by Marta Nogueira
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – The government needs to explain clearly and quickly to the population how the voluntary electricity demand reduction program will work, focusing on residential consumers, to deal with the hydroelectric crisis, or it will not be successful, the president told Reuters of the Brazilian Association of Energy Traders (Abraceel).
This week, the government announced during a press conference on the subject that it will launch in September a program aimed at rewarding those energy consumers in the regulated market who manage to reduce the demand for electricity. However, he did not offer details.
In the regulated market, small and medium-sized companies and residential consumers purchase electricity from distributors.
In a telephone conversation, the president of Abraceel, Reginaldo Medeiros, said that the government needs to explain to the population where the resources for the bonus will come from, how they will be paid and, most importantly, what effective measures the population can take to reduce consumption.
“The success of a demand reduction program has to do with communication and people will only collaborate if they are clear about the measures they have to take to reduce consumption,” said Medeiros.
“The government did not explain to the population how it will work… It is necessary that the population understand what the measures are… If there is no clear communication, society will hardly adhere to the program.”
“The success of the 2001 rationing was the establishment of clear, objective and easy-to-understand and operational rules.”
When contacted, the Ministry of Mines and Energy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Abraceel represents energy trading companies, which operate with purchase and sale of supply contracts and serve consumers in the free market, an environment in which large industries and shopping centers can directly negotiate supply contracts.
The government already has a program at an advanced stage of preparation for the voluntary reduction of consumption in the free market.
In this environment, consumers already have natural mechanisms that would allow them to reduce consumption and obtain advantages. With the government program, they will have new stimulus, but at a time when the industry is recovering after being shaken by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Big consumers already have a lot of information. The minors don’t,” he said.
Abraceel defends the right of free choice of electricity supplier, the so-called portability of electricity bills, and natural gas by consumers. It was founded in 2000 and currently has more than 100 associated companies, which sell 85% of the volume of electricity in the segment.
(By Marta Nogueira)
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