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ENERGY COSTS

Spaniards' electricity bills rise 70 percent in six years

Companies that make up the electricity sector in Spain are running a deficit of 24 billion euros

Between 2006 and 2011, the price of electricity for Spanish consumers rose 69.9 percent, according to Eurostat figures. Meanwhile, in the 27 European Union countries, the average rise over the same period was 19.9 percent. In the euro area, the rise was just 13.1 percent.

What's more, the companies that make up the electricity sector in Spain are running a deficit of 24 billion euros, due to the system of price fixing that is in place - a system that many say simply does not work.

One of the problems that the sector is facing is that the design of the price-fixing system was based on continual growth in the market. But due to the crisis, demand for electricity has plummeted since 2008.

The association that represents the sector, Unesa, is calling on the government to introduce reforms to the system, and to make these public "as soon as possible" in order to avoid "even greater damage" to the power companies.