To get a rate hike, electricity distributors compare Argentina’s low rates with those of other countries

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Argentina has one of the highest per capita GDPs in South America, according to World Bank data for 2021. This means that the “average” income of its inhabitants is above most peers in the region. However, the electric bill that some Argentines pay – occasionally, the Buenos Aires and Buenos AiresIt is well below the regional average.

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“High-income” customers – according to the official classification made after the segmentation – pay an average of US$71 per MWh (sector unit of measure). These data correspond to Edesur, which holds half of the concession of the city of Buenos Aires and Greater Buenos Aires. The numbers of edenor they are similar. In both cases, low- and middle-income customers pay significantly less.

The curious thing is that Argentina has a per capita GDP of 10,000 US dollars. And this average is even higher in the city of Buenos Aires and in several suburban neighborhoods. Electricity is charged at US$71 per MWh, at the official exchange rate. Guatemala, for example, has a lower GDP per capita, around USD 5,000. But the distributors in that country charge the electricity at USD 300 per MWhthat is more than four times compared to AMBA.

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All these data were provided by Enel (which controls 75% of Edesur, a company put up for sale) in the public hearing held on Monday, in support the demand for a $1,500 rate increase on every electric bill.

The measurement of per capita GDP is opposed by some economists. In several European Union countries (especially the Scandinavian ones) it is considered a good reference. But in Arab countries, for example, with authoritarian monarchies with huge oil revenues, they tend to do very well on these measurements, but the reality is that there’s a minority of billionaires and a majority with lower incomes. However, since the rich earn so much, it is enough for the average to be high.

Uruguay and Chile surpass Argentina in GDP per capita, according to World Bank data. The same happens with other Latin Americans, such as Costa Rica and Panama. There it would be understandable that if the population has a higher average income, they could devote more of their pocket to public service bills.

The provincial distributors have received authorization to raise the tariffs for the provision of their services, which It hadn’t happened in Buenos Aires since 2019. Because, the Argentine average is almost double that of AMBA: US$120 per MWh. With these numbers, electricity is cheaper than the average for Ecuador ($94) and Brazil ($107). Both countries have a lower GDP per capita than Argentina. Buenos Aires and Buenos Aires continue to be below the other South American countries mentioned.

In the Bolivian, electricity bills are almost double those of Buenos Aires (US$130 per MWh) and slightly higher than the Argentine average. According to the World Bank, the highland country has a per capita income that is nearly a third of the local level and hovers around $3,300.

Colombia it also charges twice as much electricity as Buenos Aires (US$144). The Andean country’s GDP per capita is 60% that of Argentina (close to US$6,000 annually). Peru is another paradigmatic case. Its per capita GDP is one-third lower than Argentina’s and stands at US$6,600. But electricity comes out more than twice as much as in Buenos Aires and stands at US$170 per MWh.

The saviorWith an average income of $4,500, I pay about $220 per MWh of electricity, three times that of Buenos Aires. The population is assumed to have less than half the income of Buenos Aires-Buenaerenses, but electricity bills are three times (measured in dollars) as heavy as AMBA’s.

Costa Rica and Panama they are also more expensive than Argentina by light. But both countries also outperformed the local economy in terms of GDP per capita. Both are in the $12,000 to $14,000 range. Postal CodeIle and Uruguay They are between $14,000 and $16,000.

This composition may change when World Bank data for 2022 is known.

Buenos Aires is also going through an asymmetry with respect to the other Argentine provinces. IN Río Negro, the average MWh is $103, 30% more expensive than AMBA. In the jump is US$111 and in Neuquenof US$ 118, according to data from Enel (which controls 75% of Edesur) overturned in a public hearing held on Monday.

As happened in 2015, before the increases of the Mauricio Macri administration, Santa Fe and Córdoba they issue tickets with amounts that double those of Buenos Aires. The average MWH is US$127, versus US$70 in Buenos Aires.

meanness It is the most expensive province to consume electricity. Edemsa charges $182 per MWh on bills, almost two and a half times more than Edenor, with which it shares shareholders such as Daniel Vila and José Luis Manzano.

Even with the most expensive light in the country, edema recently received state assistance. The company had an equity debt to Cammesa – the wholesale power system administrator – of $11,249 million and now remains at $7,384 million. The $3.865 million difference was “offset”.

Edesur owed, as of August 31, more than 66,000 million dollars. Of that total, it will refinance $47 billion. The rest (19,000 million) corresponds to the “compensation”.

Edenor was $57,000 million in debt. It will pay $33 billion. About 24,000 million registered as “compensation”. The distributor changed its majority shareholder. It ceased to belong to Pampa, to be in the hands of a group controlled by José Luis Manzano and Daniel Vila. Both are friends of Economy Minister Sergio Massa.

Source: Clarin

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