Amid new outages, PDP lawmakers approve measure to initiate cancellation of LUMA contract
By John McPhaul
Popular Democratic Party (PDP) legislators in the House of Representatives approved a resolution on Sunday to demand that various entities disclose data on the performance of LUMA Energy since it began its operations, in order to lay the groundwork for canceling the private consortium’s contract to manage the island’s electric power transmission and distribution system.
“Among the agreements are: The filing of several resolutions to order the Public-Private Partnerships Authority, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority and the [Puerto Rico] Energy Bureau to submit and certify to the Secretary of the House of Representatives, in a non-extendable term of five work days, those evaluation metrics compiled as a result of the contractual provision of LUMA,” said House Speaker Rafael “Tatito” Hernández Montañez in a written statement.
Hernández Montañez said the public-private partnership contract between LUMA Energy and the central government establishes a list of metrics that must be met in order to extend and fulfill the contract. Some of the metrics are: reduce power outage time, reduce average monthly outage per customer, reduce average total generation cost per kilowatt-hour, and improve customer service and employee support.
“For this reason, we reaffirm our genuine call to the Executive [branch] to sit down to seek alternatives in consensus and to work as a team,” the House speaker said. “On all the occasions that we have collaborated in good faith, the result has been of benefit to all Puerto Ricans. At this time, it is necessary for all government officials to have the sensitivity and empathy to recognize that the LUMA contract has harmed the quality of life and the business environment on the island.”
Meanwhile, LUMA Energy spokespersons on Sunday asked customers who are without service due to new outages, mostly in San Juan and Bayamón, for patience.
“The LUMA brigades are working hard to resolve the situation in San Juan as quickly and safely as possible,” the spokespersons wrote on the consortium’s Twitter account. “Thank you for your patience as we work to restore service. We will provide additional updates as soon as they are available.”