Electricity bill becomes 21.35% more expensive in Bahia from Friday

You know that saying that goes “too good to be true”? So, it represents well the feeling of Bahia in relation to the price of the electricity bill. Three days after the end of charging the water scarcity tariff flag, which resulted in a 20% reduction, the National Electric Energy Agency (Aneel) announced a 21.35% readjustment in energy bills in Bahia. The measure will take effect from Friday (22).

Depending on the customers’ consumption class, the readjustment will be felt differently. For those who consume, on average, low voltage, the increase will be 21.35%. In the case of high voltage consumers, such as large-scale industries and commerce, the readjustment is 20.54%. The average effect for the population should be 21.13%, according to the Agency. About 6.3 million people will be affected in the state.

According to Aneel, the adjustment approved by the board on Tuesday (19) is justified by sectoral charges and costs of energy distribution and acquisition. Last year’s water shortage reduced the water level in the reservoirs, which caused reserve thermoelectric plants to be activated. They have a higher operating cost.

João Lins, commercial manager at Elétron Energy, a power generation company based in Recife, explains that readjustments are made annually to restore the cost of operating energy distribution. “There are several variables in this account, ranging from the cost of purchasing energy, such as the costs of thermal management that occurred during the water crisis that we went through recently”, he says. According to João, costs with thermoelectric plants exceed R$17 billion.

Depending on the customers’ consumption class, the readjustment will be felt differently. For those who consume, on average, low voltage, the increase will be 21.35%. In the case of high voltage consumers, such as large-scale industries and commerce, the readjustment is 20.54%. The average effect for the population should be 21.13%, according to the Agency. About 6.3 million people will be affected in the state.

Despite the increase, Aneel and Coelba argue that with the end of the water scarcity tariff banner, conventional residential customers will see an average reduction of 1.6% in their energy bills. The flag that was activated due to the lack of water in the reservoirs established an extra charge of R$14.20 for every 100 kilowatt-hours (kWh).

However, tariff flags come into play only when there is an external need, while the tariff readjustment that affects consumption is here to stay, as explained by electrical engineer and professor at UniRuy Uerlis Martins.

“The tariff is an amount charged on top of the power consumption per time. The tariff flag exists due to the rainy season in Brazil, because 66% of our energy comes from hydro sources, when we have a dry period we hire thermal plants that are expensive”, he says.

Another point raised, this time by the economist and member of the Regional Council of Economy of Bahia (Corecon-BA), Edval Landulfo, is that the Agency is not taking into account the effect of the adjustment in the long term. “They are not thinking about the possibility of next year. Next year we may have another water crisis with the same flag and with an increase of 20%, so this increase will eventually arrive”, he says.

In addition to Bahia, Aneel announced the adjustment for three other states: Ceará (23.99%), Rio Grande do Norte (19.87%) and Sergipe (16.46%).

Inflation squeezes the budget

The economist also recalls that the inflation accumulated in the last 12 months, until March, has reached 11.3%, which reduces the population’s purchasing power, since there is no real increase in wages. “It was really to be expected that in such a complicated year, successive increases would happen. In the official inflation index we are already in double digits, but each increase comes with almost twice the value of inflation, the account does not close”, says Edval Landulfo.

Meanwhile, Bahians are scared by yet another price increase announcement, this time on the electricity bill. This is the case of sales supervisor and resident of Mussurunga Alexandre Souza, 31. In the house where he lives with his mother, sister and nephew, the energy bill went from R$160 to R$230 in about five months, according to him. A 31% increase in less than a half year.

“I receive the news of this increase with great dissatisfaction, it is very difficult to survive with so many increases”, he says. The young man says that when it comes to saving money, anything goes at home. The family has already taken the hot bath out of the routine, reduces the power of the fan even in the heat and, when they leave the house, removes devices such as an internet router and microwave from the socket.

Alexandre complains about successive price increases on the electricity bill

(Photo: Personal Archive)

Economist Edval Landulfo also says that the increase in electricity bills especially harms micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses, which have greater difficulty passing on the price increase to consumers. Since the end of last year, hairdresser Rose Santos Silva, 38, was already worried about the price of the energy bill.

She claims that only in October of last year she had an adjustment of R$40 in a month, which made it necessary to pass it on to customers who attend the salon. “I even try to reduce consumption. When I’m alone, I unplug everything, including the router. I have avoided the ventilator, even so the bill is more expensive”, says Rose.

If the plan is to save money, engineer Uerlis Martins explains which devices weigh the most on the electricity bill at home. According to him, one of the villains that is little taken into account is the microwave, which can represent up to 3% of the energy bill if it is unnecessarily plugged into the socket. As for the air conditioning, if it is on for eight to ten hours a day, at the end of the month it can represent an increase of R$60 to R$100 in the tariff.

Coelba tips to save energy

Efficient equipment: use appliances with the Procel energy efficiency seal, this helps to save energy and reduce bills

Shut down your computer if you are not going to use it within an hour: the monitor must be turned off whenever the user leaves the environment, if the breaks are long, the ideal is to turn off all the equipment

Do not leave the charger plugged in: If you are not using the charger, leave it unplugged to save energy and avoid domestic accidents.

Enjoy natural light: avoid turning on lights in already naturally lit environments

Avoid using standby: there is no need to consume energy if you are not using the device

*With guidance from the deputy head of reporting Monique Lôbo and collaboration of Daniel Aloísio.

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