Power utility firm has come over heavy criticism from a section of power consumers, who complained of dilapidated distribution system that occasion regular outages.
The consumers, especially those in upcoming commercial and urban indicate that while the company was swift in connecting new users, it take long to upgrade transformers and transmission lines to meet the demand.
“REG needs to do a proper assessment of its power system because it makes little sense to be connected when a stable supply is not guaranteed. Technicians here tell us that the transformers no longer support the area demand so the power goes off by 7 pm to return 12 hours later. It has been the case for three weeks now,” said Moise Tuyishime, a resident of Rutonde, a fast urbanising town of Rulindo District.
The area like others surveyed by Rwanda Today — Runda-Gihara in Kamonyi, Nyamata, Jabana, Rwamagana and parts of Nyabihu and Gisagara districts among others — have had consistent power problems after residential developments attracted commercial activities and workshops that add pressure on the grid.
Complaints from these areas and a few city neighbourhoods continue to dominate those that are directed to the company since last month.
Even though Rwanda Energy Group (REG) admits that demand spurred by fast expanding settlements and industrial activities have been exerting pressure on the quality of supply, its director for planning and development Claver Gakwavu, argues it could not directly be linked to the power outage incidences.
He indicates that most complaints about power outages were predominant in locations where the firm carries out infrastructure maintenance or modifications on the power lines while connecting new customers on the grid, and such outages were communicated to the public ahead, except for a few that happen due to external factors like accidents.
REG maintains that power transformers in urbanising locations and those with planned industrial parks were closely monitored for potential overload, and a number had been replaced while estimated 330 transformers were on watch as they are close to operating at set limits of 80 per cent laoding.