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The rate increases in electricity and gas arrive in the May bills and will be paid in June

2021-04-07T22:16:42.689Z

Public hearings and disagreements in the government postpone the originally scheduled deadline, which was April.



Martin Bidegaray

04/07/2021 18:59

  • Clarín.com

  • Economy

Updated 04/07/2021 18:59

The increases in utility rates were scheduled for April.

However,

they will not arrive until May

, according to official sources explained to Clarín.

One of the reasons is that the public hearings were held in mid-March and the end of that month, and regulators need time to process what was dumped there.

The other is that

internal disagreements

persist

over the level of rate increases.

The energy ministry held a public hearing for the price of gas that it will pay to producers on March 15.

The following day, Enargas did the same, where it listened to the distribution companies' requests for rate adjustments.

That was in the middle of March.

Federico Bernal, head of Enargas, had already anticipated that he believed that

he would not have new tariff schedules for the first day of April.

Now, from that dependency they point to the end of April or the beginning of May.

In the case of electricity distribution, Enre's competition is over the rates of Edesur and Edenor, which operate in the city of Buenos Aires and the suburbs.

Their hearings were held on March 29 and 30.

The companies also requested to rebuild their distribution margins.

The tariff table will only be in May,

according to official sources.

If the tariff tables arrive in May, it is estimated that homes and businesses will

only start paying them in June

.

In this way, the Government would be able to stagger the impact of the energy increases to one per month.

Between March and May, there will be three increases in fuel prices (there were already in March and the weekend would arrive in April).

In May the last touch-up would arrive in pumps.

By that date, the new tariff tables may already be in, but users will only have to pay for it in October.

The Minister of Economy, Martín Guzmán, pointed to two increases in services, one for each semester.

Soledad Manin, inspector of Enre (electricity distribution) also mentioned this possibility.

But Bernal (Enargas)

is opposed, since he is in favor of a single increase.

In addition, the minister sees

a range of increases of between 30% and 40%, while the auditors turn to a range of 7% to 9%.

This disagreement between officials also carries over to the level of energy subsidies, to keep rates low.

Guzmán defined it as 1.7%.

The controllers of the regulatory entities believe that there may be "reassignment of items" and modify that number.

The rate freeze is in legal limbo, according to former Energy officials and lawyers.

The first law that stopped all rate increases (from December 2019) lasted 6 months and was then extended by decree for another six months.

Later, there was another decree of necessity and urgency (number 1020/20) that granted 90 more days.

But that also won.

“It would be desirable that whoever came to comply with the National Constitution and the gas law (as stated in the public hearing last week) comply with Law 24,076 [regulating gas concessions].

The same applies to the ENRE controller (Soledad Manín) and Law 24,065 [regulation of electricity concessions].

In both cases it is a breach of the duties of a public official

,

explained Juan José Aranguren, former Minister of Energy.

“The maintenance continues de facto, until the transition rate comes into force.

It would have been better if it had been extended, of course ”, reasons an official of the current administration.

The new rate regime “should have been ready -with hearings scheduled in advance-, to come into effect at the end of the 90-day term of the decree that froze rates.

They should have had it ready on the 91st ”, according to Aranguren.

Article 11 of the last presidential decree in this regard (to which the current responsible parties cling) spoke of maintaining the current rates for 90 consecutive days or until “the new transitory rate schedules resulting from the Transitional Rate Regime for Public Services come into force. (...) The thing that happens first".

Source: clarin

All business articles on 2021-04-07

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