In a speech, minister calls for ‘unpostponable’ effort to reduce energy consumption | water crisis

The minister of Mines and Energy, Bento Albuquerque, made last Tuesday night (31), during a speech on national radio and television, an appeal for an “effort to reduce consumption” of electricity.

Earlier this Tuesday, the National Electric Energy Agency (Aneel) announced a new level of tariff flag for electricity bills (video below). The “water scarcity tariff flag” comes into effect this Wednesday (1st), remains until April 30, 2020 and adds R$ 14.20 to bills for every 100 kW/h consumed. Until now, the highest price of the extra fee was the “Red Flag Level 2” (R$9.49).

Government creates more expensive tariff flag and electricity bill should increase 7%

Government creates more expensive tariff flag and electricity bill should increase 7%

The reason for the measures is the low level of the hydroelectric reservoirs, due to the lack of rainfall, which requires the activation of thermoelectric plants, which are more polluting and whose energy is more expensive, and the import of energy.

“To increase energy security and avoid the risk of power outages at peak consumption times, it is necessary for the administration and the consumer to participate in an urgent effort to reduce consumption. The commitment of everyone in this process is essential to safely cross the serious moment and to reduce the cost of energy,” stated the minister.

The minister said that the “hydro-energy condition has worsened” and urged consumers to reduce energy waste through actions such as turning off lights and appliances that are not in use.

Bento Albuquerque also urged consumers to try to reduce the use of “equipment that consumes a lot of energy”, including air conditioning, an iron and an electric shower. And, if the consumer needs to use one of them, he should prefer the mornings and weekends.

The minister also referred to the so-called “award” for consumers who manage to save.

On Tuesday, the government announced a program that will discount the electricity bill of residential consumers and small businesses that voluntarily reduce energy consumption. The program is scheduled to last until December, but can be extended.

According to Bento Albuquerque, users who manage to reduce consumption “will be rewarded and may have a reduction in their electricity bill”.

Read below the full statement by Minister Bento Albuquerque, of Mines and Energy.

Last June, I shared important information about the drought that the country has been facing, the worst in the history of Brazil, and about the worrying shortage of water that affects our hydroelectric plants. It is a natural phenomenon that also occurs, with the same intensity, in many other countries.

Today, I address everyone again to inform you that our hydro-energetic condition has worsened. The rainy season in the southern region was worse than expected. As a result, the levels in the reservoirs of our hydroelectric power plants in the Southeast and Midwest regions suffered a greater reduction than expected. This loss of hydroelectric generation is equivalent to the entire energy consumption of a large city, such as Rio de Janeiro, for about 5 months.

In order to face this exceptional situation and guarantee the energy supply, we are using all available resources and taking extraordinary measures. With little water in the hydroelectric reservoirs, we had to significantly increase energy generation at our thermoelectric plants and we are importing energy from neighboring countries.

As all the cheaper resources were already being used, this additional electricity from thermoelectric generation and from importing energy will cost more.

In addition, in order to increase our energy security and avoid the risk of power outages at peak consumption times, it is essential that the Public Administration, in all its spheres, and every citizen-consumer, in homes and in the commercial sectors, de services and industry, let us participate in an urgent effort to reduce consumption. The commitment of everyone in this process is essential for us to safely go through the serious energy moment that affects us, to mitigate the impacts on the daily lives of the population and also to reduce the cost of energy.

We established measures to encourage society’s participation in this joint effort, similar to what other countries do. The Government has already guided the reduction of consumption by the Federal Agencies by 20%. We encourage large consumers to contribute to the voluntary reduction of consumption during the system’s peak hours, reducing the need to use more expensive resources. We also encourage residential, commercial and service consumers to participate in this effort as well. As an example, an average reduction of 12% in residential consumption would be equivalent to the supply of no less than 8.6 million homes. We can achieve even more by eliminating all the waste in energy consumption, turning off lights and appliances that are not in use, making more use of natural light, reducing the use of energy-consuming equipment such as electric showers, air conditioners and irons . And most importantly: giving preference to the use of these equipment during the morning and on weekends. Consumers who adhere to this call and save energy will be rewarded and may have a reduction in their electricity bill.

We will need to recover our reservoirs. This will take time, as we depend, in addition to the efforts of all of us, also on the rains. That’s why, in this time of scarcity, we need, more than ever, to use our water and energy consciously and responsibly.

With this effort, together with the set of measures that the federal government has been adopting, we will be able to face this challenging situation. A situation that will be all the more favorable the faster, more intense and comprehensive the mobilization of society to face it.