Staff Reporter
IN 2003, GESA, the Gas and Electricity Board, managed to reduce the sums of money owed by clients in the Balearics by 12% but the so-called “historic debt” has continued to rise to 15.9 million euros. GESA describes as “very positive” the way it has balanced its books in 2003 taking into account the special circumstances surrounding the last 12 months. As at 31 December 2003, defaulters had left the company with a debt of 15.9 million euros (2'645 million pesetas), in comparison to the 16.2 million euros incurred in 2002. In real terms, the drop in the “historic debt” is 2%, to which a further 10% has to be added for the increase in demand. GESA claim that out of this figure, around 6.6 million euros (7.0 in 2002) related to debts contracted by everyday clients, 3.2 million euros (3.4 in 2002) by town councils, and the remainder by “special” clients and official organisations. In the last three years, GESA has been able to reduce considerably the debt owed by its clients. At the present time, GESA is assuming responsibility for close to the gigantic figure of half a million clients on Majorca, specifically 457'711. The total rises to 587'943 after adding subscribers from Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera. Yet again, the company registerd record demand for electricity supply this last summer. The increase in clients in the Balearics during 2003 numbered 10'028, with a percentage growth on Majorca of 2.2%, significantly inferior to the accumulated demand of 10.2%. Contracted power output has grown by 100'623 kilowatt hours (kwh), representing 73.6% of the total increase in the Balearics and a growth over the course of the year of 3.6%. As of this month, consumers will pay more for their electricity supply. Householders will witness a 1.47% increase in their bills and other clients (town councils, large companies and organisations) by 1.6%. GESA points out that the rise is less than one point of the cost of living index increase. Spokesman Maria Magdalena Frau claimed that from 1995 to 2003, prices for electricity in Spain have gone down by 33.44% in real terms.
The huge growth in demand for power in the Balearics is a result of massive purchasing of electrical goods, population increase and the tourist influx. During the final month of 2003, demand for electricity on Majorca reached 325.02 gigawatt hours (gwh) which represents an increase of 11.1% over 2002. The accumulated demand over the year reached 4.088.85 gwh, an increase of 10.2%.

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