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A T&TEC emergency maintenance crew repairs a line on Quenca Street, San Fernando, yesterday.

The Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) is projecting a 60 per cent loss in revenue as the restrictions in place for COVID-19 continue.To mitigate further losses, the company is expected to re-open its own payment centres soon in order to allow customers to pay their bills.

This was the word from T&TEC’s corporate communications manager Annabelle Brasnell yesterday, as she said the drop in revenue was as a result of a combination of the business shutdowns and reduced collections.“It is projected that at the end of April, we would have had a 20 per cent reduction in revenue because of the reduced consumption and a 40 per cent reduction based on collections, a total of 60 per cent reduction in our collections,” Brasnell said.

However, she was unable to put a dollar value to the drop in revenue.“I am unable to share that data at this time. However, 60 per cent is a substantial amount,” she said.Brasnell said customers have also been asking about the reopening of payment centres.“We wish to facilitate those customers. In order to do so safely we are currently doing additional infrastructural modifications at the service centres,” she said.

She said the additional infrastructure in the payment centres will help limit contact between the customers and employees.Despite reports of outages in areas throughout the country, Brasnell assured that T&TEC was not engaging in load-shedding.“While more people are home, the consumption of electricity is actually down,” she said.“This is because most business places are closed. Therefore, the question of extra usage does not apply, neither does the question of load-shedding due to insufficient capacity.

“Additionally, we do not have a shortage of generation capacity to provide electricity to meet the current demand. All power producers have confirmed in writing that they have activated all action plans to provide necessary capacity to the commission.”

The company has maintained its call-out crew rotation to ensure that customers are not out of service for long, she said.“Crews are working as normal in all areas, responding to emergencies and completing critical work required to keep the grid stable,” Brasnell said.She said T&TEC, due to the pandemic, has ceased all non-critical maintenance jobs.

“However, from time to time we may have to schedule temporary interruptions for urgent repairs and maintenance,” she said.