CAIRO: Citing numerous complaints about power cuts, consumer protection bodies are calling for solutions that include better communication from authorities as well as consumers’ cooperation to ration consumption.
The Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) said it received scores of complaints from associations regarding the losses incurred by consumers as a result of the power cuts, especially the damages to electrical appliances.
“The agency has received many complaints from consumer protection associations calling on the Electricity Holding Company to take all the necessary action in order to dissipate the damage from the power cuts, especially since the consumers are meeting their end of the contract, which is to pay for the service. Therefore, the other party is required to give quality service instead of making the power cuts a phenomenon,” said Saeed El-Alfy, head of the Consumer Protection Agency.
The agency said it passed on the complaints to the electricity distribution subsidiary of the holding company asking them to notify consumers with the times and durations of the power cuts beforehand so that they would take precautionary measures.
El-Alfy noted that the agency understands that there is an overload on power grids, citing an increase in consumption that coincides with increases in temperatures.
The Alexandria Society for the Protection and Welfare of the Consumer and the Environment has suggested that consumers use energy-saving lamps and ration electricity consumption at home. It also suggested changing street lighting to energy-saving lamps in order to decrease the load on the grid during the current crisis.
The CPA is also calling on the consumers to cooperating by rationalizing electricity use.
Last week, angry villagers cut off a highway in the Fayoum governorate in protest at power cuts. The police were sent in to quell the demonstration, but the problem of power outages, which are reported throughout the country, has not been resolved.
A $300 million loan was announced last week from the European Investment Bank for an energy project geared toward helping the country meet growing electricity needs.
The loan will be coupled by supplementary funding from the Egyptian government, the World Bank and the OPEC Fund for International Development, totaling $292.6 million, $600 million and $30 million, respectively.