As of January 1, 2013, regulated end-user tariffs will no longer be available to Portuguese consumers of electricity and natural gas, who will need to switch to a market supplier. For existing customer with regulated tariffs, a transitional period of three years will apply, during which regulated tariffs can be adjusted quarterly.
Almost all households - 4.7 million in electricity and 1.1 million in natural gas -, whose rate is abolished from 1 January 2013, have a transitional period of three years, until the end of 2015, to switch to a supplier in the liberalised market.
The regulated tariff for domestic consumers with higher intakes - equal to or above 10.35 kVA in the case of electricity, and with an annual consumption exceeding 500 m3 in the case of natural gas – already had been extinguished on July 1, 2012. Those consumers were given a transitional period of two and a half years, until the end of 2014, to switch to a market based supplier.
During the transitional period, consumers who chose to remain in the regulated market will continue to be supplied by the supplier of last resort at a transitional rate fixed by the Energy Services Regulatory Authority (ERSE).
This last phase of extinction of regulated tariffs for domestic consumers concludes the process of liberalization of the electricity and natural gas markets in continental Portugal.
The process for switching suppliers is free, requires no change of meter, and is driven by the supplier with whom the consumer has entered into a new contract for the supply of energy.
For all information on the liberalization process applied to electricity and natural gas supply, including the different phases of extinction of regulated rates and corresponding transitional periods, and to learn what you must do to switch supplier, please consult the brochures below.
To help in the process of changing supplier, ERSE also provides a list of all companies that are operating in the market as well as online simulators for price comparisons (portuguese versions).