May 23, 2013
Blackouts continue to plague BA province and City residents
Consumers affected encouraged to seek compensation
Consumer and User Defence Association (ADECUA) vice-president Osvaldo Rioprede yesterday encouraged people experiencing prolonged blackouts to seek compensation from energy companies for damages caused by power failures.
Several Buenos Aires City and province neighbourhoods have seen recurring blackouts since summer began, with extremely high temperatures striking again last week, leaving furious residents without power for days.
In Buenos Aires City, large areas of the neighbourhoods of Almagro, Belgrano, San Telmo and Villa Cres-
po suffered blackouts over the weekend, leading Almagro residents to protest on the streets.
Edenor and Edesur energy companies revealed that repair works were being carried out to resume services to “individual clients,” but Riopedre suggested people take measures such as keeping supermarket receipts as proof of merchandise that perished as result of power failures to subsequently seek compensation.
The ADECUA vice-president recalled that in 2012 compensation of up to 400 pesos was paid out by energy companies according to the Consumer Defence law, but that companies are also obliged to compensate for damages and money spent on “a month’s shopping,” along with household items damaged as result of the blackout.
Industrial engineer and energy sector specialist Gerardo Rabinovich attributed the recurrence of power outages to the electric infrastructure of the country being “totally underfinanced” due to a “misguided” government policy.
Rabinovich argued that as result of government policies including the “freezing of tariffs and inefficient elimination of subsidies,” the infrastructure cannot cope with the increased demand that follows “heat spikes.”
The engineer dismissed Federal Planning Minister Julio De Vido’s allegation of sabotage causing the blackouts: “This is no surprise,” he claimed, “serious problems in the electric system began to occur after the 2002 crisis,” and with “an energy bill costing less than a meal at any neighbourhood restaurant even today,” “the money collected is not enough” to “to invest in distribution networks” and other improvement works.
Herald with DyN, Telam