Latest Energy Saving Measures Shortens Work Week to Two Days

Venezuela will reduce the public sector work week part of a national effort to address severe drought and energy conditions.

By Jeanette Charles
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Vice-President Aristóbulo Istúriz and other government officials visit the Guri Dam. (Vice-President's office)
Vice-President Aristóbulo Istúriz and other government officials visit the Guri Dam. (Vice-President's office)

Los Angeles, April 28, 2016 (venezuelanalysis.comOn Tuesday, Vice-President Aristóbulo Istúriz announced the government will shorten the public sector work week to two days: Monday and Tuesday. This is the latest energy saving measure part of a national effort to conserve energy and the Guri Dam’s critical water levels.

“Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will not be included in the public sector work week except to fulfill fundamental, necessary assignments. Likewise, [elementary] schools will not be open on Fridays,” Istúriz clarified. Emergency services are exempt from these energy saving changes.

Istúriz made the announcement during a visit to the Guri dam, Bolivar state. He was accompanied by Minister of Electric Energy Luis Motta Dominguez, Minister of Mining and Oil Industry Eulogio Del Pino, Minister of Ecosocialism and Water Ernesto Paiva, as well as the commander of the National Guard General Néstor Reverol and other energy officials

President Nicolás Maduro confirmed the latest measures during a national television broadcast.

“The public sector will work Monday and Tuesday, while we go through these critical and extreme weeks," said Maduro.

Public sector workers will continue to receive their regular salaries despite spending less time in their offices.

The Vice-President reminded Venezuelans that, “Venezuela has suffered a severe drought over three years, the worst in the last 40 years, which urges us to take these series of measures.”

The Guri reservoir, located in the state of Bolivar, has dropped to a record low reaching just 1.6 meters above the official “catastrophe point” confirmed Minister of Electrical Energy Motta Domínguez. Below this critical level, the turbines risk breaking down.  

Foreign Relations Minister Delcy Rodriguez wrote via her official Twitter, "Venezuela will request international counsel from the United Nations to address the extreme drought caused by the El Niño phenomenon...Climate change, a consequence of capitalism, threatens to destroy the ecosystem and human life on our planet."

"Our call is for national consciousness when using energy resources #ElNiñoIsNotAGameTakeItSeriously," she continued. 

The latest energy saving measures also include four hour power cuts across the country with the exception of the country’s capital.  

In an effort to strengthen other viable forms of energy, Istúriz announced that the government has incorporated 7,600 megawatts of thermoelectric energy into the national electric system, a national record.

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