The intermittent quality of electricity services

Frequent and prolonged interruptions in the power supply can result in financial and welfare losses. Frequent interruptions can damage electrical appliances, while prolonged interruptions can spoil food, cause exposure to extreme temperatures, or prevent people from performing necessary activities, such as cleaning the house or studying. Prolonged interruptions harm industries, disrupt traffic - especially at intersections with traffic lights and at airports - and impair key services such as hospitals. The System Average Interruption Frequency Index (SAIFI) and the System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) are often used to assess the quality of the power supply. The SAIFI measures the frequency of interruptions and the SAIDI the average total duration of interruptions over a year for each client served. In 2018, the countries of the region experienced 16 unscheduled interruptions with an average duration of 33 minutes. The average is very high compared to developed countries, but varies widely among countries (figure 4.5).