Government sanctions law that returns tax charged on the electricity bill
Aneel (National Electric Energy Agency) will review adjustments applied to electricity tariffs for 2022 to comply with what determines law 14,385, published in the Official Gazette this Tuesday (28). The measure complies with the decision of the STF (Supreme Federal Court), which ruled that the collection of ICMS on PIS/Cofins on the electricity bill was unconstitutional.
Not all companies will have the readjustment reduced. According to the regulatory agency, the indices in the following companies will not be reviewed: Cemig, RGE, Copel, EMG and ENF, Enel SP, Energisa Tocantins and Cocel, as they have already taken into account the provisions of the new law.
Approved by the Chamber earlier this month, the bill with the possibility of devolution was sanctioned by President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) without any veto. The measure amends Aneel’s previous legislation to allow the agency to return the amounts.
The refund is made through minor adjustments to energy bills. The measure has already had an effect on some readjustments approved on Tuesday (28). This is the case of Enel, which serves 7.6 million consumer units in São Paulo.
For Enel’s tariffs, which will have an average readjustment of 12.04% as of Monday (4), the return of PIS/Cofins credits was responsible for -8.70% in the composition of the operator’s average readjustment index of light. Otherwise, the increase would be greater, but the percentage was not informed.
In a meeting this Tuesday, the interim director general of Aneel, Camila Bonfim, highlighted the beneficial effect of mitigating measures, which will help to reduce the energy tariff this year, and stated that the agency will evaluate how to extend the benefits to the bills. of light that have already had readjustments this year.
“It is important to emphasize the effects of these measures to reduce the cost of energy to the final consumer. These are structural measures that will have an immediate effect. Law 14.385 brings a command for Aneel to process RTE [Revisão Tarifária Extraordinária] considering the effects of this law. We will evaluate and, subsequently, forward to the board, what will be the effects on the processes already approved this year”, said Bonfim.
Data released by the Chamber and Senate show that, of the R$ 60.3 billion in credits to be returned by the Union to distributors, R$ 47.6 billion have not yet been returned to consumers. The rest have entered tariff revisions since 2020, which would have resulted in an average reduction of 5% by then.
The same reduction rule was used to approve the tariff increase in Tocantins, by Energisa, whose decrease based on the return of PIS/Cofins is 9.76% in the tariff readjustment index of the distributor, which serves 637 thousand consumer units.
In a note, Aneel states that, since 2020, it has been returning the amounts linked to the withdrawal of ICMS from the PIS/Cofins calculation base. For companies that have already had the readjustment approved without the tax refund, there will be an extraordinary tariff review. The others will be met according to the 2022 calendar.
“We emphasize that Aneel has been carrying out this procedure since 2020. For distributors that have already gone through a tariff process in 2022, Aneel will approve an extraordinary tariff review, under the terms of said law. As for the distributors that will still have their processes in the coming months, the adjustment will be carried out in the ordinary tariff processes according to the calendar published on the agency’s website”, says a note.
Electricity bill will rise in São Paulo even with discount
In São Paulo, in addition to the discount allowed by the new legislation, Aneel also considered the law that limits the collection of ICMS (Tax on Circulation of Goods and Services) to 18% in the state, which will also apply to electricity.
“The complementary law 194, enacted last Thursday (23/6), which reduces the ICMS rate on energy to 18%, will also impact the final price to be paid by the consumer. The application of this law, which depends on the states, will contribute to reducing the final price of energy for Enel-SP consumers by approximately -10.4%”, says the agency.
Other measures were the proposed regulation of the “CDE Modicidade Eletrobras”, on the inclusion of postage in the electricity bill with the privatization of Eletrobras, which contributed with -2.84% in the reduction of impacts on the readjustment, in addition to the sectoral loan of the bill water scarcity (-2.82%) and the approval of payments from the transfer of the contracted power from Itaipu (-1.26%).
Even so, residential consumers in São Paulo will pay, on average, 10.01% more for electricity. The maximum readjustment rate in the state will be 18.03% for high voltage consumers.
The text approved in the Chamber of Deputies on June 7 was proposed by the Senate, to serve the distributors that filed the action and won the case in the STF. Only two distributors did not file lawsuits. In the Chamber, the bill was attached to another, which was also from the Senate, but started in 2022.
Savings credits were returned in January
The electricity bill has been putting pressure on household inflation since 2020, with the coronavirus pandemic and water crisis. With low reservoirs, thermal power plants and consumers at home, the tariff exploded, raising complaints and defaults.
As a measure against the water crisis, the federal government launched, in September 2021, a program that gave a discount on the bill to those who saved between 10% and 20% on electricity. The discount was given in January, based on the December account, according to the Union. It was not informed, however, how many consumers were benefited.