“It was R$220 to R$240. The last (invoice) came to R$440”. Márcia Helena Palamoni Grace, 48, felt the increase in the price of electricity in her pocket. Cases like hers are repeated throughout the city, due to the constant tariff adjustments announced by Aneel (National Electric Energy Agency). In a house in Jardim Guanabara, Márcia lives with her husband and two children. The family made cuts but did not get results. “My husband put (lamps) with LED, because they are more economical. We are not using a yard cleaning machine as they say it draws a lot of energy. A lot of things have been taken away and I haven’t seen any progress”. “Before I paid around R$85. This month it came R$213”. For Rita de Cassia Oliveira, 38, the shower is the biggest enemy when it comes to paying the energy bill. “I believe it is the shower, because there are two children and taking them out is a bit complicated”, he explains. Saving at the supermarket was one of the ways found by the resident of the Nova Franca neighborhood to balance her budget. “Try not to leave the lamp on. Charge the kids to hang up. We cut down on television time. In the market, we try to buy things that are cheaper, get promotions or other brands”. In addition to home appliances, José Goulart Neto, 39, has sewing, sewing, assembly and compressor machines in his house. To pay the bills, the shoe manufacturer has increased working hours. “I’m enjoying it and working more. I’m working on Saturdays too, pulling a little more during the week, working overtime, to be able to afford everything”. The manufacturer lives with his wife and three children in Jardim Santa Mônica. José used to pay around R$300 on the energy bill. With the latest adjustments, the price rose to R$ 400. “There is no other way out but to take advantage of the moment to work and be able to pay all this”, he added.
Flags and amounts charged
Brazil suffers from the lack of rain, resulting in low levels in the reservoirs of hydroelectric plants, responsible for the energy production that supplies a large part of the country. To guarantee the supply to the consumer, the thermoelectric plants are activated. Production by thermoelectric plants is more expensive, entailing extra fees, known as Energy Flags. Each stage represents an additional value, calculated per 100 kWz. Check out:
- Green Flag – no additional charge
- Yellow Flag – R$ R$ 1.343
- Red Flag Level 1 – R$ 4.169
- Red Flag Level 2 – R$9.49
- Water Scarcity Flag – R$ 14.20
Announced by Aneel last Tuesday, 31, the Water Scarcity Flag represents the highest amount charged to the consumer. The new flag has been in effect since last Wednesday, 1st, in force until April 2022.
CPFL (Companhia Paulista de Força e Luz) is responsible for the supply in Franca. The company charged R$ 83.79 per 100 kWh house, considering August 2021, when it was on the Red Flag Level 2. “After the delay in the bill, the company must notify the consumer of the default on the energy bill. After this notice, 15 days are counted. After that period, the cut can already be made”, explains the company’s advisors. The report questioned CPFL about the number of defaulters in Franca. The company said it could not inform the amount before the earnings release, as it is a publicly-held company.