The Enugu Electricity Distribution PLC (EEDC) has launched its Community Empowerment Program, an initiative targeted at communities with a view to providing reliable, guaranteed and quality service to them.
Making this known on Sunday in Enugu, the EEDC Communication Head, Emeka Ezeh, told reporters that the programme was expected to also provide job opportunity for members of the communities through partnership.
Ezeh said that the official launch of the initiative took place in the five states where EEDC covers, with Owerri, being the first location; and subsequently in Awka, Umuahia, Enugu and Abakaliki respectively.
At the occasion, the Managing Director/CEO of EEDC, Okey Nwosu, explained that the initiative was introduced as part of its conscious plan to reduce ATC&C losses experienced by the company as well as create a profitable business opportunity for its members.
According to Nwosu; “The communities are expected to ensure that bills for energy consumed are paid for in full, while as an 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, Nwosu said that the communities will enjoy better power supply with regular maintenance of the electricity infrastructure serving them, adding that meters will be installed at the transformers for efficient energy audit and measurement.
During the launch in Awka, Governor Willie Obiano commended EEDC for the initiative and expressed the state government’s preparedness to support the programme.
Obiano, who was represented by the Commissioner for Public Utilities, Honourable Emeka Ezenwanne, said the state government will partner with EEDC to ensure that the initiative works, and provide better supply to the people of the state.
The highlight of the launch was the free distribution of energy-saving bulbs by EEDC to all the customers that were in attendance.
The energy-saving bulbs encourage customers to imbibe to discontinue the use of incandescent (filament) bulbs that consume more energy. 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.
Also speaking at Owerri, Imo State capital, the Director General, Imo State Power and Rural Electrification Agency (I-POREA), Dr. Albert Okorogu, lauded the initiative of the EEDC, urging the consumers to imbibe the habit of turning off lighting points during the day and appliances when not in use, stressing that energy saved can go to other areas where it is needed.
According to Okorogu: “I-POREA is already partnering with EEDC in ensuring that the culture of energy management is entrenched. There is a law coming and we are going to ban the use of incandescent bulbs which causes us a lot of problems”
In Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State, the Commissioner for Power and Energy, Ogbonnaya Uche Ude, while expressing appreciation to the EEDC over the project, said: “It’s a welcome development in the state. Energy-saving bulb, although costly, lasts longer once it’s of good quality and will help reduce cost on energy consumption”.
Meanwhile, EEDC is set to take the Community Empowerment Program to launch further to communities within its coverage area.