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Electricity, gas, airport taxes and motorway tolls cheaper in 2016
thinkSPAIN , Saturday, January 2, 2016

THE New Year has kicked off with cheaper electricity, mains and bottled gas, motorway tolls and airport taxes, with train fares and telephone and internet costs having been frozen.

Only the price of postage stamps has gone up, but Spain still enjoys some of the lowest mailing costs in Europe.

Reductions in prices are not significant – electricity has gone down by 0.7% since December or 2.8% since January 2015, and mains gas by 3.3% in the past month or 27.5% in the past year.

Butane gas by the bottle now comes in at a maximum of €12.68, although prices tend to fluctuate according to whether they are collected from the retailer or delivered, and whether they are in heavy orange or lightweight silver-coloured bottles.

As for electricity, only the part relating to taxes and charges levied by the government, which is around 60% of the total bill, has gone down.

Motorway tolls for using Madrid's outer-city corridors – the R-3, R-4 and R-5 – have gone up by 1.34% in price, although these often cost less than a euro to use anyway.

And tolls for all other motorways in the country, where prices are State-controlled, are now an average of 0.6% cheaper.

Airport governing body AENA had planned to freeze taxes, but the National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC) revoked this, and as a result flight taxes have now dropped by 1.9%.

Round-town buses, and trains covered by national rail board RENFE, will not go up in price for the time being, and Spain's main telecommunications giant Telefónica has kept its monthly connection charge to €14.33 plus IVA for another year after not having increased it since 2013.

Postage stamps will be more expensive now, however – a standard-sized letter or postcard sent to another address in Spain costs 45 cents, having gone up by three cents, and other parcels and letters sent abroad will rise in line with this.

Sending an ordinary letter by first-class post within the same country is cheaper in Spain than the European average of 55 cents, and some way below the cost of the same type of stamp for Italy, at 80 cents; the UK, at 72 cents; France, at 68 cents, and Germany at 62 cents.



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