After it became known that the National Gas Regulatory Entity (ENARGAS) called a hearing to analyze the next increase in gas rates in homes and for distributors, the head of the agency, Federico Bernal , stated that the current government of Alberto Fernandez it inherited « an unsustainable tariff system » and that now a « great step will be taken towards the realization of fair, reasonable and payable tariffs. »
After having suspended the scheme applied during the administration of Mauricio Macri, after an audit carried out by ENARGAS, the gas bills were frozen and until now the entire economic cabinet of the president has analyzed the system in a comprehensive manner from the origin at the wellhead.
With the call for this public hearing, the Government completed the debate schedule to define an increase in the cost of gas production and in user fees.
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The Secretary of Energy, headed by Darío Martínez, set the hearing on March 15 to establish the wholesale cost and the subsidy percentage that the State will provide so that it does not reach users through the chain.
It is a transitory adjustment of the rates for public gas transportation and distribution services through networks that will begin to apply from April 1 until the Comprehensive Rate Review .
« It is the first great step towards the realization of fair, reasonable rates that can be paid, as requested by the President; rates that promote the social, economic and productive development of the internal market, instead of merging it as happened with Macri », Bernal expressed.
“We inherited an unsustainable rate system. To get a full idea: macro-movement has plunged almost 3 million new households into poverty and energy destitution, that is, a jump of 220%. The total debt of the residential sector (delinquent) grew 1,257% between 2015 and 2019; sector debt SME 4,010% and that of public good entities 6,700%. This tariff nightmare came to an end when the National Congress, at the request of President Alberto Fernández, declared the Energy and Tariff Emergency in December 2019 ”.
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Bernal recalled that when the new government took office, ENARGAS carried out an audit and technical, legal and economic review on the Comprehensive Rate Review carried out by the former Minister of Energy Juan José Aranguren. « The results he arrived at were accepted by the National Executive in December 2020. Based on this, the President instructed us, through Decree 1020/20, to initiate the rate renegotiation and begin working on a transition. »
In this way, « the 3 million new energy-impoverished households – equivalent to almost 9.5 million people – began to be rescued from this dire situation as of 2020. With the decision to suspend the RTIs inherited from Macri and Aranguren, also putting in motion a transition, we intend to continue rescuing more and more Argentines from poverty and energy destitution, « he added.
The Public Hearing will be held on March 16, 2021 at 9 in the morning virtually from the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires.
« It is a genuine opportunity for citizen participation to adequately protect the rights of users, to promote a better operation, reliability, equality, free access, non-discrimination and generalized use of the services and facilities of transportation and distribution of natural gas , ensuring that the rates applied are fair, reasonable and affordable ”, considered the Comptroller.
Registration to participate in the Public Hearing will begin on March 1 and those interested in participating as speakers must enter the official website of the organization, www.enargas.gov.ar, to register in the registry enabled to such effect. Likewise, this Registry will be enabled until 11:59 p.m. on March 11, 2021.
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The Licensees of the public services of transportation and distribution of natural gas and Redengas SA, must, for the purposes of their pertinent publicity, submit to this Regulatory Authority, the transition tariff tables proposed by them, as well as the supporting information thereof. that makes it possible to make known to the public, users and users, the content proposed for the Transitory Regime object of this Hearing, expressly considering the parameters and provisions that arise from Decree No. 1020/20 and the summons resolution.
In addition, ENARGAS appointed 3 agents of the Agency, who will act « ad hoc » as « Official Defenders of Gas Users », whose function will be to present as speakers expressing all the observations they deem appropriate from the point of view of the guardianship of those during the Hearing. Law No. 24,076, in its Article 2, sets the objectives for the regulation of the transportation and distribution of natural gas, which are executed and controlled by ENARGAS, and in its subsection “a” it expressly provides “To adequately protect the rights of the consumers «