19 Dec. 2013
An electricity meter is seen outside a house on the outskirts of Ronda, near Malaga, southern Spain December 19, 2013. Spanish electricity bills are set to rise by at least 10.5 percent in January, hitting cash-strapped consumers hard and casting more doubt on whether a wide-ranging energy reform passed in July will be enough to fix a distorted power market.
Spain is trying to balance a 30 billion euro ($41 billion) electricity tariff deficit created by years of a policy that kept prices below the sum of costs ranging from generation and transmission to renewable subsidies and capacity payments.
The reforms, which include subsidy cuts and tax hikes, were meant to spread the burden of curbing the tariff deficit among consumers, companies and the state, which had pledged 3.6 billion euros in funds to help close the gap. REUTERS/Jon Nazca (SPAIN - Tags: BUSINESS ENERGY POLITICS)