Canal No.1 residents to benefit from improved power supply through GPL’s PUUP

DPI, GUYANA, Monday, February 26, 2018

Residents in Canal Number One, West Bank Demerara (WBD) will soon benefit from improved power supply as the Guyana Power and Light Incorporated (GPL) takes its Power Utility Upgrade Programme, (PUUP) to the community.

The initiative signals the third component of PUUP which aims to improve the system’s overall efficiency by reducing losses and upgrading the network in priority areas in Regions Three, Four, Five and Six.

During a meeting with the residents on Sunday, February 25, Social Management Consultant of PUUP, Ruth Lee explained that the community upgrade will be done via excavation and pole planting, stringing of conductors and installation of new meters and service lines.

When completed, the residents will benefit from an improved quantity and quality of power supply and a reduction in the amount and duration of power outages.

The intervention will also result in decreases in commercial and technical losses by GPL. The technical losses experienced by the power company are aged distribution systems and overburdened network, while the commercial losses are unauthorized connections and estimated billing.

The residents’ meters will also be upgraded to provide reduced estimated meter reading; detailed consumption information to consumers and more frequent reading to consumers and GPL.

“So, if you used to get 20, you might get 10 in terms of power outages and disruptions, in fact when the system starts to work, it should automatically reduce those long hours of blackouts,” Lee explained.

She added, “right now, GPL has a lot of maintenance problems because of a major cultural issue we have to deal with. This project is about behavioral change so that we can get the benefit of this company.”

Lee pointed out that electricity theft is a major issue challenging the power company and results in power service less reliable and lower quality for paying customers. She related that over the past five years, several individuals were victims of electricity theft and advised the residents to report any instances of illegal connections.

The upgrade is being funded through a grant from the European Union and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and works are executed by China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation/China Synergy Electric Engineering Company  (CMC/CSEEC) and Ramoutar and Sons Contracting Services.

The Contractor of CMC/CSEEC, Andrew Chin said a robust network will be built with medium and low voltage which will contribute to the reliability of power supply to the community while reducing technical loss.

He added that the smart meters which will be installed in the residents’ homes and will eliminate the need for the meters to be read manually, but rather remotely, reducing commercial losses.

The contractor notes that the infrastructure is being put in place to achieve improved power supply, which is necessary since Guyana as a country is advancing.

“So there will be reliable power supply to your homes at a reasonable cost. This project is not for the contractor or GPL but for everybody so we need your support, and if we collaborate it will be successful.”

Some residents raised their concerns which were addressed by GPL’S representatives. Iola Chetnarain, questioned if the new intervention will see the usage of dual voltage as opposed to the 220/240 voltage she currently uses.

Design and Network Specialist, GPL Sebert Blake, in response, stated that the network was designed to accommodate dual voltage supply and the process will be a collaboration with GPL, Public Works, and the residents.

A question was raised by resident, Dorcelle Ageda, regarding the transferring of information from the old meter to the new meter automatically. Responding in the affirmative, Commercial Manager, GPL, Anthony Johnson and explained that “the account remains the same, the name remains the same the only thing that is changing is your meter, the instrument for recording consumption.”

A similar meeting was held with residents of Canal Number Two, who are also beneficiaries of the upgrade. Further meetings are slated for other communities.

By: Ranetta La Fleur

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