Protection for consumers with less economic means
Social Bonus for vulnerable consumers
The Social allowance is a Government regulated mechanism that seeks to protect vulnerable consumers who have fewer economic means.
Recently there have been changes regarding who can qualify for the Social allowance. The Royal Decree 897/2017 [PDF], which entered into force on 8 October 2017, includes the new criteria regarding beneficiaries of the Social allowance. These criteria have been modified in Royal Decree-Law 15/2018 [PDF], of 5th October.
On 8/10/2018, the deadline ended for old Social allowance beneficiaries to prove their status as vulnerable consumers. Anyway, if you complete your application to renew the social allowance before 31/12/2018, the social allowance will be applied with effect from 8/10/2018.
The new Social allowance establishes three categories of vulnerable customers, which will have different discounts on the price of the Voluntary Price for the Small Consumer (PVPC, in the Spanish acronym).
A summary of the social allowance can be downloaded here: Social allowance Summary
Click here to access the Social Bonus online form.
With the new Social Bonus, there are three categories of vulnerable customers: Vulnerable Consumer, Severely Vulnerable Consumer, and Consumer at Risk of Social Exclusion.
They must be signed up for the Voluntary Price for the Small Consumer (VPSC) and the supply for which they are requesting it must correspond to their main residence.
They must also meet the following requirements:
- Their income or the overall annual income of the family unit to which they pertain must be:
- ≤ 1.5 (*) IPREM for 14 salary payments per year, if there is no minor living in the family unit: ¤11,279
- ≤ 2 (*) IPREM for 14 salary payments per year, when there is 1 minor living in the family unit: ¤15,039
- ≤ 2.5 (*) IPREM for 14 salary payments per year, when there are 2 minors living in the family unit: ¤18,799¤
- In possession of a certificate of having a large family (more than four children)..
- All members who have gainful income in the family unit must be pensioners of the Social Security System (retirement or permanent disability), receiving the minimum amount in force at any given time for such pension categories but not receiving income from another source, and not receiving any other income whose added annual amount exceeds ¤500.
If special circumstances are present (handicap with degree of disability equal to or greater than 33%, victim of terrorism, or victim of gender-based violence, dependency grade II or III, or single-parent families) the aforementioned limits increase by 0.5 points.
Severely Vulnerable Consumer
They must meet the requirements for being considered a vulnerable consumer, as well as:
- Receive an annual income ≤ 50% of the established thresholds for being considered vulnerable consumers including, where applicable, the anticipated increase for cases in which "special circumstances" are present.
- If it is a large family (more than four children), the family unit must receive an annual income ≤ 2 (*) IPREM for 14 salary payments per year: 15.039¤.
- If it is a Pensioner who receives the minimum pension, the family unit must receive an annual income ≤ 1 (*) IPREM for 14 salary payments per year: 7.520¤.
Consumer at Risk of Social Exclusion
They must meet the requirements for being considered a Severely Vulnerable Consumer. In addition, they must also be cared for by the Social Services of any Public Administration (regional or local) that finances at least 50% of the amount of their VPSC bill before the Social Bonus discount is applied. The corresponding Social Services must certify the payment borne within 5 months as from the date the bill is issued.
(*) IPREM - Indicador Público de Renta de Efectos Múltiples (Multiple-Purpose Public Income Index) = ¤7,519.59/year (Additional Provision 107 of Act 3/2017, dated 27 June, of the 2017 General State Budget)
|Documentation||Vulnerable Consumer/Severely Vulnerable Consumer|
|1. Social Bonus form signed by all members of the family unit over 14 years old.|
|2. Photocopies of Spanish National or Spanish Foreigner ID ("DNI" or "NIE") of the holder and of each of the members of the family unit, including those under 14 if they have one.|
|3. Photocopy of the Spanish Family Record Book ("Libro de Famila") or individual page from the Civil Registry for the holder and each of the members of the family unit, or any other document issued by the official authorities to reliably confirm the marital status of the applicant (e.g. Certificate of existence and status ("certificado de fe de vida y estado")).|
|4. Current Local Residence Registration Certificate ("empadronamiento") for the holder and all members of the family unit.|
|5. Photocopy of Large Family Certificate ("título de familia numerosa").||ONLY REQUIRED IN THE CASE OF LARGE FAMILIES|
|6. Certificate from relevant Social Services, or that designated by the Autonomous Regional Government to confirm Special Circumstances. |
This link includes an example of the certificate.
|ONLY REQUIRED IF SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES ARE MET (EXCEPT SINGLE PARENT FAMILIES)|
In Navarre the computer program developed by the Ministry of Energy, Tourism and the Digital Agenda to check income requirements cannot be used, so the application form must be accompanied by a declaration of income or tax certificate for all the members of the family unit. In the above autonomous region, large families need only provide this documentation for Seriously Vulnerable applications.
For applications based on minimum pension, if the criteria for the pension itself are not met, the computer program developed by the Ministry will also check income requirements in case the applicant is entitled to the Social Bonus due to income. In order to be able to do this, authorisation to check income must be given on the form.
How do I apply for the Social Bonus?
- Fill in the Social Bonus application form at this link. We'll guide you through it step by step.
If you prefer, you can also get the form from these sources:
- Customer Service Telephone Number (900 200 708)
- Customer Service Points
- Return the signed form with the necessary documentation at this link.
If you prefer, you can also return the signed form and documentation by these methods:
With the entry into force of Royal Decree-Law 15/2018 [PDF], of 5th October, a programme was created for the direct granting of benefits, aimed at alleviating the energy poverty of vulnerable consumers, with regard to the heating of water for sanitation or cooking purposes, denominated Thermal Social allowance.
This benefit is compatible with the receipt of other benefits, subsidies, income or resources for the same purpose from other institutions. Likewise, it will be compatible with the receipt of the Electricity Social allowance.
The Thermal Social allowance will be financed by the General State Budgets and will be subject to the existence of budgetary availability.
In each exercise, consumers who are beneficiaries of the electricity social allowance at 31 December of the previous year will be beneficiaries of the Thermal Social allowance.
These consumers will be informed by the Ministry of their status as potential beneficiaries of the Thermal Social allowance benefit.
The payment of subsidies will be carried out during the first quarter of the year. The amount to be received by each beneficiary will be determined according to their degree of vulnerability as defined in the regulations governing the electricity social allowance. It will also be defined by the climate of the area in which the house, where they are registered, is located.