Venezuela begins 2010 with electricity rationing


A sign of things to come in America? Who knew Hugo Chavez was so into the Green “thing”. According to Breitbart, the new regulations came into effect January 1, with businesses required to comply with reduced consumption limits and authorities warning of forced power cuts and rate hikes if the measures are not followed.

A decree published on Christmas Eve states that commercial centers may operate from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm on the electricity grid, but beyond that establishments would have to operate off-grid, using their own generators.

Venezuela is flush with oil — the country’s primary export — and natural gas, but relies mainly on hydroelectric generation to meet domestic energy demand.

With the country in a widespread drought, late last year Chavez announced a sweeping campaign to reduce widespread energy “waste,” stressing that rationing was necessary to avoid a systemic “collapse.”

Shopping centers in Caracas Saturday opened at the appointed new hour, although industry representatives called for extending the time frame, arguing that night-time energy consumption is less than 10 percent of the total.

The power crunch is expected to have an impact on a wide variety of businesses, including cinemas, casinos and bingo halls.

Establishments failing to comply with the measures could face outages for a period of 24 hours, and up to 72-hour suspensions “in case of recidivism,” according to the decree.

The regulation also orders businesses to institute savings plans aimed at shedding consumption by at least 20 percent, a measure that will be evaluated monthly by the newly-created ministry of electricity.

The article continues at Breitbart.

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