Los Angeles, April 7th 2016 (Venezuelanalysis) - This Wednesday, President Nicolás Maduro announced new energy saving measures for the next 60 days to counteract the effects of “El Niño” as environmental conditions worsen.
The latest strategies include rationing electricity, water usage and temporarily removing Fridays from the public work calendar.
"We must make an active effort. I call on all the patriotic forces of the country, sensible men and women, heads of households and young people to adopt this plan with discipline, consciousness and collaboration ahead of nature's extreme conditions, a radical conduct based on love, solidarity and disciplined consciousness," Maduro emphasized.
Maduro made the announcement during his television appearance Wednesday evening on Con el Mazo Dando, hosted by Diosdado Cabello, former National Assembly president.
Venezuela's updated national energy saving plan will build on a series of measures taken last month to combat the climatic phenomenon.
Maduro confirmed that March's energy saving plan saved 400 megawatts and prevented a 22 centimeter loss for the Guri reservoir, located in Bolivar State. This national reservoir currently provides approximately 70% of the nation's power supply.
The government will also continue to distribute energy saving light bulbs throughout the country. Maduro noted that the government has replaced nearly 56 million light bulbs in the last three years and three million since September 2015.
Additionally, the head of state reiterated that institutions from the public and private sectors must generate their own electricity for nine hours daily as part of this new energy saving plan.
The government has previously mandated malls and other commercial institutions to generate their own electricity for four hours a day.
Industries including state operated aluminium and steel plants "should provide a special self-generation schedule and guarantee a 20% reduction in their electricity consumption,” indicated Maduro.
In addition to these direct changes, Maduro announced that the working week will be shortened by removing Fridays in April and May starting April 8.
"Weekends will be longer but we must increase our contribution," expressed Maduro. He called for workers in the public sector to set an example for the rest of the country and produce with their extra "day-off".
Current National Assembly president Henry Ramos Allup of the opposition bloc, publicly criticized Maduro's recent energy saving decree remarking via his twitter account.
"To solve the electrical chaos, the Miraflores genius extends nonsense non-working days. To fully resolve [the crisis] he should extend it to 365," stated Allup.
Venezuela is currently living through its worst drought in 47 years, pushing reservoir water supplies to a historic low and severely affecting the country’s electricity grid.