A Market Scene by Petrus Van Schendel

After raising electricity prices by up to 180 percent, Energy Minister Aranguren has raised the ire of many Argentines by offering a series of ‘energy-saving’ suggestions.


On Radio La Red yesterday, Aranguren suggested that energy users should cut back on air conditioning, television, computer and microwave usage. (Though thankfully he recommended that fridges are kept running a whopping 24 hours a day.)

“The inefficient energy consumption of a typical family is equivalent to 300kw/h per month,” said Aranguren, who claimed this could be halved if users changed their habits or bought energy-efficient light bulbs and appliances and changed their habits.

In the case of air conditioning, for example, he suggested that users cut back to four hours a day, 22 days of the month. Curiously, he suggested the same for computer usage (good luck with that in an era of human history known as the “Digital Age.”)

For some, Aranguren’s comments are insensitive. Many are struggling with the corrosive effects of high inflation, made worse by increases in gas prices and certain taxes in January, as well as a confusing “Transparent Pricing” scheme, which appears has made it more expensive to buy things in more than one payment.

Hence, at a time when the Government’s actions appear to make their lives harder (at least in the short-term), for some, putting the onus of responsibility on users seems unfair.

And there are those who are still bitter about the failure of companies to invest their profits in capital infrastructure, leading to Argentina’s too frequent power outages. Why not issue the advice to energy companies Edenur and Edesor?

Users took to Twitter to vent their rage. He’s a selection of the very best.

Juan Galvin joked: “Che, Aranguren has said everyone should get on board and learn from the Neanderthals.”

Pibe Peronista wrote “#Aranguren says that the best thing to do is only turn on your computer for homebanking. And don’t give up, cause things are getting better.”

Carlos Ruis: “How big of you #Aranguren. He says: use the air conditioning only 22 days a month, the remaining days you can spend strolling around the Supermarket

Capitan Nando said: “Grasias sinior #Aranguren I’ll start using that air conditioner I bought on #TransparentPrices four hours a day!”

Nachoo opined: “#edesur or #aranguren who will pay me for the food I throw out every time there’s a blackout? oh that’s right, one of you is a criminal, the other an accomplice, and I’m the poor fool without so much as the clothes on his back