electric power monopolies

mondongo

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Jan 1, 2002
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Quesion for Fabio and others:

In another thread, a poster mentioned that there might exist legal monopolies set up by the central government that would prohibit citizens from forming their own private power grids.

1) If this is true, is it constitutional?
2) Can I sue the goverment and Electric companies to let me run my own mini-power grid?

thanks in advance
 

GringoCArlos

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Jan 9, 2002
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I believe that written into the Electricity Law is a proviso that says that if you generate electricity and if anyone else is connected to the power source, you need the permission from the power generators to do so, or that this act is forbidden by the law. Either way, the law says you can't do it. I think this makes it constitutional.

PS - sue the gobierno? por favor. Nails sticking up are always the first to get hammered down. It is usually better to beg forgiveness than to ask permission. When you do it, just don't hire a publicist.
 

mondongo

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It just appears to me that as a citizen, I should have the right provide for myself and any others I wish. If there is a monopoly law, then maybe that law can be challenged somehow.
 
G

gigi

Guest
unconstitutional

Constitution is violated here many times a day, this is not civil state, they dont even have procedure to sue govt. emploees and officials to order them to comply with laws or constitution.

You dont have many rights as citizen in DR.
 

mondongo

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I am a permanent resident alien of the USA. By birth I am a citizen of the DR. I see it as having the best of both worlds.
 

Porfio_Rubirosa

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Mondongo,

Even in the US, the federal government has the power to regulate commerce. I used to be a cable tv regulator back when cable tv was treated like a utility, so I know how this works. There exist legal monopolies in the US. As "public utilities", though, they are heavily regulated and rate controlled.

The crazy thing about the DR is that power distribution is a semi-privitized legal monopoly AND is, essentially, unregulated.

The difficulty with creating your own grid in the face of Dominican law would be, as I see it, that the power companies themselves, if they uncovered it, would be highly motivated to "get you".

I understand you interest though. It seems that microturbines running off of retail diesel fuel could produce electricity more cheaply.

Gigi,

Is it true that there is no equivalent to the common law "writ of mandamus" in the DR? That is to say, there is no legal action available to compel a government official to carry out an affirmative duty under the law?
 

mondongo

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Porfio, I know little regarding the contracts between the power generators, distributors and the government. What I have gleaned over the last year or so is that all of the above are out to screw you.

In the USA, the utility monopolies ARE reasonably well regulated. You dont hear of much more than 5% increase in any one year....never mind the 100% increase we are seeing in the DR.

What I read today in the DR1 news brought a new wave of frustration over me. Unio Fenosa took out a loan with its parent company at twice the prevailing rates. I am sure that they have a pact with the government that guarantees them a "profit".

By taking out this exhorbitant loan, they illegally (or at least unethically) inflate their expenses. This probably triggers a provision on their contract with the government that allows them to increase prices.

They are basically playing similar games that Enron, Global Crossing,et al... played on Wall Street. Except that at least some of these American excecutives are now going to jail.

I am just conjecturing. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.
 

Porfio_Rubirosa

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Mondongo,

I think you have it more or less right, except that Enron, Worldcom, etc, were about cooking books to show revenues that never existed. In the DR, it real, and not imaginary, theft.

If some responsible people in the Dominican government (oxymoron?) don't get in there soon and apply some leverage, the country's economy is really doomed. How can a modern country survive without a predictable power supply and/or cost?
 

Golo100

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Jan 5, 2002
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Wrong!!!

I know guys who have set up their own power companies. There is one in Capotillo who had everyone in the neighborhood chip in for a transformer, then wired everybody for $1000 including wiring, then everytime he needs some cash he does something to the cabling and goes around collecting more money to fix it.

Of course, these highly ingenious entrepeneurs lead a risky life too. 1 out of five die hanging from CDE cables in their second year of operations.hehehe

TW
 

Porfio_Rubirosa

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There is a story in today's DR1 news about a private windmill energy company in Bavaro that is able to sell electricity to "hotels" and "new housing developments". Does the CDE, then, NOT have a monopoly on power sales???
 

Hillbilly

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Jan 1, 2002
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If I'm not mistaken, that company is already suppluying power to those areas...they are just going to invest in renewable generation. As some of the posters know very well this technology still has a way to come, but it is workable...They had better be careful where they locate: (1) Hurricanes and (2) Noise.

HB
 

Marc

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Jan 1, 2002
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www.haugen.ca
mondongopoly

Porfio_Rubirosa (mouthfull, ain't it?) already stated it, but in the power generation and distribution industry it is called regulation. This type of protectionism is found throughout the world in all types of industries. Not sure you'd get far with your case...but if you do, good on you!

Porfio - Power generation in the Bavaro area is on a seperate grid from the rest of the country as HB said, but I'm not sure that they are immuned to the distribution regulatory issues. News articles tend to simplify, and are typically incorrect in their generalisations....perhaps the windmills' energy will be sold to the hotels/housing sites via the distribution company...? Just a guess.

The bottom line on the power situation in the DR is it will not be fixed until the government quits stealing the money collected from the people.

If power bills are as high as RD8000+ per month (from another post) it would be easy to build a business case to be self sufficient with an invertor/generator/solar panel setup.

That kind of power bill is sick. Then again so is the $300CDN natural gas bill I just got for October...and it ain't even cold here yet! AAAAAAAAHHHHH!

Salud
Marc
 

MommC

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Mar 2, 2002
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Geez Marc....what size house are you heating???? I heat over 4000sq.ft for a little over $125. per month and that includes all the hot water for showers and laundry you'd ever want or need!!
Also I heard a lot of complaints about the 100% increase in power rates here in Ontario but mine hardly went up at all.....
Hope I don't have a heart attack when I see my electric bills in the DR. I'm sure they're at least 3x what I pay here in Canada judging by the recent posts.
 

Porfio_Rubirosa

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Viva Tim Hortons

Marc,

Do you know what the start-up investment for a solar-generator-invertor system might be in the DR and what typical fuel consumption might be given sunlight conditions in the country??? Does it require substantial ground or roof space for the panels??? How heavy are the panels??? I'm seriously thinking about getting off the grid. I currently have a small power invertor, but that means I'm still reliant on Maffia Gas & Electric to charge it.

Viva Tim Hortons, Molson, round bacon and mayonaise on everything!!!

P.S. Marc, you may want to do a websearch on "Porfirio Rubirosa" to learn about the "mouthfull".
 
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mondongo

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Porfio, my 2 cents.

Solar: costs US$5,000 to US$10,000 per khw to install...energy source free, of course...efficiency 10%.batteries and inverter needed.

Diesel generator: US$500 to US$750 per kwh to install....energy is diesel fuel...dont know what it costs in the DR....US$2/gallon?...efficiency up to 40%....one gallon of diesel will run 6 hours while outputing 2kW..outputs AC directly...

Solution:maybe a combination of both.

PS Check out this website...excellent for comparing all forms of energy.

http://www.energy.ca.gov/distgen/equipment/photovoltaic/cost.html
 

Porfio_Rubirosa

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SJH and Mondongo,

Thanks for the info. Diesel has the disadvantage of being noisy and smelly (not to mention bad for the environment), but I guess it may be necessary.
 

JOHNNY HONDA

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Sep 25, 2002
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Porfio
Check with Tom F who posts here he worked a long time installing solar panels in the campos here for a private group called sol luz out of Los Charamicos Sosua,Im sure he can give you all the info you need
Ciao
Johnny:cool: