With the complicity of the Provincial Government.
In the scandalous rate increase enabled by the Government of the Province of Buenos Aires for the benefit of energy distribution companies (in this case, EDEA SA), there is an item that is not usually discussed and affects both a residential user, and SMEs or industrial factories: this is the Reactive Energy rate that went up from $ 0.096 to $ 0.534 per Kw, representing an increase of 456%!
Why does this increase in Reactive Energy appear now?
The renewed interest in this rate comes from the technological advancement of electricity consumption meters. Old meters with mechanical watchmaking did not measure reactive energy, but the new electronic ones do.
What is “reactive energy”?
In an electrical installation we have:
ACTIVE ENERGY: The amount of energy required by an appliance is used entirely transforming it into light and / or heat (eg: irons, incandescent lamps, led lamps, electric stoves or ovens, stoves or electric hot water tanks).
REACTIVE ENERGY: A part of the required energy is used for the operation of the artifact itself, that is reactive energy. Eg: fluorescent tubes, washing machines, air conditioning, refrigerators, water pumps, clothes centrifuges, fans.
Why is Reactive Energy charged?
As explained above, reactive energy is used by certain equipments for their own operation, but then it ends up returning to the network since it was not transformed into light or heat and there is a lag back to the network, in the form of Reactive Energy.
But this reactive energy was effectively demanded and had to be generated and transported with the corresponding cost. This energy is not useful for the system and must be neutralized, as of a certain limit, since otherwise a damaging overload occurs at homes or at industrial facilities and in the networks of the energy distribution company.
In the electricity bill reactive energy is usually measured and appears as Kvarh (kilowatt reactive energy per hour) and when its value exceeds 62% of the active energy, it is charged, as of February 2019, with a value of $ 0.534 per kVARh, constituting an increase of 456%, compared to its previous cost.
There is another parameter related to reactive energy which is called Power Factor (whose value can oscillate between 0 and 1) and it is indicative of the optimal use of energy. Eg: if the Power Factor is 0.8 (after applying the corresponding mathematical formula) it means that out of the total of the supplied energy (100%) only 90% is active energy used in a useful way. In the province of Buenos Aires, the minimum acceptable value for the power factor is 0.95.
If a user has a power factor below 0.85 EDEA SA is authorized by the Control Agency to increase the charges as follows:
POWER FACTOR from 0.85 to 0.75: 10% (FIX COST + VARIABLE COST ADDED)
POWER FACTOR Less than 0.75: 20% (FIX COST + VARIABLE COST ADDED)
If after reading the measurements turns out that the power factor is less than 0.85, the DISTRIBUTOR notifies users, and gives them a period of sixty (60) days for the normalization of the factor by installing capacitors that can correct the power factor.
If after this period the abnormality has not yet been corrected, THE DISTRIBUTOR shall be entitled to increase the charges to 10% or 20% as detailed above.
What EDEA SA does not comply with:
UP UNTIL NOW, WE HAVE ONLY DISCUSSED WHAT THE USER MUST COMPLY WITH.
BUT THERE ARE THINGS THE COMPANY, IN THIS CASE EDEA SA MUST ALSO COMPLY WITH AND IT IS PRECISELY THE POWER FACTOR ON THEIR OWN LINES, THE FALL OF TENSION AND OTHER PARAMETERS IMPORTANT FOR A QUALITY SERVICE. HOWEVER EDEA SA DOES NOT MEET THESE REQUIREMENTS, AS IT HAS BEEN VERIFIED.
IF EDEA SA DOES NOT MEET THE PROPER REQUIREMENTS FOR THEIR OWN LINES, THEN IT IS NOT IN HANDS OF USERS TO CORRECT THAT FACTOR WHICH IS BEYOND THEIR RESPONSIBILITY, AND THEY MAY BE VICTIMS IN MANY CASES OF UNJUST PENALTIES.
THEN: WE HAVE SEEN TWO WAYS IN WHICH TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENT IS USED BY ENERGY COMPANIES (IN THIS CASE, EDEA SA) TO INCREASE THEIR PROFITS WITH COMPLICITY FROM THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT- AT THE EXPENSE OF USERS IGNORANCE IN THESE MATTERS.