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New Bpl Chairperson Urges 'Patience'

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Deputy Chief Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

NEWLY appointed Bahamas Power and Light chairperson Darnell Osborne has urged “patience” among consumers while tying the new BPL Board to a loose timeline of a “few months” to enforce changes to spark improvements with the electricity provider.

She said the board is also seeking to revolutionize and improve the sector in order to keep the cost of electricity at reduced levels.

The board’s appointment is effective July 1.

“We have met a few times,” she told The Tribune recently. “ We had introductory meetings with the minister and then with stakeholders in an effort to be proactive in addressing the challenges that have accumulated over the years.”

Asked about the board’s position on the increased cost of electricity in these summer months, Mrs Osborne said there will be work done toward the government’s mandate of lowering the costs of electricity.

“The management team is responsible for the day-to-day operations. We as a board have met and we just ask that the public is patient as we revolutionize and improve the sector in order to keep the cost of electricity down for individuals and for businesses.

“Based on each of our backgrounds I think most of us are business owners and also just residential customers and we really understand and are working towards the government’s mandate of lowering the cost of energy in the country and also providing other alternative forms of energy for the country.”

She added: “We have had several discussions about the legacy debt, but I am not at liberty to discuss them just yet.

“But in a very short period of time you should begin to see some improvements over the next, I would say give us a few months. I would say a lot has accumulated. (There are) issues that we have to address, but, yes, the legacy debt is one of them and we have turned our attention to it.”

Earlier this month, Works Minister Desmond Bannister said while it is unfortunate that consumers have seen a significant increase in their BPL bills because of “faulty machinery,” the government cannot continue to absorb the cash strapped utility provider’s expenses.

Mr Bannister told The Tribune that BPL has a “huge legacy debt” and unfortunately the cost will have to be passed on to the public “directly or indirectly”.

He was responding to the Central Bank of The Bahamas’ monthly report that revealed that BPL’s fuel charge increased by 8.3 per cent to 13.7 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) on a monthly basis, and by 49.7 per cent when compared to May 2016.

In a statement, BPL explained that an increase in bills for the month of May was also caused by its reliance on engines at the Blue Hills Plant, which uses more expensive fuel than the Clifton Power Station.

Comments

sheeprunner12 1 year, 3 months ago

Bahamian cost of electricity is FOUR times what it costs in Miami ...... It is time to run a drop-cord to The Bahamas from Miami (FPL) while the Government decides what direction it wants to go with providing cheaper electricity for Nassau, GB and Abaco (20cents/KwH)

It would be cheaper to link NP, GB and Abaco with drop-cords (like BTC) ..... small islands only need solar farms or wind turbines ....... Get rid of the need to use diesel plants by 2025

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DDK 1 year, 3 months ago

The link between Bahamas and Florida would be one more hold cousin Sam would have over us. We should damn well be able to sort it out ourselves.

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sheeprunner12 1 year, 3 months ago

Who you rather screw us at this point????? ....... Uncle Sam who we know well ......... or Slippery Chink who we have no clue on what will happen next??

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DDK 1 year, 3 months ago

six of one......... You forget who's running U.S. of A. at the moment lol?

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DDK 1 year, 3 months ago

This is so much c-r-a-p. Why should we be patient? We have been patient for decades. This chairperson told us diddly. Why should the Minister dare ask us to accept higher costs for such atrocious service? Do these people understand that many Bahamians have no electricity in their homes NOW because they cannot afford the bills? Suggest they turn off their own power for a few weeks (no gennies allowed) and see how calm they remain). We were expecting the removal of VAT on the bill, not a bloody increase in rates. This worthless corporation has been allowed to destroy electrical appliances, business systems and even Christmas dinners for years. Legacy debt CANNOT be passed on to the public. It should be divided between MP's past and present.

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sheeprunner12 1 year, 3 months ago

Board Chairmen carry the bags for the Cabinet ....... do you expect reform??

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DDK 1 year, 3 months ago

If not, why not? It seems we constantly have to remind our Government of that fact. Sometimes I wonder how receptive they are....

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John 1 year, 3 months ago

Can the BPL chairman also have patience with us? Can he slash his salary by 50% until BPL gets it right or, at least, gets headed in the right direction. On a brighter note the power was off in my area from 1:00 p.m yesterday. BEC workers troubleshooting discovered a blown transformer around 9:00 last night. They worked from then until 6:00 am to restore the transformer and get the power back on. There aresome hard working and dedicated workers in the Bahamas. In fact many of them.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 3 months ago

I suspect the new BPL/BEC Chairperson enjoys an expensive generator that automatically provides electrical power to her home when the lights go out in her neighbourhood. Her generous pay as Chairperson of BPL/BEC allows her family to afford an expensive generator at home that runs not only the lights and refrigerator, but also air-conditioning so she can sleep in comfort during the hottest summer nights when the rest of us are dripping in sweat suffering from miserable and oppressive heat from the frequent long lasting BPL/BEC power failures. I suspect too that her husband, who is an actuary, will soon receive (if he hasn't already) a plum high paying job at National Insurance. Minnis has made a dreadful mistake appointing a mediocre at best bean counter (accountant/bookkeeper) as Chairperson of BPL/BEC. Darnell Osborne is totally out of her depth when it comes dealing with the very serious problems and issues at BPL/BEC. This is one appointment that gives me great pause for thought about the ability of Minnis to exercise good judgement as PM. The appointment of Kenyatta Gibson as Chairman of the Gaming Board is another!

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