In an increasingly connected world, electric energy is a critical product in people's lives and to the development of the cities. Present every day, everywhere, energy is the fuel of the economic growth, accelerating industrial production, enabling the use of new technologies in hospitals, schools, and in our homes, bringing comfort and well-being.
Celebrating the milestone of six million customers, representing 15 million inhabitants, Coelba launches this Monday (2), an advertising campaign named “Conexões Reais" (“Real Connections"), with real characters, who are customers of the distributor, showcasing the significance of electric energy in their lives. The company's purpose is to be even closer to its customers and ensure quality of the energy supply, so critical to the people's lives.
With this commitment, Coelba has made, in 2018, the biggest investment in its history: 1.8 billion Brazilian reais. Among the investments made, is the construction of seven new substations and 26 new high voltage lines, expansion of five substations, as well as investments in the electrical network automation. The automation system, also known as Self-Healing, enables the automatic reconnection of the electrical network, restoring energy supply in the shortest time possible, sometimes in just a few seconds, and reducing at the maximum level possible the number of customers impacted by energy outage. The automated network is a part of the investments aimed at increasing the reliability and quality of the concessionaire's energy supply.
And more investments are being made. Only in the first half of 2019, Coelba has invested R$1.003 billion. Most part of this amount is allocated to the automation of its substations and network equipment, in refurbishing substations, transmission lines and distribution network, as well as investments to expand the distribution system.
The results are translated into a continuous evolution in the improvement of the energy supply quality indicator, DEC - Consumer Equivalent Interruption Duration. In 2018, Coelba recorded the amount of 14.44 hours, a 27.18% decline versus 2017, when it reached 19.83 hours. And in 2019, this indicator was lowered again, to 12.66, and was below the limit set by Aneel, the electric industry regulator, which was set at 14,46h. Thus, 2019 DEC is 36.15% lower versus 2017 year-end, and 12.66% below the regulatory limit.
The contact means with customers also are a part of these investments. Digital service channels already represent 85% of all transactions made by customers, were 67% were made through the website and over 10% through the app. With convenience and agility, the customer is able to issue a copy of the invoice, notify energy outage and check the payment history, among other services. Energy outage may also be informed through SMS to 26560, informing the registry number of the contract. .
For face-to-face contact, over 400 accredited facilities are available throughout Bahia state. Stores for customer service feature trained assistants, free Wi-Fi area, computers, self-service kiosks and digital migration agents, who help customers in using Coelba's digital channels.
Through Coelba website, customers may schedule a face-to-face service, in a specific time. Phone number 116 is also available for requesting concessionaire's services. In social networks (facebook, instagram and twitter), customers may interact, seek information and clarify doubts.
Corporate customers and real estate companies are also provided with an exclusive service channel. Coelba's website includes a Corporate Portal and a Real Estate Portal for performing various commercial services, and includes information to the interest of such audiences, aiming at a faster service.
Coelba also carries out the management of the biggest Rural Electrification Program in the country, with investments of R$5.2 billion from the concessionaire and a financial contribution from the Federal Government since 2004, when the Program was kicked-off. Over 634 thousand connections have already been made in the state, fostering the economic development and improving the quality of people's lives.
Such investments boost an ongoing transformation across the company and promote the engagement of our over 18 thousand own and outsourced employees, with the purpose of providing the best service possible to each of our six million customers. We are committed to a relentless improvement, aimed to increasingly win the respect and admiration of our customers. Together, we build real connections.
The campaign will be disseminated in multiplatforms, during two months, in mass communication means (TV, radio, billboard, bus billboard and internet), social networks and actions in the service stores, throughout Bahia. In Coelba's social networks, a webseries will be launched, comprising 05 videos with real characters, telling their personal histories and highlighting the significance of electric energy in their lives. Follow these real connections, accessing @coelbaoficial, in facebook; @oficialcoelba, in twitter, @coelbaoficial, in youtube; or @coelba_oficial, in instagram.