Energy : Our Proposals

Energy for what and for whom?

For MAB, it is equally important to discuss new forms and alternatives of energy production and on the other hand a new energy model which will be under the control and at the service of Brazilian people. In the current context of the electricity sector, the least benefited is the population. Since the privatization of the sector, electricity has been considered a commodity, a profit machine for companies and in particular those consuming big quantities of energy such as the cellulose, metal and mineral industries.

Therefore, we want a Brazilian energy system – based on hydropower, wind power or biomass - that is not focused on increasing the profits of multinational companies but rather on the wellbeing of Brazilian people. Energy has become a basic good for society. However, access is denied for a big proportion that society which does not have the means to pay for that energy.

Below, we present some of our proposals which could reduce electricity prices sharply and efficiently:

1 – Payment exemption for the first 100 kWh for rural families and for additional consumption to charge the same prices as those paid by big energy consumers.

In the State of Parana, a similar law guarantees that those consuming up to 100 kWh do not have to pay. We want this law to become federal and on top of that any additional kWh to be charged at an equal price as that paid by big energy consumers.

2 – Equal tariffs for the general population and big companies

US companies ALCOA and Vale have subsidiary aluminium and iron industries in the States of Maranhao and Para (Alumar and Albras respectively) and since 1984 receive subsidised energy from Eletronorte. Their contracts with Eletronorte were renewed in 2004. ALCOA, which in the last 20 years has been receiving energy at an average price of U$ 20 per MWh (approx. R$ 38), renegotiated the contract on May 2004 for another 20 years and will be receiving 820 MW average at U$ 25 per MWh (approx. R$ 45). Vale, which buys energy at U$ 13 per MWh 2004 (approx. R$ 24), extended its contract to 2024 also, for 800 MW average at U$ 18 per MWh (approx. R$ 33).

While these multinational companies (free consumers) buy energy at 3-5 cents per kWh, families, workers in the cities, farmers and small and medium businesses (bound consumers) pay 700 to 1000% more than that.

3 – Immediate implementation in the whole country of the Low Wage Social Electricity Tariff for residential consumers, according to the judicial order of May 2007, emitted by the Federal Attorney of Brasilia, Mr. Catao Alves.

Since May 2007, an order emitted by the Federal Regional Tribunal, guaranteed that families consuming up to 220 kWh per month are entitled to a discount according to the Low Wage Social Tariff without having to be registered with any of the government’s social programs. For this, it is enough to provide a simple declaration to the regional energy distribution company. In various regions of the country, workers handed in collective declarations of eligibility for the Social Tariff and achieved the discount.

However, neither the companies nor the government are informing the public or complying with this order with eagerness. We demand the immediate implementation of the law of Social TariffIn accordance with the current law (August 2008), our guidelines for domestic consumers are the following:

A – For all families consuming less than 80 kWh per month, the recognition of eligibility by the energy distributor should be stated automatically in the light bill without need for a low income declaration.

B – Families consuming between 80 kWh and 220 kWh per month, should consider the following:

1. The energy consumption should not pass the so called “maximum regional limit”. Aneel (National Electricity Agency) has defined the limits for each state (see table below);

2. Electricity connections have to be of direct current;

3. For those meeting these criteria and are still not registered with the distributor, it is enough to fill in the document called “auto-declaration”. This document should be signed by the person stated in the electricity bill and brought to the office of the local distributor. After submitting this form, the company is obliged to register immediately these families as beneficiaries of all the benefits of the Low Income Social Tariff;

4. Families do not have to prove their participation to the Social Program Zero Hunger of the Federal Government in order to be recognized by the distributor or submit the auto-declaration.

5. There is no deadline to hand in the declarations.

6. The decision has nationwide force, in other words, families can provide the declarations in all states of the country.

There is a long battle going on in Justice in order to guarantee the Social Tariff. The following table shows which are the regional limits for the moment:

DISTRIBUTION COMPANIES REGIONAL LIMIT
CERON, CELPA, CEMAT, CENF, CEA, COELBA, CERJ, CELB, CEAL, CELPE, CER, COELCE, CEMAR, CEPISA, COSERN, SULGIPE, ENERGIPE, LIGHT, Jarcel Celulose, SAELPA

140 kWh

ENERSUL

150 kWh

AES SUL, ELETROCAR, CELESC, COCEL, CFLO, CEEE, COPEL, COOPERALIANÇA, DEMEI, EFLUL, JOÃO CESA, FORCEL, XANXERÊ, HIDROPAN, UHENPAL, RGE, MMC160 kWh
CELTINS, CEB, CELG, CEMIG, CHESP, CFLCL, DMEPC, ESCELSA, ELFSM180 kWh
ELETROACRE, CEAM, MANAUS ENERGIA, BOA VISTA ENERGIA200 kWh
BANDEIRANTE, Caiuá, CJE, CLFM, CNEE,CLFSC, CPEE, CPFL, PIRATININGA, CSPE, ELEKTRO, EEB,EEVP,ELETROPAULO220 kWh