Economy January 7, 2024 | 7:08 pm

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Edeeste announces plan to supply growing energy demand

Santo Domingo, DR—Empresa Distribuidora de Electricidad del Este (Edeeste) is contemplating an investment of RD$920 million to meet the growing demand for energy in its concession area, the largest in the country’s electricity system, and by May of this year alone it will install eight power transformers and six substations.

While giving the information at Edeeste’s headquarters in Megacentro, the interim general manager of the distributor, Manuel Alberto Mejía Naut, revealed that a plan has been structured to face the growing demand for energy in the province of Santo Domingo Este, in whose area alone in 2023 there was a growth of 12%.

Naut explained in detail the situation of the electricity sector in the concession area and the interest to give “a strong blow” to direct connections, mainly because that is not business and secondly to start acquiring meters on a massive scale and to place them in places where there are direct connections.

Transformers will also be installed since it has been detected that there are illegal transformers in farms, factories, and industries.

The official indicated that as of next week, a Customer Monitoring Center will be put into operation; this month, a VIP or premium customer project will be launched, who will not have to wait in line and will be attended to in person at the distributor’s offices, nor will their energy service be cut off for a few days in arrears, nor will they be fined for the cut-off.

Naut stated that an unusual demand for energy had been created, which has gone from the purchase of 539.69 gigawatt hours of power to 615 gigawatt hours, and therefore, a plan has been structured with the understanding that the demand will double by 2027. Otherwise, the system will collapse.

The plan includes increasing renewable energy, now 5.9% of the energy served.

During the presentation of the current situation of Edeeste, the official explained that since the 24 years of its foundation, “this has been a neglected company,” with an obsolete voltage system and long-distance circuits, which are not adequate, such as lines with up to a maximum distance of 40.53 kilometers.

There are networks in poor condition and overloaded transformers. There are even areas where homeowners have placed light poles made of Acacia wood and telephone company wires.

As for the losses of the company, Naut said that the areas where they are most registered are in Santo Domingo Norte (Sabana Perdida and Villa Mella) and in other neighborhoods, among which he mentioned Ureña, El Valiente, Los Polanco, Hato Mayor; and in Malena, in many cases where it has been found that the residents have built the networks.

However, the official specified that collections have increased, and only in November was 99% achieved. He said about 50 gigawatt-hours are being charged to customers without meters.

As part of the measures, he indicated that currently, to solve the issue of meters, the three distributors have acquired this equipment, and there are 161,000 meters in warehouses, and 11,000 more will be accepted, of which more than 6,000 will be installed in industries.

Naut said that the electricity sector is discussing modifying the Net Metering system among other issues. The change would imply the elimination of the two intermediate tariffs in calculating monthly consumption. Only the highest one would be applied to clients with more than 700 kilowatts.

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