Heatwave Strains Power Supply Across Laos: Electricity State Company Responds to Public Backlash

Electricity State Company Responds to Public Backlash
FILE: EDL staff fixing a battery on an electric poll (photo: Pathet Lao Daily)

Electricite Du Laos (EDL) has responded to the growing criticism for their delayed actions in addressing the frequent power outages due to high electricity demand seeking public patience and sympathy.

The continuous heat waves in Laos have sustainably heightened the electricity demand causing frequent power outages. This led to criticism towards EDL, the state electricity corporation, for their slow actions of maintaining the electricity supply.

“I have been trying to reach out to you [EDL] but my calls went unanswered all the time!,” vented a resident in the comment section of a post by EDL on 5 May. 

“Can they get their butts to my place now? I can’t sleep like this!” another resident ranted in a comment on Facebook.

The accumulated calls for repairs from numerous residents have driven EDL into a corner, resulting in the organization coming out to address the issue.

According to EDL, the use of electricity during hot weather has increased by 28 percent in recent weeks, as evident by more people using cooling machines, such as fans, air conditioners, and electric vehicles charging.

The massive utilization of electric power has caused distribution systems to become overloaded as demand outweighs the system’s capacity to generate sufficient electricity at sufficient voltage levels.

In the meantime, EDL is stepping up to install new cables and repair local distribution systems. The company is also upgrading transformers and replacing transmission lines in a total of nine districts in Vientiane Capital to ensure more power distribution.

However, strong winds and thunderstorms have made the process rather challenging as the tempest took down many electricity poles, one after another, causing more power outages in some areas.

Other incidents, from accidents involving vehicles and electricity poles to trees falling on cables,  also played a part in the repeated lights out. Transformers blowing can also cause power to be automatically cut off.

In the face of adversity, EDL is urging the public to remain patient and understanding as the corporation works diligently to put the situation under control.