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Iberdrola to guarantee gas and power to vulnerable customers for five months

·1-min read
The logo of Spanish utility company Iberdrola is seen outside its headquarters in Madrid

(Reuters) - Iberdrola, will guarantee gas and power supply for five months to customers in Spain who are deemed vulnerable by humanitarian group the Red Cross, after which all outstanding bills must be paid, Europe's largest utility said on Monday.

There will also be a provision to allow people to spread out payments over 12 months at no extra cost, the Spanish company said in a statement.

All Iberdrola's residential customers will be given help to pay their bills over longer periods if the Red Cross assesses their circumstances and considers that they are vulnerable, it said. But all outstanding bills will need to be paid after the five months or supply will be cut off, it added.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has disrupted trading relationships which used to see Russia provide 40% of Europe's gas, squeezing supply and prompting governments and some companies to seek ways to shield consumers.

Britain's Centrica last month pledged to donate 10% of profits from its British Gas unit to a support fund for poorer customers and Germany's energy regulator said households would be prioritised if Berlin activates an emergency gas plan.

(Reporting by Joanna Jonczyk-Gwizdala; Editing by Isla Binnie and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)