Electricity in Spain

Information on the domestic power, plug sockets and the power rating system, plus instructions on getting connected to the mains electricity supply...

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.

Plugs and Adapters

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.

Time of Day Rates

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.

Power Cuts (apagon)

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.

Getting Connected to Mains Electricity

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:

  • Connection certificate / CIE (Boletin de Enganche, Certificado Instalación de Baja Tensión or Certificado de Instalación Eléctrica). This must be supplied by the electrician responsible for the initial installation of wiring in the property and should be stamped. The CIE guarantees the quality of the installation and lists specific details about the power supply
  • The First Occupation Licence (Licencia de Primera Ocupación) or Certificate of Habitability (Certificado de Habitabilidad) available from a Town Hall (Ayuntamiento)
  • NIE number
  • Supply point address
  • Bank account number

For all electrical connections:

  • A copy of the last electricity bill to the property
  • Identification (passport or NIE number)
  • If renting, details of the rental contract or details from the property title deeds
  • Bank account details in order to set up payment of the bi-monthly bills on Standing Order

A CIE certificate is only required if the property is older than 20 years old. In the Canary Islands, a CIE certificate is required no matter what the age of the property.

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).

For registration by telephone or Internet:

  • Identification (passport or NIE number)
  • Electricity supply reference number (Contrato de Suministro Nº) usually found on the top left-hand corner of an electricity bill
  • Bank account details in order to set up payment of the bi-monthly bills on Standing Order

Once the contract is set up, bills will be received by post or sent by email or can be viewed on the supplier's website, showing the total amount that will be debited from the bank account. Electricity consumption is charged per KW and bills are issued every two months. VAT and standing order charges are also added to the bill. Electricity consumption is estimated every second billing period. Bills can be paid via direct debit (transferencia) or by cash at the electricity’s company office, approved banks or the, post office. When transferring an electricity contract from one name to another, ensure all previous bills are settled otherwise the new owner is liable for any outstanding charges.

Some electricity companies offer ‘Apps’ for mobile devices allowing customers to check bills, usage and contact customer services, 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. Any standing orders or direct debits should also be cancelled with the bank.

Electricity companies

The National Energy Commission (La Comisión Nacional de Energía or CNE) has a complete list of energy suppliers and contact details available in Spain. (PDF in Spanish)

Comprehensive information for both gas and electricity consumers can also be found online at the The National Energy Commission (La Comisión Nacional de Energía). By entering a postcode, consumers can compare the rates of each national supplier to find the cheapest electricity tariff.

An energy price comparison website is provided by Comision Nacional De Los Mercados Y La Competencia.

Renewable Energy

Government grants are available for solar energy hot water boilers, biomass boilers and solar panels that are certified by the Spanish Government. Installers can advise customers on application procedure in their region, before installation permission is required from the electricity supplier. In October 2015 the Government declared that solar panels connected to the national grid producing less than 10kW per hour will not be taxed.