Brazil plans to encourage lower energy use amid drought

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Pylons of high-tension electricity power lines are seen during sunrise in Brasilia, Brazil August 31, 2017. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

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RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Brazil on Wednesday said it was looking at rolling out measures next month to incentivize consumers to use less energy, as the worst drought in nearly a century hits power generation, fans inflation and hurts agribusinesses.

"The idea of the program is to reward consumers who make an effort to reduce the load and contribute to increasing safety and reducing the cost of generation," Brazil's electric energy secretary Christiano Vieira said at a press conference.

Earlier on Wednesday, Reuters reported that the measures aim to lower the country's electrical load by 10%, and reduce demands on the system by 7,000 megawatts to avoid energy rationing, according to a source.

Officials at the press conference said details of the plan are still being worked out.

Bento Albuquerque, the Mines and Energy minister, said no funds have yet been set aside to put the plan into action. He said the government was still working on the basis of no energy rationing.

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Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier, writing by Stephen Eisenhammer and Gabriel Stargardter, editing by Richard Pullin

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