The Government is demanding that a full investigation is carried out to determine whether electricity companies have colluded together to fix prices and raise the cost of electricity.

This is after the quarterly wholesale auction saw the price of electricity increase by a massive 26.5%, which translates to an 11% rise in our electricity bills each month. Added to this is the 2% for the government-regulated component which was announced already earlier this week.

This would mean that from 1 January consumers could see their bills increase by between 11-13%.

Last week the Government said that electricity could go up by as much as 7% at the most, but the expected figure was between 2-5%.

According to consumer rights organisation Facua, the average household spends approximately 77,37 euro per month on electricity. If the proposed increase goes ahead, consumers will have to fork out an extra 8.5 euro a month, taking their bill to 85,88 euro.

Spain’s Minister for Industry, José Manuel Soria, labelled the proposed electricity hike as “unacceptable” and demanded that the CNMC anti-trust agency carry out an immediate investigation as he suspected manipulation, lack of transparency and other irregularities carried out by Spain’s energy companies.

If irregularities are found, the auction will be annulled and another will be held to determine the new cost of electricity.

This year alone our electricity bills have increased by 4.5%, but since the start of the crisis in 2007, electricity has become 76% more expensive than it was before.

In 2007, the average household’s bill was around 48 euro. This has now increased to 77 euro and would rise to 85 euro if the proposed increment was implemented.

This is how much average electricity bills have risen each year from January:

1 January 2007: 48,57 euro

1 January 2008: 50,20 euro (+3.1%)

1 January 2009: 57,20 euro (+14.1%)

1 January 2010: 61,78 euro (+7.8%)

1 January 2011: 72,97 euro (+18.1%)

1 January 2012: 74,00 euro (+1.4%)

1 January 2013: 80,47 euro (+8.74%)

1 January 2014: 85,88 euro (estimate)

A potential increase in electricity costs of between 11.5 and 13% would be the biggest hike in the history since records began.

It would also affect around 18 million consumers.