Up to five million users changed their electricity contract last year as a result of the escalation in energy prices, which began in the summer. According to data from the National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC), in 2021, changes in marketers increased by 36.7% compared to 2020 and were taken over by the free market.
Specifically, 91.4% of the changes occurred in the free market. Thus, of the five million contracts signed, 3.36 million were from free market consumers who switched to another free market rate; On the other hand, 1.25 million were transfers from the regulated market (or PVPC) to the free market and 428,000 corresponded to clients from the free market to the regulated market, despite the fact that the PVPC has been the one that has suffered the most from increases in the price of electricity. electricity, since they are directly linked to the price of the wholesale market (pool).
In the case of the transfer of clients from the regulated to the free market, according to data from the Commission, these accounted for 24.8% of the total, twice as much as in 2020, when only 570,000 changes occurred, 15.6% of the total. . .
By autonomous communities, those that reflected a higher rate of change of marketer from the regulated to the free market were Galicia, with 5.4%; Canarias, 4.8% and Castilla-La Mancha and Murcia, in both cases with 4.7%.
In absolute terms, Andalusia and Catalonia stand out, where 234,000 and 174,000 consumers, respectively, opted for the free market from the regulated one, compared to 100,000 and 88,000 consumers in 2020. On the other hand, Aturias and Cantabria, which produced the fewest changes.
In the electricity market there are 29.87 million supply points: 19.8 million in the free market and 10.07 million in the regulated market. This is data as of December 31, which could have changed in a first quarter marked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and new price increases.
As for the gas market, according to statistics published by the CNMC, they also show significant movements last year, up to 1.04 million new contracts or 30% more than in the previous year. Most of the changes (93.2%) occurred towards free market vendors: both from customers who were already in this market and chose another free vendor (82.6%), and from customers who were in the regulated rate (TUR) and opted for the free market (10.6%).
On the contrary, only 6.6% of clients (68,342) chose to switch from the free market to the regulated one. In the case of gas, the Government has limited the increases in the TUR by 5% per quarter since October last year.
In a CNMC blog yesterday in which it published the changes that have occurred in the electricity and gas markets last year, and their breakdown by autonomous community, the body recalls on its website that it offers a comparator to help consumers make a decision about the different offers on the market.
A QR code or an electronic link is available on the electricity bill that leads directly to the comparator, where the power and consumption data must be entered. This “tool”, he recalls, allows you to consult gas offers for domestic consumers and SMEs and electricity offers for low voltage consumers.