Buenos Aires, Argentina — (METERING.COM) — July 1, 2008 – Argentine utility Edenor has reported in its annual report for 2007 an 8.2 percent growth in demand for electricity during the year, principally due to growing demand in the residential sector, and the largest since its establishment in 1992.
Residential demand, which accounts for approximately 38 percent of the total demand, grew by 14.4 percent, but the demand by large customers, which accounts for a similar proportion of the total, grew by only 2.6 percent (limited by supply constraints during the winter months). Demand by small (up to 10 kW) and medium (10 to 50 kW) customers grew by 3.6 and 6.7 percent respectively.
At the same time losses edged up to 11.6 percent, up just over 0.5 percent on 2006 and the highest level since 2003. While some of this increase can be attributed to increased technical losses due to the increased demand, non-technical losses due to theft and fraud continues to be problem at various socio-economic levels.
Unpaid bills also increased, up almost 2 percent on the previous year, bringing the delinquent account balance to Ar$29.3 million (US$9.7 million). However, against an increase in total billing of 26.5 percent during the year, this translates into an effective reduction in the default period by a day to 4 days, which is the lowest in Edenor’s history.
2007 saw a significant increase in investments for Edenor, amounting to more than Ar$342.7 million (US$113 million) – an increase of more than 60 percent over 2006 – with more than half of this at distribution level, including connections of 49,732 new customers, and more than half on developments and improvements to the network.
Edenor also continued to instal prepayment meters in the Buenos Aires suburb of Merlo and launched a pilot project to instal meters in areas of nearby Acuerdo Marco with the aim of sensitising families to the rational use of energy and integrating them into society as new customers. A small pilot project was also launched in which the electricity purchased under the prepayment scheme, rather than all being available immediately, is dispensed in discrete “packets". The aim is to assist the consumer to better manage their usage.
At the technical level a new distribution management system, NEXUS, was developed and implemented, including the installation of NEXUS SCADA in the control center.
During 2007 Edenor also introduced new programs to improve and streamline its relationships with its customers. A bi-monthly newsletter was launched for large customers and a biannual magazine was launched for municipal customers, and in the customer service center a procedure was initiated to provide notification by telephone of the resolution of enquiries or faults within 48 hours of their submission. Automated calls were also initiated to notify customers of overdue bills before having their service suspended, and in order to encourage behavioral change regarding fraud and theft and to curtail clandestine connections there is greater visibility of Edenor staff.
In his introduction to the report Edenor president Alejandro Macfarlane said that the results reflect the responsibility with which the company manages its activities and reinforces its commitment to the future.
Edenor is the largest electricity distributor in Argentina in terms of numbers of customers and electricity sold. Its concession area of 4,637 km2 comprises a population of about 7 million in the northern zone of Buenos Aires and the northwest of the Greater Buenos Aires area.