The state's monopoly on electricity markets in Honduras has ended as a result of the research and advocacy of Fundación Eléutera, a local Atlas Network partner that has been a consistent advocate for private companies to enter into the market.
Eléutera's research was critical to the passage of la Ley General de la Industria Electrica (the General Law of the Electricity Industry, known by its Spanish acronym LGIE) in 2014, and since then, the organization has worked with regulators, policymakers, and other stakeholders to bring private producers into the newly modernized market. In November 2019, the market was opened to cash transactions for immediate delivery of services, a process known as spot markets. Although the law has not been fully implemented, eight out of 70 private companies in the country have registered with the government for future inclusion as providers.
Fundación Eléutera believes proper implementation of Ley General de la Industria Electrica will increase kilowatt usage while also reducing the overall price of electricity. “If done properly, in 15 years we will have triplicated the kW consumption per capita and reduced the price for the end-user by 30-40 percent,” explained Fundación Eléutera’s chair, Guillermo Peña Panting.
After the initial bill was passed in 2014, Fundación Eléutera's expertise was tapped by the National Electricity Regulator (CREE), and they were asked to sit on the board of the System Operator. At the time, the state electricity company, ENEE, was the only buyer in the system and the spot market was not operational. Today, the market is open, and Peña is looking ahead to the goal of getting wholesale and spot markets operational and large consumers to register in the market.
Fundación Eléutera received a Joining Up to Minimize Poverty (JUMP) grant from Atlas Network in support of their work to promote the implementation of Ley General de la Industria Electrica.