Access to the social energy tariff will be extended to more families in 2023. Find out the access conditions and whether you can pay less for electricity and natural gas.
THE social energy tariffwhich since 2016 has been automatically attributed, allows reducing the expenses with electricity and natural gas for families with lower incomes.
Due to the difficulties brought about by the pandemic, at the end of November 2020, the Government approved a decree law which extends the social tariff for electricity and natural gas to people receiving unemployment benefits and disability pension recipients.
In practice, this means that more consumers are now covered by the social tariff. Find out about the access conditions and find out if you can also benefit from this discount on your electricity and/or natural gas bill.
What is the social energy tariff?
The social energy tariff is a support given to consumers in a situation of economic vulnerabilityin the form of a discount on the electricity bill and/or piped natural gas — gas cylinders are excluded.
The discounts to be applied, either on the social electricity tariff or on the natural gas social tariff, are determined annually by order of the Government.
In electricity, the 33.8% discount It is levied on contracted power and consumed energy (excluding VAT and other fees). Economically vulnerable consumers (see conditions below) who have an electricity contract in their name with a contracted power of up to 6.9 kVA can benefit from the social electricity tariff.
In piped gas, the discount applied in the network access tariff is 31.2% and benefits customers in a situation of economic vulnerability who are holders of a low pressure contract with an annual consumption less than or equal to 500 m3.
In either case, consumption must be exclusively for domestic use in permanent housing.
How do I know if I am entitled to the social tariff?
In addition to the aforementioned conditions, to be entitled to the social energy tariff, the contract holder must receive one of the following social security benefits:
As long as you meet the necessary criteria, you can simultaneously benefit from the social tariff for natural gas and the social tariff for electricity. Benefits are cumulative.
What if you don’t receive any of these supports, but have little income?
In 2023, in the case of electricity, they may have access to the social tariff, even if they do not receive any Social Security benefit, households with annual incomes of less than 6,272 euros🇧🇷 Remember that the value in 2022 was 5,808 euros.
This limit increases by 50% for each element of the household that has no income (such as children, for example) up to a maximum of 10 elements in that condition.
How to ask for the social energy tariff?
O assignment process of the social energy tariff it’s automatic🇧🇷 On a quarterly basis, the Directorate General for Energy and Geology (DGEG) surveys consumers who meet the access conditions, after checking with the Tax Authority and Social Security.
Energy supply companies are then obliged to automatically apply the social tariff, without having to make any request.
But imagine, for example, that your situation has changed and you can now benefit from this support. If you don’t want to wait for the next update of the DGEG list, you can request proof of your beneficiary status from the Tax Authority or Social Security and deliver the document directly to the energy supplier.
Is the discount applied on the invoice total?
Do not. The discount applies only to electricity and natural gas consumption.
If you analyze your energy bills, you will notice that a good part of the amount to be paid corresponds to taxes, fees and contributions, such as the Subsoil Occupancy Tax (on the natural gas bill), the Audiovisual Contribution (on the electricity) or VAT (on both). These amounts are contributions to the public treasury and, despite being charged to you in the invoice, they are not paid to the energy supplier.
The Audiovisual Contribution (CAV), which has a monthly value of €2.85 + VAT (6%), is however lower for economically vulnerable consumers. Thus, the value of the contribution is reduced to €1 + VAT (6%) if the contract holder is a beneficiary of one of the following supports:
- Solidarity supplement for the elderly;
- Social Insertion Income;
- Social unemployment benefit;
- Family allowance (1st step);
- Social Disability Pension.
Customers with annual consumption of less than 400 kWh, or with exclusively agricultural activities, are exempt from paying the CAV.
How to refuse the social energy tariff?
Although the process is automatic, it is possible to refuse the assignment of the social energy tariff. Just talk to the company that provides the service and formalize the refusal intention.
If you refuse because you know you will no longer be eligible for the discount, you will no longer have the social energy tariff, but you will continue to be considered in the DGEG quarterly analyzes and you will automatically receive support again if you become eligible.
But if you refuse support at the outset, it is no longer included in the quarterly analyzes of the DGEG and will only be included again if you formalize a request for annulment of refusal.
Article originally published in July 2019. Last updated in December 2023.