The director of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) has vowed to put an end to “simulation and fraud” committed by renewable energy firms at the expense of the state-owned company.
In an interview with the newspaper La Jornada, Manuel Bartlett said the CFE has filed complaints against renewable energy firms with the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE), an ostensibly autonomous federal body.
He said that renewable firms have an unfair advantage because they don’t pay the CFE for using its transmission lines to transport the energy they generate nor do they pay the state-owned company for the backup power they use.
Not paying for transmission or backup power allows the private firms to save billions of pesos, Bartlett said.
The CFE chief also charged that renewable firms have acted fraudulently by passing off other private companies as their business partners rather than their customers.
Bartlett said that large companies like corporate conglomerate Grupo Salinas, convenience store chain OXXO, big-box store Walmart, cinema chain Cinépolis, manufacturer Kimberly Clark and others pay very low electricity rates because they are passed off as partners of firms such as Iberdrola, Enel Energía and American Light and Power.
Their “simulated” partnerships allow the client firms to receive electricity without paying for transmission costs, he said.
Bartlett told La Jornada that he hopes that the CRE resolves the issues soon and corrects “illegal, irrational and unfair” decisions it took in favor of private firms during the six-year term of the government led by former president Enrique Peña Nieto.
The decisions taken by the CRE during the term of the previous government allowed private, mainly foreign companies to make huge profits at the expense of the CFE, he said.
Bartlett asserted that the federal government is “not against clean energy” and that “what’s established by the  energy reform will be respected” but stressed that “what we’re not going to allow is for this large social vocation company, the CFE, to continue to be used to bolster private companies.”
“That would … go against the national interest,” he said.
“The large companies of Mexico, those with the most capital, are cheating in order to pay a lot less for the electricity their businesses consume while at the CFE we’re struggling, counting every centavo so that the impoverished people of Mexico pay as little as possible,” Bartlett said.
“It’s not a [fair] electricity market, it’s theft, heaven on earth for the [renewable energy] investors that have illegally seized [the business of] large consumers,” he said.
Bartlett accused Peña Nieto of attempting to kill off the CFE and leave the energy market in the hands of private foreign companies.
Both President López Obrador and the CFE chief, an 84-year-old former federal cabinet minister and ex-governor…
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