Tanca Tanca

Housing Glossary

You will find information here on all topics relating to housing in Barcelona


Accrued interest

The interest applied as a penalisation when the debtor does not comply with repayment obligations. The amount must be established in the contract.

Active supermortgage

This allows the client to choose their loan's benchmark index (MIBOR at three months, six months or a year) so that payment can benefit from lower interest rates sooner.

Adaptable instalment

Characteristic of UCI superloans that allow the borrower to not pay one instalment a year for the first three years if there are problems due to holidays, extraordinary expenses, etc.

Advanced cancellation fee

A commission arising from the financial risk involved in the advanced cancellation of an operation. The applied commission compensates the financial institution for its financial losses.


Direct state aid for paying the deposit on a property.

Affordable housing

Group of social housing or dwellings from social renovation projects that are sold or rented at below-market prices.

Affordable rent

The cost of renting these dwellings is below market prices after being included in operations concerning the rented flat pool, social renovation or social housing promotions.


Payment made to repay a loan.

Amortisation period

The duration of the loan. The contract establishes the date of the first and last payments. The longer the period, the lower the payments are, but the higher the interest. You therefore pay more in the end. The monthly instalment should not exceed 35% of your net income.


Estate agent. A qualified professional who acts as an intermediary between the two interested parties to facilitate the signing of a real estate contract, which can be a rental agreement, a sales agreement or another similar contract. They usually charge a percentage of the sales price as compensation or commission.


A citizen who makes a registration application to the Barcelona Social Housing Applicants Registry, and who represents the other members of the dwelling unit included in the application.


Annual Equivalent Rate. Effective annual cost of the mortgage in terms of interest, commissions and the repayment period. To compare loans, it is not enough to just look at the lowest APR, you also have to compare the conditions, the repayment period and the distribution of instalment payments.

Arbitri municipal de plusvàlua

Former denomination of the capital gains tax on landed property.


The value of a dwelling certified by a specialised assessment company, in accordance with the mortgage market law. This certificate not only indicates the real value of the property, it also serves as a reference for obtaining the necessary financing.


Document in which the owner authorises the tenant to carry out building work in the dwelling's interior.

Close glossary

Housing offices only offer face-to-face assistance by prior appointment, so check out the “Housing calls you” service here to receive the most appropriate personalised assistance. If you also need assistance in energy rights, book an appointment with an energy-advice point (PAE) by clicking here. On the other hand, if you reside in an IMHAB public dwelling you can consult our contact, management and processing channels here.​

Want to understand your gas bill? We can help you!

09/10/2023 - 11:59

Housing. Understanding the key concepts on the bill and knowing whether we are in the regulated or free market helps us reduce our monthly expenses.

Gas is scarce and increasingly expensive, so it’s important to know how we can avoid paying more on our bills. That’s why we offer you the opportunity to interpret and better understand your gas bill. To do so, it’s particularly important to know whether we are in the regulated market or the free market:

  • Regulated Market: This is a semi-regulated tariff, meaning it has a variable price. It is usually updated every three months based on wholesale gas market prices and the contracted access rate, which varies depending on annual consumption. It can be identified on the bill under the name ‘Last Resort Tariff’ or ‘TUR’.
  • Free Market: It can offer any tariff at any price. In other words, the price fluctuates according to economic variations.

Mainly, on the gas bill, four concepts are charged: the fixed charge, the variable charge, the meter rental, and taxes.

1. Fixed charge: This is paid to have access to gas and varies depending on the tariff.

2. Variable charge: It is what we pay for the energy consumed (kWh) during the billing period. The price varies depending on the tariff.

3. Meter rental: The meter is usually owned by the distribution company and is paid on each bill as a rental fee.

4. Taxes: The gas bill includes two taxes, the hydrocarbon tax (0.00234€/kWh), which is calculated on the variable charge, and the VAT (21%), applied to the total bill.

5. Other charges: In some cases, you may also find other charges on the bill, such as adjustments for retroactive regulatory updates. In bills from the free market, it is also common to offer additional services unrelated to gas supply, such as boiler maintenance.

In the regulated market, there are three supply contract options:

  • TUR 1: Consumption below 5,000 kWh annually.
  • TUR 2: Consumption between 5,000 kWh and 15,000 kWh annually.
  • TUR 3: Consumption between 15,000 kWh and 50,000 kWh annually.

Furthermore, the gas bill provides information about the supply. We highlight the following:

0. Logo and information of the supplier with whom we have a contract (CIF, corporate name, and registered address).

1. Invoice details (invoice number, billing period, etc.).

2. Billing summary (includes the total amount to be paid on the invoice broken down by items).

3. Gas consumption information: Energy consumption over the entire period expressed in kWh. You can also find the reading (measured in m³) and the conversion factor to kWh, which is the unit used for billing.

4. Contract details: In this section, you will find all the necessary information about the supply point and contractual data, which are essential for managing our current or future supplier, such as the account holder’s name, address, or the CUPS (Universal Point of Supply Code).

Reducing Expenses in 4 Steps

In this capsule, you will discover, in just four steps, how you can switch to the regulated market and thus reduce your home’s gas expenses:

1. Determine the type of contract you have (whether it’s in the free market or the regulated market).

2. Find your CUPS (Universal Supply Point Code).

3. If necessary, call your company and request the switch to the regulated market.

4. Verify that there are no automatic contract renewals or binding periods.

It’s important to note that not all companies offer the regulated market, so it may be necessary to switch to a different company.

In addition, the Barcelona City Council has Energy Advising Points (PAE), a service that provides the information, assistance, and intervention necessary for people to exercise their energy rights and prevent companies from denying them access to basic supplies.

To receive assistance, you can contact the PAE via telephone, email, or in person at various offices located throughout the city. For more information on the contact methods and the service, you can refer to this link.

More info