Venezuela plans to rations electricity amid power shortage
Venezuela has announced an emergency plan across the country for electricity rationing to meet a surge in demand caused by rising temperatures.
Electricity Minister Jesse Chacon said on Tuesday, “Within a week, power demand has risen 1,500 megawatts.”
In the capital, Caracas, peak temperatures have risen to 34C (93F), and in the western city of Maracaibo, the temperature has hit 37C (99F).
The new measures include cutting workday hours in the public sector to six and asking the private sector to boost energy efficiency in malls and factories to ensure they meet reduced power consumption targets.
Officials said the public-sectors involving health care, banking and education won’t be affected by the new measures.
Although Venezuela is an oil-rich country, it depends on hydroelectric dams for 64% of its electricity, and power outages are common.
On Monday, local media reported blackouts in at least 10 of the country’s 24 states.
President Nicolas Maduro has blamed some blackouts on “sabotage.”
However, government critics say the electricity problem is due to under-investment in this sector and the nationalization of much of the electrical system in 2007.