Colombia enforces power restrictions to prevent blackouts

CCTV News

Colombia enforces power restrictions to prevent blackouts2

The El Nino weather phenomenon brought months of droughts for Colombia. This set off an huge energy crisis that had the country on the verge of scheduled blackouts.

The government said it pulled out all the stops to prevent the shortage and it seems to have temporarily worked.

CCTV America’s Michelle Begue reports from Bogot.

Colombia enforces power restrictions to prevent blackouts

Colombia enforces power restrictions to prevent blackouts

The El Nino weather phenomenon brought months of droughts for Colombia. This set off an huge energy crisis that had the country on the verge of scheduled blackouts.

Last month, the government launched, “Turning off, Pays off!,” an energy savings campaign that will temporary change the way electric bills are calculated by reducing monthly costs if citizens conserve energy.

Households and businesses that use more than the average amount will be charged double.

The new measure also requires government buildings to turn off power after six pm and reduce energy consumption by 10% percent month.

To avoid power rationing, the government also boosted their imports of energy from Ecuador, called on large electric consumers to generate their own power, and increased the use of thermoelectric plants.

The government said the measures paid off. President Juan Manuel Santos said that in six weeks, Colombians had saved three times more than the government set goal.

But even with the threat of blackouts lifted, some experts believe the energy crisis could have been avoided.

Colombia’s former Minister of Energy said the problem is that almost 70 percent of Colombia’s energy is generated by hydroelectric plants that are susceptible to climate change.