Energy subsidy, theft, cost Dominican Republic taxpayers US$1.24B
Santo Domingo.- Taxpayers footed a RD$51.0 billion (US$1.24 billion) bill for losses incurred by the electricity distributors (Edes) with the subsidy and energy theft last year, a figure which could be even higher this year.
While the electric bill subsidy to avert an increase to customers reached RD$21 billion in 2012, the Edes lose around RD$20 billion annually, on energy theft by irregular users and nearly RD$30 billion from technical losses.
This losses equal 36.6% of energy supplied and not charged, 23.6 % from theft and 12 % on technical, such grid and equipment overload, inadequate voltage levels and networks in poor state.
To August 31 the electricity subsidy was in RD$32.23 billion (US$750 million) equaled 96% of the RD$ 33.3 billion which the government’s budget for the electricity sector.
Significantly lower losses are a basic part of the State-owned Electric Utility and the Government’s Comprehensive Plan to resolve the country’s decades-long energy crisis.
And according to the Edes’ Strategic Plan to Reduce and Control Energy Losses, their recent commercial actions have failed to attract freeloaders and convert them into paying customers.
Moreover, of the country’s more than 10 million inhabitants, only 1,741,408 are paying customers: just 17 % of the population.
According to the Edes Plan, elaborated by the CDEEE, around 25 % of customers (around 600,000) are irregular, with no contract, because they refuse to pay the service.
It adds that that nearly a million people have no meter and a are billed a flat rate, which leads to the squandering of energy and increasing losses.