Some more news to make our wallets weep. Energy Minister Juan José Aranguren announced at a press conference held today at the Ministry of Finance that, starting tomorrow, electricity tariffs will see increases of between 60% and 148% for Edenor and Edesur customers, which is basically everyone. The degree of upsurge will vary depending on the level of consumption registered for each user.

The ministry confirmed that the tariff adjustments, effective as of February, will be introduced in two stages (first in February and then again in March). Aranguren explained that “the increase does not have such a big effect on people’s pockets, especially during a month with high consumption like February.”

“We want the cost of generating to be covered by the tariff,” the minister said, by way of explanation. He added that after the rate increases for this year, the Government intends for users to cover 47 percent of the cost of generating the electricity needed.

Aranguren also laid out details for what the average electricity bill will look like. 27 percent of the bill corresponds to the ‘fixed costs’ (generation and transportation). 47 percent is a result of the costs of distribution, while the remaining 26 percent accounts for taxes.

So what does this really mean for our wallets? Let’s break it down.

According to the Government, the average monthly bill for residential customers who use up to 150 kWh per month will increase from AR $131 (in January) to around AR $211 per month. This represents a 61% increase. It will happen like this: an increase of AR $22 will be brought in during February, and an additional AR $58 will turn up on your bill for March.

If you use between 150 kWh and 300 kWh per month, the average bill will increase from AR $237 in January to around AR $420 per month, with increases of AR $66 in the first stage and AR $117 during the second. That’s a hefty 77 percent increase overall.

In the case of consumers of up to 600 kWh per month, the monthly bill goes from AR$ 618 to AR$ 1175 per month: AR $324 in February and AR $233 in March. For this power hungry lot, the increase in the rate is 90 percent.

Finally, those users with the highest consumption (up to 1500 kWh per month) will see an increase of a whopping 148 percent in their monthly bills. The AR $1418 figure from January will quickly become AR $3524 – AR $1523 will be added in February and another AR $583 in March. Ouch.