Understanding the invoice

What should I see on my electricity invoice?

Your electricity invoice should include the following information:

  • The contracted power, including price
  • The dates and means for customers to report their meter readings
  • Actual and estimated consumption (associated quantities)
  • The price of energy and the tariffs applicable to the sale and consumption of energy (unit and total price)
  • The total and unbundled value of the grid access tariff
  • The invoicing period
  • The applicable fees and taxes, itemised
  • The conditions, deadlines and means of payment
  • The consequences of non-payment
  • The costs of general economic interest (CIEG)
  • The amount of the discount corresponding to the social tariff, if applicable
  • The difference between the amount paid and what you would pay if you had the regulated (transitional) tariff.

The invoice should also include information on:

  • Any other services provided
  • CO2 emissions corresponding to the energy consumed and invoiced
  • Contact details of the supplier
  • Contact details for reporting faults and emergencies
  • The value (in %) of the primary energy sources used to generate the electricity (wind, hydro, natural gas, coal, etc.).

To better understand your invoice, please consult the Friendly Invoice (financed by ERSE through the PPEC - Plan for the Promotion of Efficiency in Electricity Consumption).

To find out how much VAT is included in your invoice, see ERSE’s information leaflet.

See also the video on how to read your electricity and gas invoice.

The final amount to be paid by the customer is calculated as follows:

In the absence of actual consumption data, the invoice will be based on estimated consumption (in full or in part). To avoid or reduce estimated consumption invoicing, report your meter readings to your supplier (or grid operator, if this is the contact indicated) on a monthly basis, on the dates shown on your invoices. Find out more about reading your meter.


When can invoicing be adjusted?

Adjustments can be made in the following situations:

  • Correction of previous estimated consumption, after meter reading
  • Correction of measurement, reading and invoicing errors
  • Malfunction of the meter
  • Irregular consumption and energy theft


How is the adjustment made?

If the adjustment is in favour of the consumer, the amount must be credited on the adjustment invoice itself.

If the adjustment is in favour of the supplier, the consumer can ask to pay the amount in instalments: the number of instalments should take into account the number of months to be adjusted.

If the consumer is not responsible for the need for adjustment, no late interest can be charged.


What is the multi-monthly payment plan for estimate adjustments?

Electricity consumers (household customers) who receive an invoice with an estimated adjustment equal to or greater than 25% of their average consumption over the last six months should also receive a reference on the invoice to an automatic instalment plan, which can be up to 12 monthly instalments. If the consumer so wishes, he can pay the full amount of the invoice including the adjustment simply by informing his supplier.

The adjustment amount to be taken into account on each invoice is limited to the higher of the following values:

  • 25% of the average consumption for the 6 months preceding the adjustment invoice
  • EUR 5

This special rule does not apply if there is no history of consumption equal to or greater than six months in relation to the invoice adjustment and in the case of lump sum payment modalities.


Do I have to pay the audiovisual tax (CAV)?

Yes. The purpose of the audiovisual tax is to finance public radio and television, but the law stipulates that this financing is guaranteed by including the audiovisual tax in the electricity invoice.

The following consumers are exempt from paying the CAV:

  • Consumers whose annual consumption is less than 400 kWh.
  • Consumption of agricultural activities in groups 011/015, division 01, section A of the CAE (the Portuguese Classification of Economic Activities).

The value of the CAV is set annually in the State Budget (currently EUR 2.85). Consumers with a social tariff pay a reduced amount (EUR 1).


What is the operating fee of the Directorate-General for Energy and Geology (DGEG)?

It is a fee paid to the State, charged on the electricity invoice for the use and operation of electrical installations. It has a fixed value and is determined by the DGEG.


What are costs of general economic interest (CGEI)?

These costs relate to the country’s energy policy, such as the rents paid by electricity companies to municipalities, the extra costs of producing electricity from renewable and non-renewable sources, or the convergence of tariffs between mainland Portugal and the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira. They are not regulated by ERSE, but are included in the final price paid by the consumer in the electricity invoice.


What is the electricity excise duty (IEC)?

It is a sub-category of the Petroleum and Energy Products Tax (ISP). It was introduced in 2012 and is included on electricity invoices. Find out the value of the IEC.


Do invoices lapse/expire?

Yes. The electricity supplier’s right to receive payment for the service provided lapses within six months of supply.

If, for whatever reason, the consumer has paid less than the amount consumed, the supplier’s right to receive the difference expires six months after the first payment.

In order for the limitation periods and expiry to have their intended effect, the consumer must expressly invoke his/her right near the supplier (preferably in writing).

If the invoice has already been paid, later invoking does not oblige the supplier to return the amounts already paid.

Monthly lump sum agreements may also prevent the right to payment of the difference from lapsing, with the amounts submitted as a billing adjustment at the end of the agreement remaining outstanding.