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Open Market Energy | The Year of Living Danger-Free?

Adoption of the electricity free market, which enables direct negotiation of prices with energy providers, has been led by midsize companies such as shopping malls, food producers and agribusiness, according to a report by the Brazilian Association of Energy Marketers – Abraceel. Currently, some 12,000 companies are in a position to qualify for this market segment, most of them midsize firms, as large companies already buy their energy in the free market.

 Data provided by Abraceel shows a new shopping center adhering to the free market at a rate of at least one per week. Since 2010, these sort of migrations have increased two-fold as 109 newly qualified companies began purchasing energy on the open market. “This increase reflects the 10% to 15% savings obtained by using this system,” says Reginaldo Medeiros of Abraceel. In 2002, the Campinas shopping mall Parque D. Pedro was the first to adhere to the ACL program.

Companies that consume between 500 kW and 3,000 kW per month have another advantage: a 50% discount when and if they opt for alternative energy, such as aeolic, biomass and small hydroelectrics. Companies consuming 500 kW pay somewhere around BRL 75,000 per month, while those consuming 3,000 kW spend BRL 500,000.

Medeiros of Abraceel says that midsize and large firms are displaying an increased appetite for this structure, although the system is still not widely known enough among potential adopters. To rectify this situation, an advertising campaign, “2010: The year of the open energy market,” was devised by Canal Energia and its associates.

Another obstacle to adoption is that it requires companies to foot the bill for an energy monitoring system on their premises.