The companies came out to appeal to their clients to pay their bills, to those who can. They warn that a possible default of the sector is at stake
“You who can, pay the light.” With this phrase, short but forceful, the main energy distributors in the country came out to ask their clients to comply with the payment of the bills for this public service since until now only 50% of the clients of all the companies complied with that obligation.
In other words, as a result of the innumerable economic problems caused by the mandatory isolation to combat the pandemic, it has caused a sharp increase in default and non-payment of electricity bills.
A figure that increases in the interior of the country, where the collection collapsed by up to 70%, to which must be added the sectors that will be able to pay after expiration by the presidential decree that allows the use of this option to beneficiaries of the social tariff, retirees and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
In other words, 18% of the total electricity consumers in the country, who will have the option of delaying compliance with this obligation without the possibility of the distributors cutting off the service or applying interest due to default.
This, according to the distributors’ estimates, represents a strong depression in the only income that the companies have which is the collection of tariffs and puts at risk the future of a sector that was already complicated by the years of freezing suffered by the Kirchner government. and that President Alberto Fernández extended, at least, until next July.
For companies, the problems are also related to the customs of users who prefer to pay bills in cash and not use digital channels as recommended in these times of mandatory social isolation in the context of the fight against the coronavirus.
Given this scenario and through the Association of Electric Power Distributors of the Argentine Republic (ADEERA), the generators came out to support the continuity of the distributors, seeking the understanding of society to try to avoid deepening the problems that they have accumulated for years. .
“We appeal to your responsibility and solidarity. To you who can, we ask you to pay the electricity. Your commitment is an important contribution so that the chain of payments is not cut and the electricity we need can continue to be generated. The effort of all and in all areas to overcome this crisis. That effort is solidarity, “highlights the report, almost as a plea.
“Today being supportive first involves staying at home, complying with the measures determined by the authorities and then trying to contribute from your place in society, assuming the responsibility we have so that the economy does not slow down.“says the statement from this business association.
For this reason, they ask those who are in a position to do so to pay the bills, since this is a “fundamental” fact to maintain the production of electricity that the country requires, taking into account that there is already a sharp drop in the collection in almost all the country.
“To mitigate the economic impact in the most needy sectors, the National Government through DNU 311/2020 ordered to suspend the cut of service to those vulnerable users and other excepted sectors, perfectly identified in the norm, and empowered to agree on special modalities of payment according to your possibilities, “adds the document.
By taking this measure into account, the electricity distributors ensure that it requires the solidarity and responsibility of the rest of the population, so that the electricity system, as a whole, can continue to provide the service to the entire community.
“Not interrupting payments is also a way of collaborating so that we can overcome this crisis. We need to maintain the electricity supply chain, allowing resources to focus on the neediest sectors,” they warn.
Similarly, they rescue “the great effort that our workers are making day by day thanks to their essential daily task in order to have the much-needed energy in the sectors of health, residential, telecommunications, water systems. “
Before this statement, the sector was already warning of the problems that could accumulate as part of the sanitary measures taken by the Government to end the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
In one of the companies they remember that they have been accompanying the community in this fight, with payment plans but fundamentally guaranteeing the service.
But they warn that the commitment of payment depends on the continuity of almost 600 SMEs that offer services to companies such as Edenor, Edesur, Edelap, among other distributors that, together with the rest of the companies, provide services to more than 40 million Argentines.
They also explain that the national State itself will be harmed by this drop in collection if it is taken into account that 50% of the bill is direct and indirect taxes that are needed to continue fighting this emergency.
“It would be important to keep in mind that you cannot cut the payment chain in the electricity sector because it is a sector that for a year has been facing a rate freeze with high inflation, “says a businessman in this sector, who also remembers that energy is essential in a health emergency.
In another company, they recommend that the State subsidize in any case those who have problems at the moment but not those who could pay the bill, also warning that this income depends on the payment of employees’ wages.
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