Economy October 9, 2022 | 10:16 am

Merchants claim that they have experienced an increase in electricity rates of between 200 and 300%

Iván de Jesús García (right) during the interview. Photo: External source.

Santo Domingo, DR
The Dominican Federation of Merchants president, Iván de Jesús García, denounced that the Electricity Distributors have not left without effect the increases in the electricity tariff, alleging that the merchants affiliated to that guild are receiving their bills with increases ranging between 200 and 300%.

De Jesús García affirmed that if President Luis Abinader had not intervened in the rate increase, the people would have taken to the streets because the “abuse committed and still being committed by the electricity distributors has no end.”

He also added that “here they suspended and gave a credit of 150 and 200 pesos, and 800 pesos when they reversed the last increases which were small, but what they have not reversed is that it is not true that a person who was consuming 5,000 pesos in his business is now paying RD$20,000.”

Interviewed by Héctor Herrera Cabral on the program D’Agenda, the business leader added that 1,000 pesos reduced this person, implying he is still paying a high rate.

He gave as an example the case of a butcher shop owned by one of the members of the Executive Committee of the Federation that he presides over, who was paying 50,000 pesos, and his bill is still coming in at 148,000 pesos.

“They have gone, they have checked, they have measured, and they do not give him an answer, why the bill tripled when he has the same freezers in his commercial establishment,” lamented the commercial leader.

He explained that this business leader assured him that at the end of this year, he would close the business, and 27 people would lose their jobs.

“So when one adds up the energy matrix in the Dominican Republic, really, these prices that we are paying should not be the inefficiency of the Edes, the people cannot pay it,” he clarified.

He criticized that “the losses, according to the Electricity Pact, at this point should be at 20 percent, and yet they exceed 30 percent, and that is part of the deficiencies of the Edes themselves who have not been able to reduce the losses.”

“There is also talk of losses due to fraud, but I do not understand where the frauds are, because even in the most remote neighborhoods of the Dominican Republic, people no longer have access to a small light pole, they are already 40 feet high, instead of 20 feet, so the high voltage passes too high through the house, which requires specific technical brigades to be able to install or uninstall a client,” he explained.

He insisted that all that is being seen is the inefficiency of the electricity distributors. If they lose 50 percent due to technical losses and lack of collection, that percentage is applied to all the customers who pay for the service.

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Paul Tierney
October 11, 2022 7:59 am

Something smells. It would be a good thing if the President intervenes again to question why the huge increases of the merchants electric rates.