Energy Minister Juan Jose Aranguren. Photo via Cadena 3

It’s happening.

Following last week’s Supreme Court ruling, the Macri administration instructed gas distributing companies today to backpedal on the gas increases that had been applied to private residences. Prices will thus officially go back to the March rates, before the government implemented the universally-criticized hikes.

In two different resolutions published in the Official Bulletin today, the entity in charge of regulating gas in the country (ENARGAS) established the mechanism to return consumers what they paid as a result of the increases between May and August, and instrumented a payment plan for those who didn’t pay anything ever since.

Here’s how they work:

On the one hand, those who paid bills with price increases between May and August will have what they paid deducted from their future bills until the gas companies settle their debt.

Those who haven’t paid anything, on the other, will have the possibility of settling their debt — what they consumed between May and August but at the March rates — in four monthly installments, along with their future bills.

All of it, predictably, without any interest whatsoever.

The other resolution did finally instate the increases for industries and businesses (or non-private residences) with a cap of 500 percent. Many who have been excluded from the Supreme Court’s ruling have filed injunctions to have their increases suspended as well.
However, none have yet been upheld.
Families or private residences who were granted access the so-called “social tariff” will continue to be benefited by it. This means that if they paid less than what they used to after the increases, they won’t have to pay March rates, but will keep on paying these lower prices.

Following last week’s Supreme Court ruling suspending gas bill increases for private residences, the Macri administration called for a public hearing to, once again, present its proposal to raise gas prices. This is in accordance with Article 42 of the Constitution, which “foresees the participation of users in public service and republican democracy.”

The hearings will take place on September 16 at 9 AM at the Usina del Arte, in La Boca. Any person or company, public or private, who claims a right has been transgressed or is simply interested will be eligible to attend. Those who want to sign up or learn about the requisites to do so will have to go to ENARGAS’s front desk, located at Suipacha 632, in Microcentro, between 10 AM and 5 PM. There’s time until two days before the hearing.

Photo via Infobae
The then-four members of the Argentine Supreme Court. Photo via Infobae
The government still hopes to eventually implement the hikes, which it deems crucial to fixing the country’s “energy crisis” and to improving the economy as a whole.
However, hearings are intended to inform the public and are not legally binding.