The final rate paid by gas users has four components with a variable share depending on geographic location and population density: the price of gas at the wellhead, transportation, distribution and, finally, national and provincial taxes and municipal rates and contributions.
Therefore, the impact on the final rate cannot yet be determined, since the wholesale prices of gas at the Point of Entry to the Transportation System (PIST) still need to be discussed, which is expected to take place in a new hearing on next January 31.
The audience was chaired by the general manager of the Entity, Osvaldo Pitrau, since the intervener Federico Bernal, is isolated for having been close contact with a person infected with Covid-19.
In his introduction, Pitrau pointed out that the hearing “is not a space for decision” but for the presentation of proposals that “will be duly weighted” when setting the new tariff values.
In the first instance, the representatives of Transportadora de Gas del Norte (TGN) and Transportadora de Gas del Sur (TGS) spoke, followed by exhibitors from the distributors (Metrogas, Naturgy Ban. Litoral Gas, Gas Cuyana, Gasnor, Camuzzi Gas del Sur, Camuzzi Gas Pampeana, Gas del Centro, GasNea and Redengas).
William Canovas, on behalf of TGN, requested a transitory increase in the transport rate of 87.4%, which represents between 4.6% and 10.6% for the residential end user depending on the area of the country.
For its part, Ruben de Muria, from TGS, proposed an adjustment in two stages, with an 80% increase in the transport rate starting in March and 25% starting in September.
In this regard, he gave as an example that a Metrogas customer with an average consumption of 220m3/year should face an average increase of $38 per month in the first stage and $22 in the second.
Sebastián Mazzucchelli, on behalf of Metrogas (City of Buenos Aires and southern suburbs of Buenos Aires), requested an increase of 76.23% as of March, with three application options.
In the first alternative, the impact on the residential rate would be 33%, on commercial users 24%, industrial users would have an adjustment of 3.44% and CNG users 3.01%.
In the second proposal, the impact on the final rate would be 35% for residential and 20% for commercial; while the industrial and CNG would not have changes in relation to the previous initiative.
The third option would have an impact on the final rate of 26% for residential users, 19% for commercial users, 6.34% for industrial users and 2.37% for CNG.
Jose Luis Fernandez Fontana, of Naturgy Ban (north of the province of Buenos Aires, including districts in the west and north of the suburbs), proposed an adjustment of 82.9% which, until a dispute between the company and Metrogas is resolved, would become of 85.5%.
Fernández Fontana indicated that the final impact on users’ bills would be an average of 29%, without making distinctions by category.
ariel sanchez, on behalf of Gasnor (Salta, Jujuy, Tucumán and Santiago del Estero) proposed an adjustment of 77.73% with an impact of 37% on the bill for residential users, 12% for SMEs, 4% for industry and 2% for CNG.
While, Rodrigo Espinosa spoke on behalf of Camuzzi Gas Pampeana (south of the province of Buenos Aires and La Pampa) and Camuzzi Gas del Sur (Patagonian provinces and the Patagones district of Buenos Aires).
For the coverage area of the first of the companies, the proposed adjustment was 79%, with an impact on the residential rate of 26% for low consumption and 19% for medium consumption, although for the benefits of the cold zone regime would represent, respectively, reductions of 11% and 15% in relation to the levels in force before the application of that program.
In a second alternative, the impact on bills would be 23% for residential users with low consumption (-13% for those in cold areas), and 15% for those with medium consumption (-18%), 5% for SMEs, 4% for CNG users and 8% for Large Industrial Users.
For the area covered by Camuzzi Gas del Sur, the proposed adjustment is 119%, with an impact of 25% on the bills of residential users with low consumption and 29% on those with medium consumption, while it would be 11% for SMEs, 2% for CNG and 3% for large industry.
A second alternative, with different adjustments in fixed and variable charges, would have an impact of 25% on low residential consumption, 28% on medium consumption, 11% on SMEs, 3% on CNG and 5% on large ones. industrial users.
John Salum, on behalf of Distribuidora de Gas del Centro (Córdoba, Catamarca and La Rioja), presented three alternatives for applying an increase of 72.2%, with an average impact on bills of 25.5% for residential users, which in turn, it would imply a reduction of 12.1% in the beneficiaries of the cold zone regime and 37.2% in those who, in addition, have a social rate.
As for the Cuyana Gas Distributor (Mendoza, San Juan and San Luis), the incidence on the rate for residential users would be an average of 24.4%, with a drop of 13% for the cold zone regime and the 37.2% for the social rate which, according to Salum, is 99% of all customers.
For his part, the representative of Litoral Gas (Santa Fe and 7 Buenos Aires districts), Carlos Lufft, proposed an adjustment of 79.1%, which would have an average impact on final rates of 20% for residential users, with a reduction for beneficiaries of the cold zone regime from 16% to 40%, while the incidence would be 32% for SMEs, and 4% for CNG and industrial users.
On behalf of Gasnea (Entre Ríos, Corrientes, Chaco, Formosa and Misiones) he presented Vanina Barbieri, who presented two options for rate increases.
The first consists of an adjustment of 82.04%, with incidences of 20% to 25% for residential users, 10% to 15% for commercial users, 4% to 7% for industrial users and 4% for CNG. .
A second proposal presented a 58% increase in the rate for the residential and commercial categories and 171.16% for large users and CNG.
In this case, the impact on the final rate would be from 15% to 20% for residential, from 8% to 11% for commercial, from 5% to 9% for industrial and 8% for CNG.
By last, Alberto Gutierrez, from Redengas (Paraná) proposed an average adjustment for residential users of 4.55%, and assured that the monthly impact on rates would range between $296.63 and $2,340.54.
The comptroller of the Enargas, Federico Bernal, highlighted the role of the hearings and argued that “When we reach the end of this road and we already have a renegotiated rate that is fair, reasonable and affordable, we are going to value these hearings as fundamental milestones of popular expression.”
For his part, the Secretary of Energy, Dario Martinez, had ratified days ago that the increase in rates of gas and electricity services would be around 20% on average, very far from the proposals presented by the companies. This 20% increase will not be applied uniformly among all users, but in a segmented manner according to their economic capacity, with criteria that have not yet been fully defined.
The discussion is part of the Government’s objective of applying a reduction in energy subsidies, which represent approximately two thirds of the total transfers to economic sectors, public companies and trust funds.