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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case ES-2020-12/502 – measures in Spain

Guarantee of water and energy supply to vulnerable consumers

Garantía de suministro de agua y energía a consumidores vulnerables

Country Spain , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 18 March 2020 – 30 June 2021
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Measures to prevent social hardship
– Keeping a safe home
Author Oscar Molina (UAB) and Eurofound
Case created 12 April 2020 (updated 27 November 2020)

Background information

Protection is extended to energy and water supplies, guaranteeing the essential public services for vulnerable families. As a novelty, the services of telecommunications are also guaranteed. This means that over the duration of this measure, those who can't afford to pay the bills of these essential services can't be interrupted. The objective of this measure is to protect those families / persons at risk of exclusion or in a vulnerable position.

Content of measure

There is no quantification of the support provided.

During the month following the entry into force of this royal decree-law, suppliers of electric energy, natural gas and water may not suspend supply to those consumers in which the condition of vulnerable, severe vulnerable consumer or at risk of exclusion occurs, as defined in articles 3 and 4 of Royal Decree 897/2017, of 6 October, which regulates the figure of the vulnerable consumer, the social bonus and other protection measures for domestic consumers. The validity of the social bond is automatically extended until 15 September 2020 for those beneficiaries of the bond that expires before that date, the period provided for in article 9.2 of Royal Decree 897/2017, of 6 October.

Use of measure

There is no estimation on the number of eligible persons.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Does not apply to businesses Other groups of citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Company / Companies
No special funding required

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement as case not in social partner domain No involvement as case not in social partner domain
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level


This is a pure social measure, but not really in the labour relations domain. As a result, social partners were not involved, though they could have been informed.

Views and reactions

Social partners were supportive of this measure.


  • 18 March 2020: Royal Decree-Law 8/2020, of March 17, on extraordinary and urgent measures to face the economic and social impact of COVID-19. (


Eurofound (2020), Guarantee of water and energy supply to vulnerable consumers, case ES-2020-12/502 (measures in Spain), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.