There may be light at the end of the tunnel for those residents of who do not have access to electricity. Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Power and Light (GPL), Renford Homer, told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that the power company is moving to provide electricity to unserved areas from next month.
Acting Chief Executive Officer (Ag. CEO), GPL, Renford Homer
According to Homer, a number of communities will be able to access electricity for the first time. “We have in our development expansion plan….a number of areas that we also plan to energize and our daily plan runs over a five year program, but there are some areas we expect to bring relief to well within that time,” he explains.
Fifty-one communities including Yarrowcabra, Linden/Soesdyke Highway; Mariah’s Lodge, West Bank Demerara; Friendship Housing Scheme, East Bank Demerara; Molsen Creek, East Berbice, Corentyne; and Charity, Essequibo are among areas to benefit.
Homer said the list of communities was shared with the government and approval was given for works to begin.
GPL has undertaken the development and expansion program to meet the increased demand for electricity from residential, commercial and industrial consumers. Demand has steadily risen while supply capacity has remained roughly flat.
The Guyana Power and Light, Main Street
The acting CEO provided information to GINA which outlined that the reliability of the electricity supply is also a problem with consumers experiencing frequent and long outages, load discharges and voltage variations. Distribution losses amount to roughly 40 percent and corruption at billing level, in combination with faulty meters, has led to high commercial losses.
The programme is also expected to utilize a coordinated approach to loss reduction which starts with a network design that reflects the level of risk associated with electricity theft for the area.
Further, with the secure network in place, built to current construction standards to address technical losses, an appropriate metering infrastructure would be employed to address non-technical losses.
The 2016 national budget provides $550M to address some of these challenges.