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U.S. Department of the Interior - Office of Insular Affairs
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Assistant Secretary Babauta Lends Assistance to the Marshalls Energy Company to Become Self Sustaining



November 10, 2009
For more information please contact:
Tanya Harris Joshua (202) 208-6008

Washington, D.C. – The Department of the Interior's (DOI) Insular Assistant Secretary Tony Babauta agreed to partially fund a proposal from the Marshall Islands Government and the Marshalls Energy Company (MEC) which would implement initiatives to assist MEC to become self sustaining.

Under the proposal submitted to DOI, the MEC seeks a three-pronged approach which would 1) install debit meters for accountability, 2) establish a meter-calibration program to ensure accuracy, and 3) install meter locks for security.

"I applaud the proposal of the RMI government and the Marshalls Energy Company to ensure the fair delivery of services to Marshallese residents," Babauta said.  "Plans such this one submitted by the MEC, work towards the goals of accountability and transparency, which in the end results in a more efficient system from the standpoint of both provider and consumer."

The DOI grant, from the Operations and Maintenance Improvement Program, in the amount of $200,000 will help to address studies which have shown that the MEC incurs a more than 10% loss from theft and non-payment of electric utility services.  This can result in millions of dollars a year in unrealized revenue.  The installation of electrical meters is intended to cut down on such loss and has been successful in other islands such as Kosrae and Palau.

This grant is subject to an equal matching requirement.