The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) has launched a community empowerment programme meant to ensure 100 per cent monthly collection of bills in communities within the South-East.
The Head, EEDC Communication, Mr Emeka Ezeh, said in a statement on Sunday in Enugu that the launch of the initiative took place recently in five states under EEDC jurisdiction, which included: Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo.
Ezeh explained that in the initiative, the communities are expected to ensure that bills for energy consumed are paid for in full, while as incentive, commission on the collection will be paid to the group appointed by the community to oversee this responsibility.
According to him, the initiative will thereby creating a source of income for them and lead to improvement of electricity supply in the community as well.
“EEDC last week launched its Community Empowerment Program, an initiative targeted at communities, designed to provide reliable, guaranteed and quality service to them.
“The program also provides job opportunity for members of the communities through partnership.
“Present at the events were representatives of the respective state governments, traditional rulers, President-Generals of communities, management staff of EEDC as well as other stakeholders,’’ he said.
In his remarks during the launch of the initiative in various events, the Managing Director of EEDC, Mr Okey Nwosu, said that the initiative was introduced as part of conscious plan to reduce Aggregate Technical and Commercial (ATC) losses experienced by the company.
“At the same time create profitable business opportunity for the community as well as job opportunities for its members.
“The communities are expected to ensure that bills for energy consumed are paid for in full, while as incentive, commission on the collection will be paid to the group appointed by the community to oversee this responsibility, thereby creating a source of income for them.
“To ensure this initiative is sustainable, the participating communities will enjoy better power supply with regular maintenance of the electricity infrastructure serving them, and that meters will be installed at the transformers for efficient energy audit and measurement,’’ Nwosu said.
During the launch in Awka, Anambra State, Gov. Willie Obiano, lauded EEDC for the initiative and expressed the state government’s preparedness in supporting it.
Obiano, represented by the Commissioner for Public Utilities, Mr Emeka Ezenwanne, said the state government would partner with EEDC to ensure that the initiative works, and provide better supply to the people of the state.
At the launch in Owerri, Imo State, the Director General, Imo State Power and Rural Electrification Agency (I-POREA), Dr Albert Okorogu, commended the initiative and encouraged the communities to imbibe the habit of turning off lighting points during the day and appliances when not in use.
According to Okorogu, I-POREA is already partnering with EEDC in ensuring that the culture of energy management is entrenched, adding “There is a law coming and we are going to ban the use of incandescent bulbs which causes us a lot of problem’’.
In Abakaliki in Ebonyi State, Commissioner for Power and Energy, Mr Ogbonnaya Ude, while expressing appreciation to EEDC over the initiative, said it was a welcome development.
“Energy saving bulb, although costly, lasts longer once it is of good quality and will reduce cost on energy consumption,’’ Ude said.
It was gathered that the company plans to take the Community Empowerment Programme further to communities within South-East; while interested communities are encouraged to visit the District Office in charge of their area for further enquiries.
Highlight of the launch events was the free distribution of energy saving bulbs by EEDC to all the customers in attendance.
It was been observed that the high bill in most of the communities can be attributed to the use of incandescent (filament) bulbs and not turning off bulbs and appliances when not in use.