Many electricity customers not answering call to economize, Genera official says
By The Star Staff
Genera PR spokesman Iván Báez acknowledged late last week that when electric power subscribers are asked to economize, they do not necessarily welcome the suggestion.
“Basically, when there are generation problems, we let the LUMA team know immediately. And in the peak hours of the hot season it is certainly between 6 [in the afternoon] to 9 [at night],” Báez said at a press conference. “If today there is not enough generation, what is called load relay occurs and then they begin to remove [electricity] in some regions and put it in another until the system stabilizes, after rush hour. That is why sometimes that call is made from 6 and 9 at night during this season of the year, because we are moderate in the consumption of generation.”
Regarding whether subscribers react positively to the call, Báez said “I think you have to educate [customers] even more to be very honest.”
“Because I think we have to raise awareness that we have a system that is old,” he said. “They are plants that are supposed to have a useful life of 25 years and they date from the 50s, so we have to work with what we have and we are going to get a hold on the issue.”
Báez added that after the end of September, energy consumption is supposed to fall as temperatures cool.
The Genera PR spokesman also anticipated the possibility of requesting an extension to his 10-year contract for the administration and takeover of the island’s power generation plants. Genera PR began operating last July.
“And that plan … basically has goals, objectives and criteria so that it can be determined that it is being fulfilled and providing stability to the replacement system,” Báez said during a discussion with representatives of LUMA Energy, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority and Rep. Víctor Parés in the office of Rep. Carlos “Johnny” Méndez Nuñez. “Everything has a plan. Our mission is a 10-year contract that should be in place. I think it’s going to spread further because renewables need to be at 40% by 2025. Right now we’re not seeing it, so we have to understand the lifespan of those plants.”