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EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

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

Factsheet for measure ES-2020-12/502 Updated – 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 – 28 February 2022
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Measures to prevent social hardship
– Keeping or obtaining a safe home
Author Oscar Molina (UAB) and Eurofound
Measure added 12 April 2020 (updated 26 January 2022)

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.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

07 January 2022

This policy measure has been extended at least three times. The last time was after the Royal Decree Law 21/2021 of 27 October 2021, Extending mechanisms for social protection to avoid social and economic vulnerability until 28 February 2022.

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 Applies to all 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, measure ES-2020-12/502 (measures in Spain), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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