Brazilian saves more than expected and will have a BRL 2.4 billion bonus on their electricity bill

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The voluntary energy consumption reduction program should generate a bonus of BRL 2.4 billion in electricity bills for the month of January. The estimate was made by the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME).

The amount is a premium offered to customers who, between September and December 2021, reduced their electricity consumption by more than 10%. The bonus, however, will be borne by the consumers themselves, as this amount will be included as a “cost” of the electricity system in the tariff review.

The figures presented by the Ministry of Mines and Energy indicate that the economy has significantly exceeded the government’s projection. When the program was announced, technicians were working with the prospect of savings corresponding to 914 average MW and the number presented this Thursday night indicates savings of 1,917 average MW per month.

The MME assesses that the program was “successful” and the accumulated savings correspond to the annual consumption of the state of Paraíba or Rio Grande do Norte.

The financial value of the bonus was also exceeded. In August, technicians mentioned the prospect that the account could reach around R$ 1 billion in the accumulated of the three months – and the amount disclosed indicates R$ 2.4 billion.

The voluntary reduction incentive program was announced at the end of August – when Brazil was suffering the worst drought in more than 90 years and hydroelectric reservoirs were operating at historically low levels.

The program was only valid between September and December and provided a bonus of R$ 50 for every 100 kWh saved compared to 2020. The bonus would only be given to consumers who saved up to 20%.

The discount of R$ 2.4 billion applied to the January bills will be paid later by the consumers themselves. This is because the program provides that the financial bonus will be included as “System Service Charges” in the tariff review of the energy bill. Thus, companies in the electricity sector will receive this amount back, which will be diluted in the consumer’s bill.

This mechanism was criticized by experts when the program was announced, because the system itself will bear the costs.

The Ministry of Mines and Energy refutes the criticism and says that this bonus cost is lower than the amount paid for activating the thermal plants that could be shut down in the period. In this way, says the government, the program would be beneficial to the entire electrical system.

Reference: CNN Brasil

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