Electricity Bills Will Rise by 20% Due to Water Crisis

Due to the drought, the government is using thermal plants, which are more expensive


André Pepitone, Director General of the Agency National Electric Energy Company, said on Tuesday (15) that the red tariff, the most expensive one charged on the electricity bill, is expected to rise by more than 20%.

Due to the low level of the water in reservoirs, thermal plants have been activated and this will affect the consumer through the tariff charged on the electricity bill. In June, the most expensive level 2 red tariff was implemented, which charges R$6.24 for every 100 kWh (kilowatt-hours) consumed.

The agency discussed raising this rate to R$7.57 per 100 kWh. “But, for sure, we must overcome this,” declared Pepitone in a public hearing at the Chamber's Mines and Energy commission to discuss the water crisis.

He added that he will make his decision in June. Pepitone pointed out that the increase is due to payment for the use of more expensive thermal plant energy generation.

The activation of the thermoelectric plants should generate an additional cost of R$8.99 billion this year. "This will impact the 5% tariff," said Pepitone. Part of this cost will be transferred to 2022, but free consumers will have already paid in 2021.

During the debate, the director general from the National Electric System Operator, Luiz Carlos Ciocchi, said that measures are being taken so that there is no risk of energy rationing this year.

Faced with the water crisis, the government has prepared an interim measure. The plan will give full powers to an inter-ministerial group for monitoring the crisis so that it can decide on the flow of water in the hydroelectric reservoirs.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

Read the article in the original language