Electricite du Laos (EDL) is tightening regulations to enforce stricter collection of debts after many electricity consumers have failed to pay their bills, leaving large sums unpaid over the past few years.
Currently, EDL is facing serious challenges running its business efficiently when a large number of electricity users owe money to the public company.
There is more than 270 billion kip in debt from electricity users in Vientiane alone. However, more than 400 billion kip is owed by customers across the country.
“It is quite a challenging issue for the Vientiane Operation sector, as well as EDL, to support effective growth of the national strategic business,” Deputy Minister of Energy and Mines, Mr Khammany Inthirath said at a press conference in Vientiane.
The press conference was held to answer all questions raised by public callers through the input hotline of the 6th Ordinary Session of the National Assembly last December.
The debts were slowly decreasing when EDL offered a probation period to disconnect electricity after at least two months worth of bills were overdue, however it appears debt is growing steadily yet again.
“To implement the plan more effectively, the regulations have been reset to decrease the debt. It means the user will be warned, and then electricity cut off if they fail to pay a debt that is over one month outstanding,” Mr Khammany said.
He said EDL has warned users to regularly pay on time and also issued messages clearly informing consumers in the electric bills, but slow payers have not paid attention to the company’s warnings.
Mr Khammany also praised organisations and members of public who had always paid their electricity accounts on time.
“It is significant that these people are important contributors to the construction and development of the nation and are carrying on this fine practice to boost up the prosperity of the country,” he said.
EDL is also investing in the installation of transmission lines, building substations and other necessities to ensure rural people have access to electricity and to meet the government timeline of covering 90 percent of Lao families by 2020.
In 2015-16, almost 20 power projects will be completed with an installed capacity of around 4,000 MW and currently, a total of 23 projects have been successfully completed with an installed capacity of more than 3,200 MW, Mr Khammany said.
He said a total of 14 projects out of 23 projects were owned by EDL with the other nine owned by domestic and foreign private companies.
Source: Vientiane Times