10% of the buildings in the Hamra area are connected to electricity incorrectly and in need of maintenance, while 4% of the buildings are connected in danger and need emergency care, according to a field study prepared last year by the “Izdihar Al Hamra team” of the “Relief” Center.
The study indicated that out of 634 buildings in the area in which about seven thousand people reside, only 30 of them have solar panels, while 59% of homes have a subscription with a private electric generator and their owners pay between 150,000 and 300,000 pounds to cover the electricity costs ( The sum of the two state electricity bills and the private generator subscription), while residents who do not have a generator subscription pay between 39,000 and 75,000 pounds.
These results paved the way for the establishment of a “civil council” to “dissect” the electricity crisis in the Hamra region, including experts and representatives of the region’s residents, with the aim of coming up with recommendations and solutions regarding options and access to electricity.
The energy researcher at the Issam Fares Institute at the American University of Beirut, Marc Ayoub, explained to “Al-Akhbar” that “Relief” set off from the Hamra area “because a previous survey was prepared and ready”, pointing out that the goal of the project “is to ask people about The alternative they envision, and inquire about their willingness to participate in the decision, and evaluate their knowledge of the crisis. He said that the council is “like a model that the owners of the project will work to circulate in various regions, and it includes various sectors, not just electricity.”
The Civil Council project, funded by the Social and Economic Research Council and the Biotechnology Research Council in the United Kingdom, stems from a major question: Can citizens work with experts to find solutions to the electricity crisis in Lebanon? Accordingly, about 30 participants from Hamra residents will meet next Friday with a number of experts, with the aim of “learning, deliberating and designing joint solutions to the electricity crisis in Lebanon, and ensuring access to affordable, reliable and sustainable electricity for all.”
The experts participating in the project believe that despite the overwhelming challenges afflicting the country, “Energy justice and democracy remain a critical task that must be pursued, as is the case with many other public services (…), as Lebanon does not only face chronic energy shortages due to sagging infrastructure. Indeed, energy subsidies represent 43% of the state budget deficit.