Despite the intention to grant bonuses to consumers who save energy as of next Wednesday, September 1st, the government has not yet defined the value. As found the broadcast (Grupo Estado’s real-time news system), the team of the President of the Republic, Jair Bolsonaro, considered giving a bonus of R$ 1 for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) saved. The proposal, however, was discarded as it was considered unfeasible to maintain the financial balance of the electricity sector.
The technicians’ assessment is that the bonus in this amount is exaggerated, since it would represent an amount of R$1,000 per megawatt-hour (MWh). For a comparison, the average tariff paid by residential consumers today is R$607.60 per MWh. The understanding is that it is not possible to have such a high cost to encourage energy reduction, even though the prospects for the water situation are worrying.
The official announcement of the voluntary reduction program aimed at residential consumers was made by the Minister of Mines and Energy, Bento Albuquerque, last Wednesday, 25th, at a press conference.
The program will have a definition of a minimum reduction target for granting credit. According to the proposal under analysis, which is not yet closed, consumers who save 10% to 20% of energy consumption would receive a discount.
Discounts granted to residential consumers who join the initiative must be paid through the System Service Charge (ESS) – a fee that is charged on the electricity bill itself.
If the source of funds is confirmed, the “bonus” would be borne by the consumers themselves, both those served by distributors, such as residential, and those operating in the so-called free market, such as industries. The bonus for residential consumers is part of a series of actions to avoid blackouts during peak hours, when there is more demand for energy.
The bet is that the reduction in demand would help alleviate the system and make it possible to reduce the cost of generation. The William Arjona thermoelectric plant, in Mato Grosso do Sul, for example, has a variable cost above R$ 2 thousand per megawatt-hour (MWh). Last week, the Ministry of Mines and Energy also published the rules for a similar program of voluntary reduction in energy consumption, but aimed at large consumers.
In return, companies will receive financial compensation. Bolsonaro also issued a decree to determine a 10% to 20% reduction in energy consumption in Federal Administration bodies.