barcelona.

More information about:

  • Barcelona’s town hall
  • Energy poverty
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These ‘gadgets’ can save you a lot of money in electricity


These ‘gadgets’ can save you a lot of money in electricity

These days, receiving the bill for electricity means taking a hot flash. Prices have skyrocketed and it seems that they will stay very high for some time. More than ever, we need to save. We can make a conscientious consumption plan that keeps us vigilant about what we plug in or what we turn on … or we can leave it in the hands of technology.

The alternative is as attractive as it is effective. Every time more gadgets are released to the market with the aim of getting you to spend strictly what you need. We present some of the most innovative.


If you do not use it, turn it off

There are smart gadgets that are responsible for monitoring your cluelessness, as when you leave without turning off the light of a room or with a device on. Two very useful examples. The Ecobutton connects to the computer through the USB port and thus detects the time it takes without being in use. When it has exceeded the programmed minutes, it disconnects it. In this way, even the stand-by expense is suppressed .

Much more complete is the EnergyEgg , which consists of two devices: a motion detector and an adapter for the plug. When the set time is exceeded without activity in the room, the adapter cuts off the power of all the systems connected to that socket, but not before warning with a beep in case you want to cancel the action.


Remote control

From mobile devices we can know what happens in our house and make decisions that execute intelligent control systems. First example, the Xiaomi Smart Socket , in appearance a simple plug with adapter.

Through it you can connect any device to the network, with the advantage that it measures the consumption that is made and informs you of it in the mobile. Your app allows you to turn the device off or on remotely, or leave it programmed so that it can be connected in the hours when electricity is cheaper.

The Insight WeMo performs a similar function, with a couple of added advantages: it informs you when the devices have completed their function (the washing machine, the dryer, the oven …) to prevent them from being put on stand-by , and sends alerts if something it does not run as it should (a power failure, the washing machine stopped by a fault …).


Brains that think for you

The most complete gadgets are those that analyze the consumption of your home and advise you on how to reduce it. This is the purpose of Nubings , a system developed by three Galician physicists who, they say, can save 300 euros a year.

It consists of a small device that is installed in the electrical panel of the house and that connects with up to six circuits (plugs, appliances, lighting …). It is analyzing the peaks of consumption, the hours in which it is produced and in what it is spent more. With this information, it tells you through a mobile application if the electricity tariff you have contracted is the one that best suits you, where you have to cut back and if any device is inefficient.

Wattio and Mirubee , also Spanish systems, are the main competition of Nubings in this technological market of energy saving. All easy to install and with some prices (none costs more than 180 euros) that with the savings are amortized in a short time.

It may interest you


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Industrial self-consumption, a key element in the energy transition

Image result for tiny house solar panelsSpain offers the best conditions, in spite of the regulatory framework, in terms of radiation and infrastructures for the development of a stable photovoltaic market. The outlook is encouraging and the industrial and business sectors are a key element in this energy transition.

At SotySolar we are convinced of the enormous possibilities of self-consumption growth for companies and for this reason we use all our resources and active collaboration for their promotion and facilitate that Spanish companies switch to solar energy.

Current consumption of industrial consumption

Well, despite having one of the most restrictive regulations in the world, a large number of companies are betting heavily on self-consumption to cover part of their energy demand.

Among them, we must highlight Ikea, the Swedish giant has more than 40,000 solar panels installed in Spain and is committed to being 100% renewable and energy independent in 2020.

In the same line are other companies such as Bon Preu, which has more than 1,300 kW of installed power, Aena with projects for its airports in the Canary Islands, Sanitas that has photovoltaic installations for self-consumption in some of its geriatric residences, and wineries such as Viñas del Vero and Cellers Can Blau.

This highlights the rebound of photovoltaic energy in our country and indicates an unequivocal trend of what we can expect in the future, which is nothing more than a clear commitment to self-consumption and a firm commitment of companies for sustainability .

Why take advantage of solar energy in our company?

There are more and more reasons why all kinds of companies and industries make the decision to install solar panels on their roofs. The rebound of the economy together with the greater social awareness regarding renewable energies, means that photovoltaic energy is once again booming in our country.

The visible effects of climate change, the continuous increase in the price of light and oil, together with the considerable cheapening of solar technology, make it an ideal solution. We are at a point of no return towards an authentic energy revolution that will change our way of producing, distributing and consuming energy.

Benefits of self-consumption in companies

The self-consumption of our own energy is, today, the best way to save on the electricity bill and reduce the fixed costs of the power term while minimizing the CO2 emissions of our company, and therefore we renew the image corporate As we see, the benefits of a solar panel installation, go far beyond the economic savings.

1. Savings in energy costs

The installation of solar panels has a significant reduction in the electricity bill.

2. Increase in competitiveness

The reduction of costs translates into the possibility of offering more competitive prices to customers.

3. Reduction of CO2 emissions

By generating your own green energy, you will contribute to reducing CO2 emissions and curbing climate change in this way.

4. Commitment to the environment

Betting on solar energy increases corporate social responsibility and improves the brand image.

5. Business differentiation

Add differential value to your company and reach a greater number of customers with a renewable conscience.



Photovoltaic energy is suitable and viable for any type of company or industry, although it is true that for some activities it can have many more benefits than for others. The industrial self-consumption in companies that have their greater energy expenditure during the hours of Sun can suppose savings in the invoice of the light superior to 50%.

The use of photovoltaic energy in companies in the hospitality industry, industrial, wine, livestock, education … is more than contrasted with results that leave no room for doubt. In this situation, the Spanish business sector must once again put itself at the forefront of society and mark the path of our country towards an efficient and sustainable energy model.

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Barcelona will stop paying the debts of energy poverty if the companies do not collaborate

Barcelona will stop paying the debts of energy poverty if the companies do not collaborate

Related imageThe City Council of Barcelona will stop paying the bills and energy debts of the vulnerable people to the supplying companies in the coming weeks if they do not sign agreements to become co-responsible for the cost of energy poverty.

This was announced by the Deputy Mayor for Social Rights, Laia Ortiz, when she presented the municipal projects to fight against energy poverty in which she will invest 4.5 million over the next two years.

Given the reluctance of suppliers to sign agreements with the consistory and become jointly responsible for paying the costs of the energy poverty bill, as established by the Catalan legislation, Ortiz has warned that “or are part of the solution or debt of the families will be on the roof of the companies “because social services will stop paying for it.

The deputy mayor stressed that although the City Council of Barcelona stop granting aid will not increase power outages or gas because in Catalonia the supply companies have the obligation, by law, not to cut off the supply to vulnerable people and if they do they are sanctioned

Laia Ortiz explained that tomorrow they will hold a second meeting with the companies to address both the protocols of action that are applied since July in the city and the economic contributions.

The Deputy Mayor has estimated that companies should charge, at least, with 50% of the cost of energy poverty in Barcelona, ​​about 3 million euros per year.

Energy advisory points

Laia Ortiz has announced that, before the end of the year, the City Council of Barcelona will open Energy Advisory Points (PAE) for the ten districts of the city before the positive balance of the pilot test that took place in Nou Barris, Sant Martí , Sant Andreu and Sants-Montjuïc during five months of autumn and past winters.

The PAE will inform families with difficulties on how to deal with the energy cost of their home, how to minimize consumption, how to manage the aid they are entitled to and how they can obtain subsidies to improve energy efficiency with household isolation .

In addition to these direct actions on households, PAE staff will provide users with information to equip them with tools to defend their rights against the suppliers and to activate all the protection resources that the law grants them.

Ortiz pointed out that with these points the paperwork will be streamlined because they will disassociate themselves from social services and considered it necessary to offer this service to “the irresponsibility of companies to misinform” instead of reporting as do those of other countries.

The plan, with a budget of 4,450,380 euros, will be developed over the next two years through entities of the third sector and will hire a hundred people to be energy consultants, through the program of employment for long-term unemployed, thirty of them with experience in the pilot test and the rest will be trained in the next six months.

Of the balance of the pilot test, the deputy mayor Ortiz has emphasized that of the 3,100 vulnerable homes of the four neighborhoods in which it acted, 60% suffered moderate or severe energy poverty that is, could not maintain an adequate temperature in their homes , had leaks or humidity, or had arrears in the payment of bills.

In addition, 13% of these households had suffered the cut of some basic supply and dragged an average of 348 euros of debts.

The pilot test showed that only 43% of these households paid the Voluntary price for the Small Consumer (PVPC) -price for powers not higher than 10kW-; that only 33% knew about the Social Bonus and only 17.3% had the same, although of the total of the studied households, 65% met the characteristics to be beneficiaries of the Social Bonus.

Laia Ortiz has considered that these percentages can be extrapolated to all households served by social services in the city.

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Resource shortage and energy transition are “Achilles heels of electric cars”

Resource shortage and energy transition are “Achilles heels of electric cars”

Related imageTuesday, 03.04.18 , written by Anja Schlicht What will mobility in Germany look like in the future? According to Ingrid Remmers, transport spokeswoman for the left-wing parliamentary group in the Bundestag, people will use “much more different means of transport.” The car will continue to be important, but lose importance – especially if cities give more space to cycling and pedestrian traffic. 

Exactly 555 cars came to 1,000 inhabitants in 2016. Thus, the car density in the Federal Republic has reached a new high, reports the Federal Statistical Office. Many cities and their inhabitants are becoming increasingly aware of the many car traffic. They suffer from clogged roads and high levels of pollution .

One way to mitigate at least the burden of pollutants is the electrification of buses and trains , says Ingrid Remmers. The pure exchange of private cars for electric vehicles, on the other hand, she considers too short. Why, explains the traffic expert in an interview with In it she also points out which problems electromobility is facing.

Ms Remmers, which topics do you currently employ in your Gelsenkirchen constituency in transport policy and infrastructure?

Ingrid Remmers: Gelsenkirchen suffers, like many cities in the Ruhr area, too much traffic. At measuring stations there are regularly too high pollutant values, especially nitric oxide. Due to the debt burden, public transport has also fallen by the wayside. Far too often, the wrong end was saved , so that the consequences for the people are clearly noticeable. They only reach large centers quickly, but apart from the main connections, they have to expect long waiting times, if there is even a stop.

Unfortunately, it does not look better when cycling. Main traffic arteries are provided with narrow gauge bike lanes, which are neither really inviting nor offer a real alternative because of their size and nature. Off the main arteries there are no bike paths.

We work closely with environmental and transport initiatives and local organizations to promote a transport concept that aims to reduce motorized private transport, as well as public transport, cycling and pedestrian traffic . Only through a coordinated approach that takes into account all modes of transport will we achieve healthier urban air, protect the environment and public health, and create space for more attractive, liveable inner cities.

In the coalition agreement, the Union and the SPD have agreed to make significant progress in electromobility in Germany. How well is Gelsenkirchen currently positioned?

Ingrid Remmers: Electromobility in Gelsenkirchen is focused and promoted by the city, but the stock of electric cars is dwindling . So there were less than 100 electric cars in the city at the beginning of the year. This is partly because only ten to twelve charging stations are available. On the other hand, Gelsenkirchen is under budgetary reserve.

So far, there are no electric buses in public transport, not least because of the lack of availability of these vehicles, which are not yet manufactured in Germany. Two transport companies are entering the city on buses, which together have taken eight hybrid buses into their fleet.

Overall, we are pleading for the electrification of buses and trains. From our point of view, it makes no sense to simply replace private cars with electric vehicles. This step neither reduces the number of vehicles nor is it a responsible use of the scarce resources needed for the batteries of electric cars.

In your opinion, what are the next steps to promote electric mobility at federal level?

Ingrid Remmers: First of all, it is important to look wider. Electromobility does not just mean electric cars, but also trains, trams and e-bikes. Why is hardly anyone speaking of the 680,000 e-bikes that were sold in Germany in 2017?

The trade associations have calculated that more than 3.5 million e-bikes are already on German roads. The e-revolution is already taking place here. Half of all journeys we make every day in Germany are shorter than ten kilometers. An ideal distance for the bike or electric bike. A good infrastructure for this is long overdue.

With regard to electric cars, it will be necessary to deal intensively with the problem of raw materials and the acceleration of the energy transition. These are the two environmental Achilles heels for electric cars. Without raw materials for the batteries can be produced in the long run no electric cars.

Would you personally rather drive an electric car or a diesel?

Ingrid Remmers: I’m in the process of getting an overview of e-bikes. My choice of transport is increasingly multimodal. That means, I choose the means of transport, which makes the most sense for the purpose: by train to Berlin, soon with the e-bike in my constituency, but also by car, occasionally by public transport.

Diesel drivers are currently particularly interested in the impending driving bans. In your opinion, what would be the best solution to averting these prohibitions while at the same time reducing nitrogen dioxide pollution so that the limits in cities and municipalities are met?

Ingrid Remmers: In addition, as a leftist we have already submitted an application to the Bundestag. The best solution is to oblige automakers to retrofit cars with SCR systems . This gives the betrayed car buyers finally the quality they wanted from the beginning and for which they have paid. The cars then have lower emissions of air pollutants not only in the lab, but also in real life on the road. In most cities driving prohibitions can be avoided.

Will citizens still be sitting in a car with diesel or gasoline engines in 15 years or will another drive technology be the measure of all things?

Ingrid Remmers: I do not think that the impending social changes are all about driving the cars. We will get completely new means of transport and thus completely new possibilities. I recommend looking at cargo bikes. It is quite amazing what has developed in recent years.

I think we will all use a lot more different modes of transport. If the train introduces a timetable, then many people will switch to the train. Our cities will probably become more people-friendly through city ​​squares that invite you to linger and where you can do different things centrally on short routes. In these cities we also have much more space for cycling and walking. The car will not disappear for sure, but it will be less important.

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Against energy poverty: April 11 is the deadline to renew the social bonus

Against energy poverty: April 11 is the deadline to renew the social bonus

In Barcelona there are approximately 170,000 people in situations of energy poverty . For these neighbors, the threat of a power outage is a daily reality . This is the most extreme expression of this reality, but there are many people who have arrears in bills, who can not maintain a proper temperature at home or who make many sacrifices to meet the payment of electricity and gas.

Related imageSome of them fail to cover the basic needs of food or stop using hot water or the stove at home in order to reduce energy expenditure . These voluntary restrictions of consumption often involve psychological . In addition, risk behaviors are assumed, such as using candles to light, or unsafe methods of heating the home.

More than half of Catalan households at risk of exclusion, specifically 54.4%, have difficulty paying the electricity bill, and 3 out of 10 have been delayed in paying electricity, gas and water bills . To fight against this reality, the Barcelona City Council has 11 energy advisory points , known as PAE.

Throughout 2017, around 23,000 people have been attended to and more than 5,020 supply cuts have been stopped. It is a municipal service that has the objective of empowering citizens in energy matters by offering information on energy rights and on the necessary actions to be able to exercise them. Another important service is personal advice and, depending on the specific cases, aimed at reducing spending on electricity, water and gas. Finally, they detect and intervene in possible situations of energy poverty.

Results of energy poverty

Energy poverty entails a series of consequences in different areas. The health of the people is the main harmed, since they do not achieve minimum comfort levels to the homes. Other consequences are the decrease in physical and academic performance . Relational problems arise both within the family and with people from outside the home. Finally, it also causes degradation in buildings, increased CO2 emissions and excessive debt .

One of the most important procedures to be done at one of the 11 energy advisory points of the Barcelona City Council is the renewal of the social bonus and the exemption from the sewer rate.

People who already have social bonus , have to provide the new documentation required before April 11, 2018 , in accordance with the new requirements set by the Ministry approved to Royal Decree 897/2017, which regulates the figure of the vulnerable consumer, the social bonus and other protection measures for domestic consumers of electricity. In case of not complying with the new requirements, the regulated tariff , known as PVPC, will be applied.


The presentation of the documentation can be done personally by filling in the application, having all the required documentation and presenting it to the nearest office. Also presenting the documentation for the renewal or first request of the social bonus by fax or by email to the company. Or by postal mail , filling in the application and sending it to the postal address of the company, along with the required documentation. The Energy Advice Points of the City of Barcelona inform about what the social bonus is, who has the right to request it and will help with its request and processing.


The social bonus is a discount of 25% or 40% on the electricity bill . This discount does not apply to taxes. The reduction will be applied to the PVPC regulated tariff, which is set by the State for customers of the regulated market, and the power contracted can not be higher than 10kW. The social bonus lasts for two years .

The possibility of accessing the social bonus concession depends on the economic income that determines that one is in a situation of vulnerability.

The water receipt

Another savings that can be achieved is the exemption of the sewer rate , one of several concepts that includes the water bill, along with the water fee and the Metropolitan Rate of Urban Waste Treatment, TMTR . The water canon is a tax with ecological purpose on the use made of water, through which users contribute to the costs of water cycle services.


The sewerage rate is paid for the provision of services as a special surveillance activity and for cleaning, exploitation, conservation and development of the municipal sewerage network. The exemption of the fee comes from a resolution of the Barcelona City Council, which approved in the Plenary of the Municipal Council of October 6, 2017, an amendment to the fiscal ordinance number 3.5 of sewer rates that establishes an exemption from the rate for holders of water supply contracts in a situation of residential exclusion .


The procedures to obtain the exemption of the sewer rate start with the achievement of a report of residential exclusion or vulnerability of the person to the home . Once the competent municipal services issue the reports that accredit this emergency situation, this information is transferred to the company supplying the service so that it directly applies the exemption.

This exemption will take effect from the date of the aforementioned reports and will be extended until the moment when the accredited situation ceases to have effect. The procedure is free, and to obtain more information and help with processing, those interested can go to an Energy Advice Point or call 010.

The people who are entitled to the exemption from the sewer rate are all those who are in a situation of residential exclusion or in a situation of vulnerability recognized by the municipal social services and who hold contracts for the supply of home water networks.


The social bond in force is a modification of the previous one established to article 45 of Law 24/2013. One of the main novelties is the definition of different degrees of vulnerability . Thus, the new social bonus regulated by Royal Decree 897/2017 establishes the figures of vulnerable consumers, vulnerable vulnerable consumers and consumers at risk of social exclusion. According to the decree, the latter type of consumer will not be able to cut off the electricity supply in case of non-payment .

Each degree of vulnerability involves a different degree of protection and specific bonuses on the terms of energy and power of the invoice. To establish the specific typology of each case, the annual income of the consumer or of the family unit is the fundamental concept. Depending on the type of consumer, discounts on energy and power vary.

In the case of the variable consumer, the bonus is 25%, while in the case of severe vulnerable consumers, the discount on the terms of energy and power reaches up to 40%. The figure of the consumer at risk of social exclusion has a complementary protection , since, in addition to a 40% reduction in the amount of energy and power, 50% is paid by Social Services .

The social bonus that comes out of the application of Royal Decree 897/2017 defines maximum limits for subsidized consumption to avoid wasting energy and resources . These caps are annual and are applied to the invoice proportionally to the days of the billing period. That is, the practice is a daily limit, without taking into account the variability of consumption according to the time of year, nor the type of energy used for heating, hot water and cooking.

The annual income limits that give access to the social bonus are indexed to the Multiple Income Public Income Indicator (IPREM) of 14 payments, which currently stands at € 7,519.59 / year. In the energy term, the discount applies up to the maximum consumption limit of the billing period.

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