Spain: Iberdrola inflated price of electricity, says Civil Guard

The Central Operative Unit (UCO) of Spain’s Civil Guard have announced their discovery of Iberdrola emails, internal communications and Excel files that underpin the accusation against the power company for allegedly inflating the price of electricity during the fall of 2013.

The result was a very high price for electricity, leading to the opening of an investigation by the National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC). The agency determined in November 2015 that Iberdrola had reaped a profit of €21.5 million (US$26 million) and had caused a negative impact equivalent to a further €105 million. The process ended with a penalty of €25 million, which Iberdrola has sought to appeal.

Iberdrola alleges that the price rose because its production assets were lower than expected. This is a parameter that, presumably, in addition to water held in reservoirs, takes into account rainfall forecasts and, therefore, the ability to renew their resources and prevent the production of energy from affecting human consumption, agriculture and the environment.

However, the UCO has said it is unable to find a logical explanation or a pattern in previous years that justifies the cutback of available hydraulic energy applied by Iberdrola in December 2013, unleashing a rise in electricity prices in during a particularly sensitive period.

Full Content: El Confidencial

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.