Ecuador losing $ 200 mm a year to electricity theft

Oct 21, 2009 02:00 AM

Ecuador is losing around $ 200 mm a year from electricity theft, Electricity Minister Esteban Albornoz said.
Following the request by President Rafael Correa on one of his weekly programs that the minister work on limiting the effects of the problem, Albornoz said electricity theft is "one of the big problems of the electricity sector" in this country.

He recalled that when the current government took power, "the losses were around 22 %," while "at this time we're down to about 18 %," Albornoz told.
The annual losses for the country from this stolen electricity "are around $ 200 mm, which means that distributors bill $ 800 mm when what they ought to bill is $ 1 bn," he added.

With the decrease of four percentage points achieved by the government, the country is saving $ 40 mm a year, but "the goal is to keep working hard on campaigns to check meters and formalize customers in order to get it down to 12 %," Albornoz said.
He also said the government is not only working with distributing companies "on the kind of management they have to employ to control this loss of electricity," but is also seeking a change in the law "to impose stronger sanctions because we're robbing the state and all Ecuadorians."

Source /EFE
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