Neoenergia today began integrating the electricity distribution company Companhia Energética de Brasília (CEB-D) into the group, one of the largest in Brazil's energy industry, which now takes over the supply of electricity to 1.1 million clients (more than 3 million residents) in the country's capital Brasilia.
Neoenergia is committed to expand investments while implementing a sustainable management model that ensures the quality of supply and respect for human and natural resources. Infrastructure investments will aim to make the region it services even more attractive for new enterprises to relocate to, while contributing decisively to economic growth and job creation. In 2021, the business plan foresees investments three times greater than the annual amount historically allocated by CEB-D.
Resources will be particularly directed to the expansion, automation and modernization of the electricity system, focusing on the quality of supply, customer satisfaction and public safety. Over 150 automatic circuit reclosers, 50% more than those currently existing in the concession area, are planned to be installed in the first year alone. The smart equipment identifies and isolates defective sections of the network, allowing for a faster restoration of supply in the event of interruptions.
Thorough mapping of locations for network improvements will be started immediately by the new management. The work will involve the inspection and maintenance of more than 10,000 kilometres of distribution networks, more than 700 kilometres of transmission lines (covering 100% of the total) and all 41 substations. Furthermore, the investment plan foresees the modernization and expansion of the service capacity through the installation of new transformers and the construction of interconnection circuits and high voltage lines, in order to improve the continuity and reliability indicators of the energy supply.
Mario Ruiz-Tagle, CEO of Neoenergia, said: "Neoenergia reinforces its intention to transform CEB-D into a national benchmark for quality and reliable energy supply. To this end, the company's investment plan provides solid resources to expand, modernize and automate the power grid. The investments anticipate future demand, provide the network with modern technology and increase the capacity of electricity distribution."
Ruiz-Tagle also revealed the group's intention to start work immediately. "While the investments are immediate, they have been planned in a way that provide the basis for a medium to long-term business strategy. The investments in networks technology are lasting and, undoubtedly, will result in efficiency gains. Therefore, given an intelligent business logic, the sooner they are implemented, the greater the return and benefits for our customers", he concludes.
Present in 18 Brazilian states and now also in the Federal capital Brasilia, Neoenergia, an Iberdrola group company, controls the electricity distribution companies Coelba (BA), Celpe (PE), Cosern (RN) and Elektro (SP and MS). The incorporation of CEB-D provides an opportunity to gain intra-group synergies by reducing operating costs through the common procurement of inputs and equipment.
In this first stage, customer service will continue through the existing communication channels, i.e. by phone, physical offices and the portal https://agenciadigital.ceb.com.br/. To provide more convenience to its clients in the demands for information and services, Neoenergia will this year promote a series of innovations with the implementation of new digital services, including digital customer service channels through WhatsApp, as well as new ways to settle bills.
Neoenergia will also have a proactive contact with consumers - with communications by email, SMS, Whatsapp and other platforms -, new payment modalities, such as digital wallets and credit card and the implementation of a digital trading portal. Some of these initiatives will begin to be implemented in March.
Another important focus will be the safety of people and operations. The company will promote operational measures to combat irregular grid connections that represent a potential risk of accidents. These measures will be supported by awareness and prevention campaigns.
As part of its commitment to the territories where it operates, Neoenergia will contribute to job creation through hiring new operational teams to work in energy networks. The company will also establish partnerships to develop schools for electricians that may incorporate trained students to the company's staff. Skills training enhances professional qualifications in the Federal District and prioritizes recruiting local workforce.
In relation to commercial equipment and services, the company will apply the Neoenergia group policy of acquiring the materials and services it needs from local suppliers and from other states in Brazil. The objective is to maintain our percentage of 99% of purchases made in Brazil.