In November, the maximum sale price of the butane gas cylinder dropped almost 5% after more than two years of uninterrupted increases until the Spanish Government capped the price in May, at 19.55 euro. With this drop, the price of a 12.5-kilogram bottle of butane gas is set at a maximum of 18.58 euro, a price which will remain static through much of winter, until January 17, 2023. The price is normally reviewed every two months.

However, this price has confused a number of people, as for example, a trip to the local Repsol petrol station at the end of November revealed the price at 23 euro for a bottle of gas, far more than the maximum set by the Government. So, the obvious question is, why is butane gas more expensive in petrol stations than the government regulated rate?

The answer is more straight forward than you might think, and before you ask another obvious question, yes, it is allowed.

Bombonas ligeras are a lighter version of the gas bottle, which started to appear a few years ago, but as well as being easier to carry, they are sold under a free market agreement. Anyone can purchase one, without the need for a contract, and without paying the deposit for the bottle. This is one of the justifications for a higher price given by the gas suppliers. The characteristics of the part of the bottle which delivers the gas are universal, and so the canisters are interchangeable, and will work in the domestic setting just as well as the “traditional” canisters, but it is because they are sold into a free market, they are not capped by the government’s price policy.

The price regulated by the Government is for the traditional gas bottle, not the light version. These traditional gas bottles are no longer sold through petrol stations. In order to benefit from the reduced rate that the Government implements on gas prices, you must have a contracted supplier, and you must contact them for replacements to be delivered to your home. But at the current rates, doing so will save you around 5 euro per canister.

The easiest way is by downloading the app to your mobile phone, which in the case of Repsol is called “Bombona Butano Repsol”. We are talking mostly about Repsol, but if you prefer Cepsa, it is simply their generic “Cepsa” app.

As for the Repsol in particular, we can tell you that their app is available for both Android and iOS, and is free. The app is in Spanish only, but with a little knowledge of the language most people should be able to navigate through putting personal details and their address in, for example. You can then order your butane gas directly in the app, and it links you with a local distributor to deliver your gas.

Once in the app, you can order the cheaper, regulated gas bottle, or the more expensive, unregulated, light version if you wish. It saves your previous order, making it even easier to reorder in the future.