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Change to natural gas access tolls

Change in natural gas regulations

On 1 October 2021, the regulation on new natural gas access tolls came into force. This new regulation modifies the method used to calculate the price consumers pay to cover regulated gas system costs and established the introduction of a new cost on your gas bill called "system charges".

This price of natural gas access tolls is regulated by the government and the CNMC (National Commission of Markets and Competition) and is applicable to both the fixed and variable charges on your bill.

RDL 1/2019 of 11 January tasked the CNMC with defining the structure and methodology for calculating tolls and fees for access to basic gas facility services, and the Government with determining the structure and methodology for calculating charges covering other regulated system costs that are not associated with the use of these facilities.

In Circular 6/2020, of 22 July, the CNMC established the toll calculation methodology, and the government defined the gas system charge methodology in RD 1184/2020, of 29 December.

What are access tolls and system charges?

Until 30 September 2021, a single charge associated with the access toll appeared on gas bills, covering all gas system costs. From 1 October 2021, this is broken down into two different charges—access tolls and system charges—and the corresponding costs are assigned to each of them.

Access tolls are associated with the use of gas system facilities (maintenance of the natural gas pipelines, regasification, transport and distribution network).

Gas system charges are intended to finance costs that are not linked to the use of these facilities.

  • Fee from the CNMC and the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge
  • Differential cost of the supply of liquefied natural gas or manufactured gas and/or propane-air mix other than natural gas in island regions that are not connected to the gas pipeline or liquefied natural gas plant network.
  • Demand management measures.
  • Annual payment corresponding to temporary imbalances and the accumulated deficit as of 31 December 2014
  • When applicable, regulated retribution of the organised natural gas market operator.
  • Any other cost expressly attributed by legal regulation.
Natural gas pipeline
Natural gas pipeline

What are access tolls and system charges?

Until 30 September 2021, a single charge associated with the access toll appeared on gas bills, covering all gas system costs. From 1 October 2021, this is broken down into two different charges—access tolls and system charges—and the corresponding costs are assigned to each of them.

Access tolls are associated with the use of gas system facilities (maintenance of the natural gas pipelines, regasification, transport and distribution network).

Gas system charges are intended to finance costs that are not linked to the use of these facilities. They are:

  • Fee from the CNMC and the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge
  • Differential cost of the supply of liquefied natural gas or manufactured gas and/or propane-air mix other than natural gas in island regions that are not connected to the gas pipeline or liquefied natural gas plant network.
  • Demand management measures.
  • Annual payment corresponding to temporary imbalances and the accumulated deficit as of 31 December 2014
  • When applicable, regulated retribution of the organised natural gas market operator.
  • Any other cost expressly attributed by legal regulation.

How does the change affect you?

From access tariffs to access tolls

The old access tariffs 3.1, 3.2, etc., no longer appear on your bill and have been replaced by the new access tolls RL.1, RL.2, etc., which are determined by supply point consumption. Distribution companies will calculate consumption based on the consumption recorded in the previous year. Thus, each user pays in accordance with their use of gas networks and supply. The amount paid for new supplies will be determined based on expected consumption.

We help answer your questions

Gas access tolls and charges based on consumption

Pressure-based tariff segments disappear and are now defined exclusively by consumption. The price of access tolls and charges will vary based on the toll that corresponds to you. The distributor may change your tariff during the annual review depending on your actual consumption throughout the previous year.

If you do not agree with the change in tariff, you should contact your supply company.

Annual review of access tolls

Access tolls will be updated on 1 October based on the gas year (the period running from 1 October to 30 September). Until now, the price of access tolls was updated on 1 January based on the calendar year.

This year, supplies will be assigned to new tariff groups taking into account the recorded consumption from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021.

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Who does this change apply to?

The change applies to all natural gas service users. This is a sector-wide regulatory change and all supply companies must apply it.

Gas system tolls and charges are the same for all consumers in the same consumption segment, and they are the same in all supply companies.

New access tolls

New natural gas access tolls are determined by the user’s annual consumption and are reviewed automatically on an annual basis.

Most domestic users are in groups RL.1, RL.2 and RL.3. The letters RL stand for "Redes Locales” (“Local Networks” in English). The segments were more general in the previous classification, and this new distribution aims to better fit the consumption of each supply point.

Industrial customers, the largest gas consumers, are also affected by this nomenclature change.

The following explains how the old tariffs 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, etc. correspond to the new access tolls RL.1, RL.2, RL.3, etc.

Natural gas tolls

What else should you know?

These changes took effect on 1 October 2021.

If you have any more questions about the changes to natural gas tolls, you can contact us with your query.

Further information