Electricity distributor and supplier: what is the difference?
The company to call when there is a power outage in your neighbourhood is not the same as the one that sends you your bills.
You know that energy is generated in different types of power plants. You know that it reaches your home through the power grid (or through gas pipelines). But you get lost when it comes to identifying each of the companies that take part in this process. And you might think that the one sending you your bills is responsible for everything.
We explain what distributors and suppliers do so you can finally understand how things work and why it matters to you.
What does the distributor do?
The distributor is responsible for ensuring that the power correctly reaches your home. You cannot choose your distributor, as one or another is assigned to you depending on the area where you live. The distrubutor is the one in charge of determining whether you are receiving real or estimated readings. They are also in charge of the billing period, which oftens fluctuates anywhere between 20 to 40 days, with an average at 28 days. The billing period is not something the supplier can change.
You can see which electricity distributor is assigned to each area below:
Although there is overlap, especially in border areas, the electricity distribution companies cover the following areas:
- e-distribución: Catalonia, Aragón, Andalusia, Balearic Islands, Canary Islands and the province of Badajoz.
- i-DE: Basque Country, Navarre, La Rioja, Castile and León except the province of Segovia and the west of province of León, Madrid except the south of the Autonomous Community, the province of Cáceres, west of the province of Toledo, north of the province of Guadalajara, the Valencian Community and Murcia.
- UFD: Galicia, the west of the province of León, the province of Segovia, the south of the Autonomous Community of Madrid, the province of Ciudad Real, the province of Cuenca, most of the province of Toledo and the south of the province of Guadalajara.
- E-REDES: Asturias.
- Viesgo Distribución: Cantabria and some parts of southern and western Asturias.
As the end consumer, your contract is not with the distributor, but with the supplier.
What does the supplier do?
The supplier is not responsible for ensuring that the power supply reaches your home. It offers you different rates when possible, sends you your bills, advises you on how you can achieve savings and responds to your questions and concerns. We are also more than happy to contact your distributor within opening hours, to solve any issues you may have, unlike many other suppliers. We know how difficult it can be to get through to the large distributors and if you are not able to communicate in Spanish, this can become a real issue.
You are free to choose your supplier and you can change whenever you wish.
Why it matters to you
- Because your rate depends on your supplier and what you pay in your bill depends on your tariff.
- Because the supplier is the one who can advice your the best as to how you can save electricity.
- Because the distributor is the ones that will repair any faults affecting your power supply.
- Because the distributor is the ones who own your meter. The distributor is responsible for sending power-use readings to the supplier, repairing broken meters and, in the case of electricity power outage, installing the new digital meters.
If Energy Nordic are your supplier, there are numerous ways to contact us so we can assist you.
Bear in mind that there are two different energy supply markets: the open market and the regulated market. On the open market, there is a wide variety of companies and rates. On the regulated market, there are just a few suppliers and a single rate, the PVPC (Voluntary Small Consumer Price), with or without an hourly breakdown.
If there is a power outage, you need to call the distributor. If you have questions about your bills, rate or contract, call the supplier.