Neoenergia will be the first company in the electricity sector to contribute with the municipalities within its distributors' concession areas in the immunization campaign against Covid-19. The company will donate scientific refrigerators for storing vaccines in 672 cities served by Coelba (BA), Celpe (PE), Cosern (RN) and Elektro (SP/MS). The initiative has considered the cities with the lowest Municipal Human Development Indexes (MHDI) and is part of the Energy Efficiency Program (PEE) regulated by the National Electric Energy Agency (Aneel). The donation of this equipment amounts to R$ 7.5 million, which is added to further actions already carried out by the company aimed at combating the pandemic, such as the purchase of tests in partnership with Fiocruz and the donation of respirators, for an amount as high as R$ 20 million.
"At this point when the vaccination campaign is the solution to curb the Covid-19 pandemic, we support the municipalities in most need in our concession areas, which need adequate refrigerators to safely vaccinate the population. With this initiative, which was fully supported by Aneel, we reaffirm our commitment to bring more than energy to society," said Mario Ruiz-Tagle, Neoenergia's CEO.
The new refrigerators will be assigned to the municipalities served by the distributors in the Northeast with MHDI up to 0.61 and, in São Paulo, with the index up to 0.74. 296 municipalities will benefit in Coelba concession area, 136 in Pernambuco, 95 in Rio Grande do Norte and 131 in São Paulo.
The state governments of Bahia, Rio Grande do Norte and São Paulo, in charge of managing the immunization programs and partners in the action, will each receive two refrigerators, with a capacity of 280 liters and 420 liters respectively. São Paulo's Health Department will receive seven 280-liter units.
The installation of each scientific cooler is expected to inject a charge of 89 kW and annual consumption of 781 MWh into the electrical system, which will be offset by the collection, in each municipality, of two old refrigeration units and the donation of efficient light bulbs to health centers, hospitals and low-income residential consumers.
The scientific refrigerators have programmable and constant temperature between 2ºC and 8oC, in addition to alarms for warning of power outage and rechargeable batteries to provide cold temperature in the event of any incident in the supply, with up to 12 hours autonomy. The equipment features sensors and a remote alarm system, which makes phone calls in the event of a drop in temperature or the battery is at a low level.
The conservation chambers to be donated by Neoenergia are made in Brazil and have a capacity of 280 liters, enough to store around 18 thousand doses of 0.5 ml.
To be eligible to receive the new equipment, municipal and state governments are required to deliver old refrigerators and freezers to Neoenergia's distributors, at the companies' UTDs (Territorial Distribution Unit) The company will remove substances such as CFC (chlorofluorocarbon) gases, which can contribute to the greenhouse effect, and provide the proper disposal of equipment.
"By using as a strategy the collection of old refrigeration equipment not suitable for vaccine conservation, we are offsetting the 89 kW increase in load. Neoenergia's initiative has a high social impact for the regions where we operate and is aligned with the group's commitment to fight climate change and energy waste", emphasizes Ana Christina Macarenhas, Neoenergia's Energy Efficiency manager.
The cities that are going to receive the new vaccine refrigerators will also benefit from replacement of lamps with more efficient LED models. Over a year and a half, around 25,000 lamps will be replaced at health centers and clinics and a further 100,000 directly for the low-income population. Thus, both the municipalities and the residents of these cities will be able to have savings on their energy bills and adopt more sustainable habits.
This initiative is part of Iberdrola group's response to Coronavirus .