Energy Minister Juan Jose Aranguren. Photo via Cadena 3

Energy Minister Juan José Aranguren announced today that, come April, the average gas bill in the country will increase by 24 percent. The minister, however, anticipated that users in the City and Province of Buenos Aires will see a higher average increase, of 36 percent.

In a press conference, Aranguren went on to say that “solving a 12 year problem meant an increase in the production costs that was quite hard to move to the bills” and that, as a result of this, “the elimination of subsidies that was originally scheduled to finish in 2019 will do so in 2022.”

“We want a supply that is sustainable in time, we want to promote local production, we want to reduce imports, only subsidize those who need it, for the grid to be fair and federal, and also to encourage efficient consumption and energy saving, which is the best way to achieve cheap energy,” added Aranguren, who anticipated that the increase will prompt the inflation rate to go up by 0.3 percent.

Last year, after jumping through more than a few legal hoops, the Government implemented the first increases in gas prices for homes in October. Most residential users saw a 203 percent increase in their bills, while a 500 percent cap was instituted for small and medium-sized businesses. Now, the Energy Ministry’s intention is to gradually eliminate subsidies — i.e increase bills’ prices — every six months until completely removing them in 2022.