As of this Saturday (16), the electricity bill may become cheaper, with the end of the water scarcity flag that resulted in an extra charge on the electricity bill of R$ 14.20 for every 100 kilowatt-hours (kWh). ) consumed. The measure, which made electricity costs more expensive, had been in effect since September 2021.
The government’s estimated reduction in consumer electricity bills is around 20%. This will be possible because, with the reservoirs in four of the five regions of the country being fuller, it is possible for the operator of the national electrical system to dispense with the use of thermoelectric plants, which have a higher cost than hydroelectric plants. Only the reservoirs in the South Region are low, due to the drought that affects the region.
There was already a forecast that the flag of water scarcity, the highest level ever adopted by the government, would end at the end of this month. The measure, however, ended up being brought forward by about 15 days.
The extra tariff was approved in the midst of the hydrological crisis that affected the level of the country’s hydroelectric plant reservoirs in 2021. The plants are the main source of electricity generation in the country. According to the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME), Brazil faced, in 2021, “the worst drought ever recorded in history”.
“To guarantee security in the supply of electricity, the country used all available resources and the federal government had to take exceptional measures. With the efforts of the sector’s bodies, the country was able to overcome this challenge, the reservoirs are much fuller than last year and the risk of power outages has been completely removed,” the ministry said in a statement.
According to the ministry, the reservoir at the Furnas plant ended the month of March above 80% of its useful volume. In an interview given earlier this week to the program The Voice of Brazilproduced by Brazil Communication Company (EBC), the Ministry’s Electric Energy Secretary, Christiano Vieira, said that currently the reservoirs are, on average, with 70% storage levels, which, according to him, “is very relevant at this time of year”.
“We haven’t had levels like this since 2012. We have a very considerable safety condition. In practice, it means that little thermoelectric generation will be needed, which translates into a green flag expectation by the end of the year,” he said.