Venezuela Suspends Electricity Rationing as Historic Drought Comes to Close

by LUCAS KOERNER | 5 July, 2016

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced Monday his decision to suspend the South American country’s electricity rationing plan amid the arrival of rainy season.

“Beginning this Monday, the electricity administration plan will no longer be in effect, such that normal electricity services will operate 24 hours a day; it’s a victory for the people,” the head of state declared via state television.

The move will put an end to a host of emergency energy saving initiatives launched by the Venezuelan government in April, including a shortened workweek for public sector employees as well as three-hour daily electrical service cuts in the interior of the country.

The measures were adopted in response to the county’s severest drought in 47 years, a product of the El Niño phenomenon that has been magnified by climate change.

In recent weeks, the Maduro government has welcomed rising water levels at Venezuela’s El Guri hydroelectric dam– the source of around 70% of the nation’s electricity– signaling the close of the dry season.

While the drought has finally ended, Maduro nonetheless affirmed his government’s ongoing commitment to energy sustainability, unveiling a new plan to install 2 million new energy efficient air conditioners across the country over the next six months.

“By the end of this year, I aspire for us to be saving two thousand mega-watts,” he stated, emphasizing that the new devices will reduce energy costs by approximately 62 per cent.

Over the coming months, Ministry of Energy personnel will conduct a house-by-house survey in order to prioritize those with the greatest social needs.



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