Voluntary energy reduction program in Brazil starts today

The Incentive Program for the Voluntary Reduction of Electric Energy Consumption, created by the Bolsonaro government in the midst of the worst water crisis in the last 91 years, begins to take effect this Wednesday (1st). The initiative will reward citizens who reduce consumption by up to 10%, with a bonus of R$50 for every 100 kWh saved.

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The program is expected to last until December 2021 and is valid for those who reduce consumption by a level of 10% to 20%. Anyone who saves less than 10% will not receive a bonus, and anyone who exceeds the 20% level will receive no additional reward.

The consumption in the same months of 2020 of this period of September and December will serve as a parameter to calculate the average consumption.

The government hopes to reduce demand by 914 MW, 1.41% of the SIN (National Interconnected System). The bonus granted should cost around R$339 million per month, which will be covered by the ESS (System Service Charges).

The Ministry of Mines and Energy calculates that, with the population joining the energy consumption program, the payment of these bonuses will cost less than what is currently spent activating thermoelectric plants to supply the energy supply.

Increased electricity bill

As of this Wednesday, the new increase in electricity bills, announced by Creg (Chamber of Exceptional Rules for Hydroenergy Management), will also take effect. The readjustment will be about 6.78% in the average tariff, through the creation of the brand new “Hydric Scarcity” banner in the electricity bill.

The new rate will be R$14.20/100kWh, almost 50% above the current brand, and will be valid for all consumers from September 1, 2021 to April 30, 2022. Exceptions are made by residents of isolated areas SIN and low-income citizens who adhere to the social tariff on the electricity bill.

The electricity bill had its first increase in June, shortly after the government announced that the country would experience in 2021 the biggest water crisis in 91 years. The Ministry of Mines and Energy also announced other readjustments within the red flag in the following months, until establishing this Tuesday (31) the new flag.

The situation worsened after the months of July and August had even less rain than expected by the government. Therefore, the reservoirs of the Southeast/Midwest subsystem, responsible for about 70% of the country’s hydroelectric generation, ended August with the worst monthly average in history.