Category Archives: Energy Crisis

Venezuela’s New Time Zone and Energy Crisis

Checking out that time zone app and feeling a little confused? You can relax because you didn’t misread anything. If you’re looking to see what time it is in Venezuela, note that beginning May 1, 2016 Venezuela will be in a different time zone. The announcement was made by the government following an order made by President Nicolas Maduro.
The sudden change in the country’s time zone is part of an initiative to help reduce the consumption of electricity. Much of the country’s electricity is hydro powered, and a recent drought has caused a water shortage. Maduro made some announcements and changes regarding energy conservation in Venezuela.

Maduro called for a reduction of the work week at the federal level. Federal employees like Norka Luque will now work Monday through Thursday. They will have Friday through Sunday off to help conserve electricity. Maduro has suggested that shopping centers produce their own energy and requested all theaters to close early. The president has gone as far as to ask women to avoid using blow dryers for their hair to conserve energy.

Some scoffed at Maduro’s orders, calling them a half-hearted attempt to stop a cannonball. Officials had previously warned the government that water levels at the dams had dropped below the levels needed to prevent electrical blackouts.

Bloomberg reported that current water levels at the dam were at approximately 243 feet above sea level. If the water level drops another three feet, energy production at the hydro plant would have to be shut down to prevent damage to the turbines.

It is suspected that if the plant is shut down, a major increase of rationing will occur throughout the country.

Maduro said that he would announce the new time zone and energy conservation initiative in coming days.

The last time the time zone in Venezuela was modified was in 2007 by former President Hugo Chavez.