Uruguay’s UTE launches ‘smart tariff’ plan for householders


A reduction in the peak hours and a ‘Smart Plan’ with variable tariffs are being introduced which should bring savings for domestic customers.

The measures announced by UTE President Silvia Emaldi form part of an initiative to make more efficient use of electricity and reduce losses by incentivising smarter consumption using advanced technologies, according to a company statement.

Among the plans the peak hours will be reduced at the end of the year from 6 hours to 4 hours. Moreover, the customer can choose their preferred peak option, i.e. from 17h to 21h, 18h to 22h or 19h to 23h.

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Currently the peak hours run from 17h to 23h.

Additionally, the off-peak price will be extended to weekends and public holidays.

In the meantime, under the ‘Smart Plan’ option customers can switch to the so-called ‘double hour’ and ‘triple hour’ rates, with UTE promising to refund the difference if customers pay more on these rates than they would have paid on their current rates.

“We are starting the Smart Plan campaign to promote the change to the double hour and triple hour rates,” said Emaldi at its launch.

As an example, she anticipates that a customer paying UY$4,000 (US$95) per month with the Smart Plan could reduce their bill by 20% to UY$3,200.

The double hour tariff provides two rates, peak and off-peak. The triple hour tariff includes a third mid-peak rate.

As part of the Smart Plan promotion, which will run to the end of the year, customers will receive an ‘efficiency pack’ comprised of a timer and two LED lamps and will be exempted from the connection and power adjustment fees.

UTE is Uruguay’s public sector utility with responsibility for generation, transmission, distribution and commercialisation of energy.

Accompanying the announcement of the new domestic tariffs, Emaldi also set out a rural electrification drive with the goal to reach 100% connection rate by the end of 2024. Solar PV kits sufficient to power the standard household devices will be provided to rural dwellings.