Citizens, when comparing the final amounts of the electricity bill, often wonder why the payment is so different, even if the consumption is similar? In order to find opportunities to save, it is necessary to study all the costs that make up the total electricity bill. Just like when receiving various other services – you have to find the most suitable choices, because there is not the same solution for everyone. PUK explains what to pay attention to and how the total electricity bill can be reduced.
The amount of the electricity bill for each user is affected by several factors – connection parameters (phases and amperes), the amount of electricity consumption, including compliance with energy efficiency measures, the type of distribution tariff chosen “Basic” or “Special”, the price of electricity according to the electricity sales agreement concluded by the user – the choice of the trader ( nine traders for households), choice of product (exchanges, fixed, universal service) and choice of additional services – as well as the presence of the protected user in the household.
What do you know about the factors affecting payment? Why it is important to know where to find them
In the received invoice, you can find out the name of the electricity trader and product, the term of the trade agreement and contact information, the amount of electricity supplied in kilowatt hours (kWh) during the billing period, the price of electricity (EUR/kWh), the fee for electricity (EUR), the fee for system services and other services, the applicable state aid, as well as the total payment amount. On the other hand, if a smart meter is installed, the user can find out more detailed consumption data for different periods (year, month, day and hour) on the AS “Sadales tīkls” customer portal e-st.lv. Consumption data is also available to customers on the portals maintained by major electricity traders.
There are users who pay after the equalized payment (constant monthly payment within the billing period) and do not receive a monthly bill at all. However, if you want to save, it is also important to regularly monitor your monthly electricity consumption and other data, including checking whether everything is applied correctly. The leveled payment is not related to actual consumption. Actually consuming more but paying less each month results in unpaid consumption. It is recalculated once a year at the end of the billing period, taking into account other factors affecting costs, such as tariff changes or state compensations. Accordingly, the merchant will apply all settlement changes (overpayment or shortfall) only at the end of the settlement period. You can change the payment procedure by switching to a monthly bill at any time, but you should expect that at that moment the trader will make a comparison of the amount of electricity that was paid and actually used, and it may happen that you will have to pay for the unpaid part.
Phases and amperes
It is important for each household to adapt the technical parameters of the connection to the electricity consumption habits, which are usually influenced by the range and load of the electrical equipment used in the household. The load required for electricity connection is determined by the electrical appliances in the home. For each user, the fee for system services is formed depending on the requested load, which depends on the number of phases (1F or 3F) and amperes (16A, 20A, 25A or more) of the electricity connection.
It is necessary to evaluate whether the existing connection in the facility is used effectively and whether it is not possible to reduce the permitted load – the more suitable the load, the lower the fee. If too much load is requested, which is not used on a daily basis (not enough consumption according to the load), then the electricity connection is not efficient and you may have to pay for maintenance of unused load every month. There are opportunities to reduce the load for electricity users who have a connection with 20A and more, if the connection is not effectively loaded. For a household, the smallest available connection is 1F 16A.
More information, as well as advice and recommendations on the evaluation of load compliance, are available on the website of AS “Sadales tīkls”, where it is also possible to calculate the load corresponding to consumption habits in the load calculation calculator. During the evaluation, it is important to take into account devices that have a high electrical load and are used at the same time. A consultation with JSC “Sadales tīkls” and a certified electrician regarding load compatibility will also be valuable.
Load reduction can be requested at any time, the service takes effect the next day. Reduction is free, but renewal is a paid service. At the same time, in order to protect users who after reducing the load found that it was still insufficient, JSC “Sadales tīkls” provides the opportunity to receive the load restoration service once free of charge until June 30, 2024.
Distribution system service tariff type
The fee for electricity supply is calculated according to the electricity distribution system service tariff chosen by the household. There are two types of distribution system service tariff – “Basic” tariff (suitable for regular consumption) and “Special” tariff (suitable for exceptional situations – particularly inactive or seasonal consumption, when the connection is used irregularly or consuming very little electricity, for example, an apartment occupied only periodically or for a cottage in winter).
You can find out which tariff plan would be more suitable and profitable for a specific monthly consumption of electricity on the website of AS “Sadales tīkls”. If necessary, the user can change the tariff plan easily and free of charge on the customer portal of AS “Sadales tīkls” e-st.lv. Tariff changes applied until June 30, 2024 will be made depending on the user’s wishes – on the first date of the same or the next month. When applying for a tariff change after July 1, 2024, the changes will be effective from the first date of the following month. Both tariff types can be changed several times throughout the year, adjusting according to your consumption.
Electricity trade agreement
The price of electricity in the bill, which depends on the offer of the electricity trader chosen by the user, can have a significant impact on the total payment. Since the opening of the electricity market for households in 2015, every user has the opportunity to evaluate the offers of various merchants and choose the most advantageous of them according to their consumption habits.
A household user in the license area of AS “Sadales tīkls” has the opportunity to buy electricity from nine traders, in addition to choosing three different types of contracts – a contract with a variable or exchange price (the price is linked to changes in the stock exchange), a contract with a fixed price (the price is fixed for a certain period – 6, 12 or more months) -, usually there is an early termination fee) and a universal service contract (fixed price for 12 months, typically more expensive than other offers at the time, no early termination fee). When concluding a contract or delving into the bill, also pay attention to whether additional services are included that you may not need at all. For example, electrical appliance insurance, the possibility of receiving help from an electrician, receiving an invoice by mail, etc.
Households can get acquainted with electricity dealers on the website of AS “Sadales tīkls”. The change of service (product) at the existing dealer can be done every month until the 31st, while the change of dealers – until the 15th.
Existence of the protected user in the household
Protected users receive special state support provided for in the regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers. These include households with a disabled child in their care, persons with group 1 disabilities, large families and low-income/poor households. Currently, the trade service of the protected user is provided by AS “Latvenergo”, SIA “Enefit”, SIA “Tet” and VAS “Latvijas dzelzceļš”, more widely on the website of the State Construction Control Office.