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    Cost of Congress' will raise electricity bills by 10% in coming years, says study


    May 24, 2022 - CE Noticias Financieras

     

      With the approval of laws requiring energy contracts from specific sources and subsidies to the electric sector, Congress increased the cost of the electricity bill by 10% for the next few years. The calculations, obtained by Estadão, are from professor Edvaldo Santana, former director of the National Electric Energy Agency (Aneel).

      The specialist mapped the cost of recently approved laws and drew the "mathematics" of what he calls the "Congress cost" in the electricity bill. All these additional costs end up being paid by consumers in the electricity bill, either through the price of energy or through the increase in charges.

      With the escalating tariffs, now the president of the House of Representatives, Arthur Lira (Progressives-AL), with support from the government, wants to cheapen the electricity bill by approving a bill that sets a ceiling of 17% for the rate of ICMS, a state tax, and a decree that suspends the readjustments already approved in the states. In an election year and with politicians being charged for the high cost of energy, these two projects are urgently processed in the House of Representatives and gained priority to alleviate the electricity bill. Despite pressure from the governors, the ICMS project may be approved by the House of Representatives this Tuesday, 24th.

      The mapping shows, however, that the parliamentarians themselves contributed to the explosion in the price, with demands for contracting thermal gas, coal, nuclear energy from Angra 3 and renewable energy for twice the market. These contracts have an average cost of R$ 464.29 per MWh, while the marginal cost of expansion, calculated by the Energy Research Company (EPE), a company linked to the Ministry of Mines and Energy, is R$ 157.44.

      The result is an additional cost of R$ 27 billion per year in relation to efficient contracting, considering the term of each compulsory contracting, which will represent an average increase of R$ 54.79 per MWh in the energy bill and an impact of about 10% in consumer tariffs in the coming years. The average bill involves costs with different timeframes and financers. According to Santana, many of the compulsory contracts will be spread over periods of 15 to 20 years for all consumers, but may reach 50 years, as is the case with the energy from the Angra 3 nuclear plant.

      President of the National Association of Energy Consumers (Anace), Carlos Faria, exclaims: "The attitude of several members of Congress in relation to energy tariffs sounds laughable, if the situation wasn't tragic. While they contribute to the transfer of billions of dollars to consumers, they threaten the rules and the very sustainability of the electricity sector with attempts to interfere in the tariff processes.

      For Rodrigo Ferreira, executive president of the Brazilian Association of Energy Sellers (Abraceel), the structural reform solution for the sector is Bill 414, already approved in the Senate. It opens up the energy market by giving anyone the right to choose their own energy supplier - portability.

      According to him, there is consensus in the sector about the project and great expectation for the vote in June. "President Lira has demonstrated concern with the tariff explosion and has already manifested himself in favor of modernizing the commercial model of the electric sector, which will guarantee freedom of choice for the consumer and access to cheaper energy," Ferreira says.

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