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8459: Re: 8448: Durban on Electricity in Haiti : anonymous reply details use and costs

Mr. Corbett,

I wish to remain anonymous on this posting.
> From: Lance Durban <lpdurban@yahoo.com>
> Several months ago, I heard (indirectly through a
> well-placed
> friend) that an Ed'H official had acknowledged to
> him that less
> than 50% of the residential electricity is paid for
> and that
> even commercial collections had dropped to around
> 80%. 

There is a common misconception that the poor in Haiti
do not pay at all for electricity. Nothing could be
further from the truth. While EDH may not be the
institution collecting payment on electricity
distributed in poor areas, the poor usually DO pay fro
electricity, whether it be in CitÚ Soley, Delmas 32,
Jalousie, Bolosse or wherever.

What has happened is that electricity distribution has
been privatized "de facto" with a small number of
people (some of them EdH employees) offering "ti priz"
(illegal connections) to their neighbors. These people
collect their  payments regularly. While they are a
number of payment schemes, the most prevalent is the
+ users pay a one-time fee for connection
+ users pay on a monthly basis according to the number
of light bulbs they have
+ users with TVs or refrigerators pay an extra amount

The same problem happened with water. CAMEP's way of
solving the problem was to incorporate individuals
selling connections to water mains into their system.
They were basically offered to join a neighborhood
group that would be in charge of water distribution.
The groups pay CAMEP on a monthly basis and are
responsible for the maintenance of water fountains and
the distribution of water through pipes. EdH has not
tried that option, but it could work.

> ... The above does not deny that the wealthy of
> use a
> disproportionate share of electricity generated. 
> Nor do I have
> any idea of the collection rates in wealthier parts
> of the
> capital compared with the those in poorer
> neighborhoods... 

EdH's collection rates vary from 0 in very poor
neighborhoods (but remember that they pay someone else
most of the time) to 80-85% in wealthy areas. The
notion that the the rich don't pay is plain wrong.
While that used to happen in the 80's and 90's, EdH
has studied on the subject and found that the rich
actually DO pay much more regularly than others. This
is why, when there was a severe electricity shortage a
couple of months ago, areas with good repayment rates
and high-crime areas were favored over others in
Port-au-Prince. The other cities are another story.

> ...So who gets the best supply of electricity? 
> than perhaps
> the National Palace, the industrial area out near
> the airport is
> doing pretty well... 

Before February 7, when EdH's production hovered
around 30MWh in Port-au-Prince, here is how it was
broken up:
+ ~7 MWh were reserved for the Tabarre area
+ ~8 MWh went to the National Palace area
+ 6 MWh went to the new high voltage line set up
exclusively for business people along the Route de
Delmas. Businesses contributed around US$ 1,500 a pop
so that EdH could set up this line. It is a high
voltage line (so it is almost impossible to steal from
it) and step-down transformers are set up for the
businesses to convert the electricity to standard
+ the remaining 9 MWh were left for the rest of the
city, with preference given to areas with high
repayment rates. Curiously the Parc Industriel does
not figure very high on the priority liust, contrary
to what Durban wrote.
>...To put numbers to the above discussion, a big
> in the hills
> above Petionville connected to Ed'H but with an
> inverter system
> and generator for back-up pays about US$.12 to .13
> per KWH these
> days. 

Rate was US$0.14/kWh, but I know EdH increased its
rates substantially just before February 7.

Cost of production of EdH is approximately US$.11/kWh
for diesel plants and US$0.02/kWh for Peligre, which
can generate up to 40-45MWh when it works properly.
The improvement in the past 2 months is due to Peligre
having reached a decent water level that can power up
its turbines.

EdH can try to collect its money all it wants, but
unless the institution reforms itself and starts by
putting in place a solid maintenance program for its
plants, the same problems will occur, collection or no collection.