Throughout the 1990s, the electricity sector in Dominican Republic provided substandard service, with inadequate generation capacity and frequent power cuts. The historical roots were a combination of politics, corruption and the inefficiencies of a state-owned monopoly. At times, the problems boiled over into national crises. Over the past decade, the Government restructured the sector and made major progress in most areas, including the professionalization of senior management of the distribution companies, better targeting of the subsidies, the revival in investments to rehabilitate the energy grids, and the strengthening of regulations. The service improved with an increasing number of clients receiving electricity 24 hours (around 791,000 or 35% of the market).
The World Bank-financed Electricity Distribution Rehabilitation Project in the Dominican Republic helped the Government to improve the quality of electricity service in the three electricity distribution companies. The project was successful in reaching 101,197 households, increasing the number of hours of service in the three distribution companies, and reducing the number and frequency, as well as the duration, of blackouts.
The activity supported the increase of the electricity quality services by ensuring that the electricity distribution companies prepared and executed grid rehabilitation projects. The projects increased the performance of the companies by
(a) achieving economies of scale and more competition in procurement,
(b) introducing “supply and installation” contracts,
(c) incorporating the best practices of the three Distribution Energy Companies (EDEs) in terms of both investments and community outreach, and
(d) having robust monitoring and evaluation so that lessons are learned and mistakes corrected faster.