President Jair Bolsonaro (no party) stated, on Thursday night (14), that he will determine to minister Bento Albuquerque (Mines and Energy) the return to normal of the current tariff flag — which has generated an increase in the electricity bill.
During an event organized by the evangelical church Comunidade das Nações, the president also commemorated the rain recorded in some regions of the country.
“My good God helped us now with rain. We were on the verge of a collapse. We couldn’t transmit panic in society. It hurts to authorize the Minister Bento, of Mines and Energy, to decree the red flag. It hurts in the heart, we know the difficulty of the electricity. I’m going to ask him —ask no, to determine—to return the flag to normal as of next month,” he declared.
Although the president has promised the measure, he does not have the autonomy to make this decision. The body responsible for establishing the tariff flags in Brazil is Aneel (National Electric Energy Agency), but in the case of the water scarcity flag created this year against the crisis, the decision is up to Creg (Chamber of Exceptional Rules for Hydroenergy Management ), chaired by Minister Bento.
Bolsonaro mentioned the red modality, but the tariff flag currently in force in Brazil is that of “water scarcity”.
It was created at the end of August, given the scenario of low reservoirs and the threat of rationing.
The cost of the banner is R$ 14.20 for every 100 kWh (kilowatt-hour) and the forecast is that it would be in force until April 2022.
With the biggest water crisis in the last 91 years, hydroelectric plants lost space in the supply, while the government was forced to activate thermal plants — a more expensive source, whose cost is passed on to the consumer.
The flags (green, yellow and red) appear on the electricity bill and serve to indicate the need to reduce consumption. Otherwise, the customer pays more.
Advisors from the Palácio do Planalto assess that price increases, such as those for fuel, or the adoption of rationing at the moment would further harm Bolsonaro in his reelection campaign. The president has seen his popularity drop in the face of measures against the pandemic and the deteriorating economic scenario.