By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
The Bahamas Telecommunications Company’s (BTC) chief executive says both the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) and Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC) could significantly reduce their receivables by introducing a pre-paid system similar its own.
Leon Williams, speaking to the Bahamas Society of Engineers (BSE), suggested this could be done over BTC’s data network. “It is a data network, so there is no elasticity of demand,” he explained.
“No matter what I do I can’t get you to make more phone calls than you could make. I have to find new ways on how I will do the data network. My job is for my marketing people to go to BEC and Water and Sewerage, and say to them rather than disconnecting people, and rather than sending out meter readers, do what BTC has done.
“Let us do prepaid electricity, let’s do prepaid water. Let people come and top-up the way the top up their phone. We can reduce the accounts receivable at BEC and Water and Sewerage; do prepaid. BTC did it successfully.”
Last December, Minister for the environment and housing, Kenred Dorsett, said the Government would explore implementing a “pay as you go” metering and billing system, in a bid to slash the Bahamas Electricity Corporation’s (BEC) nine-figure accounts receivables and help consumers manage their energy consumption.
While speaking at the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation’s (BCCEC) Energy Security Forum, Mr Dorsett said the possibility of developing such a system would be explored with the aid of the Washington-based Carbon War Room (CWR).
Dionisio D’Aguilar, a BEC Board member under the former Ingraham administration, has frequently urged the Government to introduce such electricity meters throughout the Bahamas.