AYSA operators. Picture Lucia Merle
Aysa, the state’s water and sewage company, has decided to follow the path marked by increases in electricity and gas charges. For the scheduled public hearing tomorrow, will require a 32% increase. But, once that increase is resolved, it will ask the regulatory entity to provide it another 10% before the end of the year. And it also wants to have the power to apply segmentation, which is the removal of subsidies to customers with higher incomes.
The Secretary of Energy seeks that the rates increase in electricity and gas by 42%. Aysa is on track to achieve 32%. To catch up with other public services, its authorities are considering demanding another 10%. “If electricity and gas increase by an average of 42%, we understand that our service may also have that increase ”, Company sources explained.
In this regard, the Ministry of Energy seeks to apply segmentation, which implies the removal of subsidies, to 10% of clients with higher incomes or living in neighborhoods with high purchasing power. At Aysa, they consider that this model can be reproduced for their own billing.
Aysa has not adjusted its rates since 2019. Now it will seek an adjustment (by 32%, divided into two tranches) and ask its regulator (the Eras) to allow it to move forward by a third.
The water company is in deficit. In 2021, it will spend $ 84,000 million between the provision of water and sewage services, and is working to improve and expand the network. For this 2022, it estimates it will need $ 170,000 million. The bills would bring him $ 33.363 million. In its earnings from its customers, the company will pay 35% of your operating expenses, and will cover less one-fifth of your total cost.
Operating costs, to keep the service running, will reach $ 96 billion by 2022. By 2021, they will be $ 62 billion. At the company they explain this for several reasons. On the one hand, one of their main costs is electricity, of which they are large consumers, and the adjustment they pay for this service exceeds 60%. On the other hand, another key input are some chemicals, which are also paid for in dollars. And in addition, they use fuels, which are also rising.
The company will allocate $ 73,000 million to improvements and maintenance. The current red in rates is in contrast to previous management. The payment of the fees came to generate enough revenue to cover 90% of the operating expenses, as Aysa acknowledged in a document presented by the public hearing.
“The previous administration left a Negotiable Obligation (ON) of US $ 500 million, which will expire in February 2023. That debt was taken for improvements, but used for operating costs. That is why covering costs at the rates declared by the previous administration does not seem right to us ”; they said to Aysa.
Besides, refute the deficit they are forming be negative. “Every dollar invested in water improvement yields another seven dollars in benefits for neighborhoods, for homes, for the community”; justify.
Aysa has consumption meters in homes in the suburbs, but it is pending in buildings in the city of Buenos Aires. Implementation there is complicated, because it is necessary to go to each department.
The company wants to rethink water use and raise awareness about it. “Drinking water that reaches homes is used for cooking, for cleaning, but also for the bathroom,” they argue. “During the two years of the pandemic, we played a major role, and that’s why the Executive Branch decided not to touch the rates,” they reasoned from the company’s management.
In the company they dream of consolidating water export projects in arid or desert areas.in previous treatments and communication with other provinces or countries.
Aysa is under the orbit of the Ministry of Public Works, headed by Gabriel Katopodis. In the management of the company, where Malena Galmarini is located, they want the Ministry of Housing to also participate in the decisions, because the decision to bring water and sewage to more neighborhoods is a policy they understand.