Cardona shared that the rate adjustment is on average below the expected evolution of the CPI for next year (6.7%) and that it also reflects the estimated evolution of company expenses, but did not agree that the increase applies to households.
The representative of the FA proposed that residential rates, in all categories (Simple Residential, Double Hourly, Triple Hourly and TCB), not have an increase in January.
In this sense, he argued during the Board meeting that among residential customers there are 70,000 households that during the pandemic “accumulated large debts” and that a financing plan for their overdue consumption was only operational in October, where consumption was not forgiven, Rather, they were exempted from the financial burden that the fines, surcharges and financing interest meant, according to the certificate of record to which they agreed. The Observer.
He also referred to the problem of customers who during the year lost their Basic Consumption Rate and “did not receive relief from Social Bonus for not belonging to any Plan de Mides”. Thus, “they saw their bill amount more than doubled for the same level of consumption,” he explained.
“On the other hand, there are the large clients that belong to the productive sectors dedicated to irrigation (basically rice), the dairy sector, wine growers, electro-intensive industries, and other specific clients, who received more than US$ 10 million during the year as bonuses on their actual consumption, that is, UTE gave them energy as a gift”, he pointed out.
According to the director of the FA in UTE, in 2023 it was necessary to “look at households”, the group of clients who, in comparative terms, “have more weight in their day-to-day energy spending, with a consumption basket with increasing prices and loss of real salary”. “This sector has not yet reflected the spillover that, according to the prevailing theory, the productive sectors should cause in the economy,” said the director.
The proposal made by Cardona considered the expected evolution of inflation (6.75%), wages (9.5%) and the dollar (2.5%), in addition to a level of investments similar to that of 2022 (US$ 200 million), exports to the region for US$130 million and version of results for US$65 million.
“With a 0% adjustment for residential customer rates, UTE as a public company stands on the side of the people and, in addition to supporting households that with sacrifice are getting out of delinquency, it gives a direct message to the residential customers that are captive customers, recognizing their supporting role of the public company and that they are the ones who cannot choose something other than UTE claiming to go to a fictitious market”, he argued. The latter in relation to the new modality of free clients for which large private consumers have opted.