Port-au-Prince, Haiti --- (METERING.COM) --- July 5, 2013 - A $25 million grant has been approved by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) towards reduction of electricity theft and other actions to transform and modernize the energy sector in Haiti.

The grant, the third from the IDB towards Haiti’s energy sector reform, is intended to support the government’s energy policy efforts and to turn the state utility Electricité d’Haïti (EDH) into a viable financial and operational company.

Electricity theft is rife in Haiti, with its low (34 percent) electrification rate and electricity prices among the highest in the world, and over 12 percent of the population are on illegal connections. A draft law preventing and sanctioning electricity theft has been pending since 2009 and the new grant will support its submission to parliament.

Other actions will include the installation of six smart meters at private provider locations to verify actual consumption and invoicing, and establishment of service and management standards for EDH.

The grant will also support the approval of a regulatory policy and creation of an entity to plan and provide oversight of the energy sector. A mechanism will also be created to foster the development of small renewable energy projects.

Previous grants have supported upgrading and loss reduction of the power distribution network in Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince, restoration of the Péligre hydroelectric plant, and the tapping of renewable resources such as solar energy in Haiti.