Fabian Demicoli

The challenge of electricity cuts

 As soon as the electricity went off GRTU on behalf of its members stayed in regular contact with the Chief Executive Officer of Enemalta, engineer Karl Magri to ensure everything possible was being done to provide the supply of electricity at the earliest possible, making the least damages.

As of the first phone call we made it became apparent that the situation was one of crises. Unfortunately no matter how serious certain situations in this sector can be, nobody can predict them. GRTU is certain that Enemalta does its best to avoid these situations and works hard to mitigate the risk factor. Like all enterprises Enemalta should have a back-up to fall on.

 

In case where there is an upsurge following an electricity cut due to carelessness of Enemalta workers while fixing the problem, Enemalta is obliged to compensate for any damages this upsurge has caused. Enemalta has an insurance coverage for this and it is us who pay for it in the electricity tariffs. In the case of a total shutdown however or a large damage in supply the law places a safeguard in favour of Enemalta.

In countries where competition in this sector exists, the industrial and commercial consumer can choose between a supplier who is insured even in case of a complete outrage and others who do not cover this risk. For a company like Enemalta to be covered with such an insurance the price is phenomenal, this would materialise in a higher tariff. The commercial consumer who consumes more electricity could have the opportunity to decide whether to pay the higher tariff or pay an insurance that would cover him specifically.

In Malta we do not have this choice. It is for this reason that GRTU made its submissions when the tariffs where being revised, for Enemalta to start offering this option with a tariff that covers a full insurance and a lower tariff that would place the liability on the enterprise.

The reality is that to avoid further cuts we need to replace our decadent, inefficient and expensive power station. The argument around the new power stations needs to be closed and progress needs to start. We need to cut the talking and grumbling and start acting. This is what this country needs.

We need the cable that connects us with the rest of Europe to start operating so that we are provided with an immediate alternative in case of a cut and we would have a modern power station that would recuperate much more rapidly.

 

 

 

 

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