Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on Thursday. / EFE

Spanish PM announces an injection of three billion euros to lower energy bills for more households

The new plan extends electricity and heating discounts so that more families benefit from these aid packages

MIGUEL ÁNGEL ALFONSO

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has announced the extension of the government's electricity and heating discount "bonos" so that aid "reaches more families".

Speaking in Spain's Congreso on Thursday, Sánchez said that the government plans to mobilise three billion euros to “protect 40 per cent of households” from rising energy bills.

The new measures, which will limit until the end of 2023 the quarterly increase in prices, are to be approved by the Cabinet on Tuesday 18 October and will provide for the creation of a new regulated tariff for residential blocks and complexes with centralised natural gas boilers. The measures will also provide for increases to the electricity and heating.

Discounts of 65 per cent and 80 per cent of the electricity bill will be implemented respectively for beneficiaries considered "vulnerable and severely vulnerable".

On a temporary basis, a new category of consumers entitled to a 40 per cent discount on their bills will also be created for working households with reduced incomes. This new category will benefit another 1.5 million families.

In addition, in 2022 and 2023 the budget of the aid for vulnerable households will be doubled. Sánchez said the average aid will be doubled, to 375 euros per household, and that he will raise the minimum aid to 40 euros.

The prime minister also announced aid in Soria, Teruel and Cuenca - the three provinces most affected by depopulation - to encourage the creation and maintenance of stable employment contracts