It's a quirky fact of life for people in Spain – those that reside here or visit – that one of the more peculiar aspects of living here is the reliance on Butane gas. In the UK, most people have access to the mains gas supply and few people live off the grid, however, in Spain this is far from the case. The use of gas stoves, both for heating water and cooking, is an effective alternative to radiators, even in the colder months. Gas bottles are therefore ubiquitous in petrol stations and other suppliers throughout the country, and easy to get hold of.
What You Need to Know About Buying and Using Your Gas Canisters
There are a variety of rules and regulations relating to using gas canisters (Bombonas) that is worth bearing in mind when you consider buying or replenishing your supply. Here are some tips that should help you.
You Need a Contract for a Gas Bottle
As weird as it sounds you do actually need to obtain a contract in order to purchase a gas bottle. It's simple to do this. You need the following documents:
You should take photocopies of these documents to your local supplier agency. They will then arrange a visit from a technician who will inspect your home for any permanent gas fittings (in theory at least). The contract usually costs around €20.
Repsol currently charge €18.15 for a contract and €3.64 as a deposit for the bombona bottle.
Cepsa contract charges vary across the country, but there is a maximum price of €30 for the contract and €3 as a deposit for the gas bottle.
However, you may find that when you drop off an empty bottle for an exchange, the vendor does not ask to see your contract, and it's true that many customers don't bother.
Authorised Suppliers of Gas Bottles
Repsol, Cepsa and Galp Energia are the main suppliers of butane gas bottles in Spain.
You can find all the information you need at the web addresses below including how to get a contract for each supplier.
The Benefits of Having a Gas Contract
The main benefit of having a gas contract is that if the contract with the supplier is linked to a fixed address, then new canisters will normally be delivered to your home free of charge and fuss free. This is particularly useful given that a full bottle of gas weighs in at around 20 kilos (12.5 kilos of gas plus the heavy bottle itself). This is most often the case in urbanised areas, but anyone living in remoter areas may struggle for delivery.
If you have an accident or need a repair to your gas equipment, as long as you have a contract with a supplier you should find that the agency with which the contract is drawn up will carry out periodic reviews of all installations at least every five years, and make certain that safety considerations are correctly observed.
It is possible to have liquid gas delivered to larger properties that have gas-fired heating systems, so it's worth asking around if you want to use this as an alternative to bottled gas. You may find that your area has mains gas before long anyway, as this is being rolled out in certain areas of Spain.
Staying Safe with Your Butane Gas Bottles
What to Do If You Think You Have a Leak
Have Your Gas Installation Serviced
You should have all of your gas devices serviced by authorized technicians every four or five years. If you have a contract you will receive a reminder.
Transporting Gas Bottles in Private Vehicles
Under Spanish law, as a private individual, you can only transport two bottles at a time – this is a total of 30 kilos of liquid gas. Canisters must be transported in an upright position, belted into the passenger position within the vehicle, (copiloto) and not placed horizontally on the backseat or in the boot. The vehicle must also not be parked in an underground car park while carrying the gas bottles.
Gas Bottle Prices
Over the past year, the price of gas bottles in Spain has fallen significantly. This is great news for consumers and for many of us who are dependent on Bombonas.
The government sets a maximum price for gas bottles and distributors are not permitted by law to go above this price. At the time of writing the maximum price of a 12.5 kilo bottle is €13.37 with prices reviewed every two months.
Repsol gas bottle prices are currently €13.37 (Inc IVA) for a 12.5kg bottle. Cepsa prices are not regulated by the government and range between €12.76 and €13.95 (Inc IV) for a 12.5kg bottle.