Residential consumer can now choose White Rate

By cave-admin 08/01/2020

Since January 1st, all energy consumers can choose the white rate. The measure raises some questions and is evidence of the current shift in the electric sector towards giving consumers more freedom to make informed choices — they need to know their consumption profile before deciding on their preferred billing system.

What is this white rate?

Choosing the White Rate means paying different values depending on the time of day consumption occurs. Consumption periods are classified as:

Peak: time when energy demand is greatest

Intermediate: One hour before and one hour after peak time

Off peak: time where energy demand is the lowest

In peak and intermediate times, energy price is higher. In off-peak hours, it is cheaper. Holidays and weekends are always considered off-peak.

Each distributor has their own schedule for the three periods, so it is important to check the exact hours in your region. Distributor Enel, for instance, considers 6:00pm to 9:00 pm as peak hours. If your highest power consumption takes place during this period, the white rate may not be the best option for your consumer profile.

Consumers should be careful and analyze their peak consumption times — if you choose the white rate and then consume energy during peak hours, you will end up with a higher bill than before.

The National Electric Energy Agency (Aneel) produced a video explaining a little more about the White Rate. You can watch it in Portuguese here:

The agency website also answers frequently asked questions about the white rate.

How can I apply for the white rate?

Once you have analyzed your consumption profile and decided to apply for the white rate, you only need to make a phone call to your distributor (their number is available on your monthly bill). The distributor has up to 30 days to install the new meter and there will be no additional charges.

And if you realize the white rate did not pay off and you want to go back to the conventional rate, all you have to do is contact the distributor again, and wait for up to 30 days for them to change the meter back.

White Rate has been available since 2018

The White Rate has been available since 2018 and was gradually rolled out to different consumer profiles.

In 2018, consumer units with monthly average consumption above 500 KWh/month were eligible to choose this billing system; in 2019 the limit was reduced to more than 250 KWh/month. Starting in 2020, all low-voltage consumers with any consumption volume will be able to choose their preferred billing rates.

Yet according to the report released by MegaWhat, the energy intelligence platform belonging to the Comerc Energia group, enrollment is relatively low.

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