3,000 people had electricity disconnected in 2017

Report shows that disconnections decreased from over 11,700 in 2016 to 3,000 in 2017

According to the report the actual suspension of supply depends on the amount due and the length of time for which the debt has been due
According to the report the actual suspension of supply depends on the amount due and the length of time for which the debt has been due

A total of 2,053 households and 924 businesses had their electricity supply disconnected after failing to pay pending bills in 2017.
This represented a decrease in the number of disconnections which peaked in 2015 and 2016 when over 11,700 consumers had their electricity disconnected, up from just 488 in 2012 and 570 in 2013.

This emerges from statistics presented by the Regulator for Energy and Water Services (REWS) in a report presented to the European Commission on Malta’s adherence to EU directives on common rules for the internal market in electricity.

Any customer failing to pay a bill within 45 days from the date of issue of the bill receives a reminder requesting the settlement of the outstanding amounts within 10 days. In the event of non-payment, the customer receives a final notice to settle amounts due within seven days otherwise the supply could be suspended.

According to the report the actual suspension of supply depends on the amount due and the length of time for which the debt has been due. Customers who are unable to pay their bills are afforded the facility to enter into an agreement with Enemalta to pay their bill by installments, so as to avoid disconnection. In general, the reactivation of supply after disconnection due to nonpayment takes place within 24 hours of the settlement of debts.

The report also reveals that in 2017, 20,488 consumers – which amount to 8.3% of all households – qualified for an energy benefit. These include families with low incomes, households having a family member with a disability, families on social assistance or special unemployment benefit, and persons on a pension or a carer’s pension. The percentage of consumers receiving the benefit dropped from 11% in 2014 to 8% in 2015 and has remained stable in the next years.

The report also confirms a spike in power cuts in 2017.

On average in 2017 electricity consumers lost a total 418 minutes (7 hours) to unplanned power cuts up from just 101 minutes in 2016 and 173 minutes in 2015. The report attributes this increase to a number of failures in the Italy-Malta interconnection, attributed to weather related issues on the Sicilian side.

Report forecasts spike in energy demand

The report forecasts that energy demand is set to increase from the current 2,615,261 MegaWatt Hours to 3,200,000 MWh in 2025, a substantial increase of 22%.

The peak system demand is expected to reach 540 MW by 2020, to around 600 MW by 2025 and 630 MW by 2030.

Malta currently has a capacity of 588 MW derived from power stations producing energy derived from fossil fuels. So far the highest peak of energy demand ever was recorded on 10 August 2018 at 3pm when the demand peaked at 488 MW – the highest peak on record.

Meanwhile a total of 3290.05 GigaWatt hours of LNG was imported into Malta in 2017, 97% of which was imported from outside the European Union. The demand for LNG is also forecasted to grow from 12,000 MWh per day in 2020 to 13,000 MWh per day in 2030.

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