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Decree Law No. 138-A/2010

Publication: Republic Diary No. 250/2011, Series I of 2010-12-28
  • Issuer: Ministry of Economy, Innovation and Development
  • Diploma Type: Decree Law
  • Number: 138-A/2010
  • Pages: 5970-(2) a 5970-(4)

Summary in plain english

What is it?

This decree-law creates a discount in electricity prices for economically disadvantaged people. This discount is called social tariff.

What will change?

With this decree-law, people who are in a difficult financial situation will be sheltered from variations in electricity prices.

In 2011, the social tariff will ensure that, for the most vulnerable clients, the price of electricity will increase only 1%.

Who is entitled to this discount

People who:

  • have an electricity contract in their own name, for a gross power capacity of 4,6 kVA or less (this information can be confirmed on the monthly bill)
  • are receiving one the following benefits from social security:
    • solidarity supplement for the elderly
    • social integration income
    • unemployment benefit (subsídio social de desemprego)
    • child benefit (first level)
    • incapacity benefit (pensão social de invalidez)

The discount applies only to the electricity for domestic use in their permanent residence (i.e., the address where they normally live and with which they are registered with the Tax Office).

How to apply for the discount

Until June 30th 2010, the client must give the electricity supplier a social security statement proving that he or she receives one of the benefits mentioned above.

After this date, they can simply authorize the electricity supplier to contact social security and confirm that he or she is receiving a social security benefit.

The electricity suppliers must advertise the discount on their website and monthly bills.

How the system works

The discount is defined each year by the energy services regulator (ERSE), within the limits set by the government. The cost of implementing the social tariff is paid by the electricity production companies, except in Madeira and Azores.

The social tariff rules (i.e., who is entitled to it and which entities pay the difference) will be reviewed in 2013 and, then, every four years.

What are its benefits?

This decree-law aims to provide vulnerable people and families an electricity tariff that is less subject to increases.

When does it come into effect?

This decree-law will come into effect the day after it is published.

Original Version


  • Legal translator is the translation of texts within the field of law


Legislative consolidation integrates the various amendments and rectifications made into an original legal diploma in order to make its consultation more accessible to the citizen.