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Bpl’S Bills Blitz In Family Islands

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

HUNDREDS of Bahamas Power and Light customers in the Family Islands could be left in darkness for failure to adequately pay their bills, beginning on March 15.

This decision, The Tribune understands, stems from frustration at the corporation that many customers across several Family Islands do not pay their bills consistently.

Among these, according to sources, is a vast cross section of customers in the MICAL constituency who have not made any payments to BPL for over a year.

BPL chairman Donovan Moxey confirmed the disconnections will start in a little under a month to accounts 60 days in arrears and owing $300 or more.

The company has undertaken a full-scale media campaign to advise customers that mass disconnections are coming.

Some of the constituencies to be targeted include Exuma and Ragged Island and MICAL.

“We don’t want to use the term mass disconnection exercise,” Mr Moxey said. “Where we are right now is this: as BPL from a policy standpoint everybody has been informed that any account that’s 60 days or more past due with a balance of $300 or more is subject to disconnection.

“Now one of the issues that we face as BPL is sometimes we have situations where customers have been allowed to continue on for months and months and months without making payment. That’s detrimental to BPL as well as to the customer.

“And so what we are trying to do is bring some structure around our policy as it relates to payment of bills and as it relates to disconnection exercises. So what you would have seen is information that’s gone out to the public that (says) listen if you have a balance that is more than $300 and if you are 60 days or more in arrears as per our policy that you are now a candidate for possible disconnection.

“And so we just want customers to be aware of that.”

Mr Moxey said BPL is looking to ensure the public understands what BPL’s policy is so that everyone does the best they can to adhere to that policy.

“Like I indicated earlier we are also working on options for our customers to be able to better pay their bills. So we want to have a really good comprehensive strategy around helping our customers pay their bills.”

About two months ago, BPL launched a holiday reconnection programme where it relaxed the disconnection policy for the holidays.

Customers whose electricity supply was disconnected could have power in time for Christmas if they paid 25 percent of their past due balance.

Regarding this programme, Mr Moxey said the board made a decision not to make public how many customers took advantage of the relaxation plan.

“As a board we decided that we didn’t want to make that particular information known at the time because one of the other things that we are doing now.

“We are embarking on a number of programmes to help our customers pay their bills. So what we wanted to do is put together a much more comprehensive list of programmes and then once we have those in place we can look at the statistics of how many customers took advantage of a wide range of programmes.”

Mr Moxey said there was a board meeting scheduled for tomorrow when some options will be discussed to better assist customers.

Comments

pingmydling 1 month ago

BPL & Ragged Island. Is that an oxymoron ?

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John 1 month ago

You see those big cruise ships that come to the Bahamas? Yes the new ones. Every single piece of equipment on them including engines, lights, a/c water makers, kitchen equipment are powered by fuel cell that can run a ship 20-25 years before it needs replacing. In some parts of Texas and Ohio and others, electricity is free from midnight to 6 am and other areas have incentives for consumers who use electricity off peak. So why are Bahamians still being saddled with electricity bills they cannot afford to pay. The whole fiasco in Venezuela is about preventing that country’s oil from reaching world markets. In economic terms Donald Trump would gently call it maintaining price stability, never mind millions of people are near to starvation. And ass more and more electric vehicles are produced and alternative forms of energy are used to power factories and plants and even cities, the more difficult it will be to maintain the price of oil. Beware : some also use war as an economic tool to create consumption or end recession.

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Clamshell 1 month ago

Yeah, OK, the price of oil, and Venezuela, and all that, yeah, true ... but that doesn’t explain why so many Bahamians have come to believe that they simply don’t have to pay their bills — utilities, credit cards, college loans, whatever.

Seems that everybody can afford cell phones and cars and the latest Miami hip-hop clothing and jewelry and a $200 hairdo, but claim they can’t pay for their water and power.

What IS it about this nation that has led to this belief?

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TheMadHatter 1 month ago

This is no big deal. A few more engine fires and everyone will be in darkness.

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John 1 month ago

Every home should seek to put in solar panels to power their fridge and water heater. And unless you have air- conditioning that will cut your electricity bill in half. For most homes the water heater doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Just placing a water tank in an area that gets most direct sunlight can work. And for homes with more hot water usage build a grid with a series of galvanized or copper pipes running to the tank.

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ohdrap4 1 month ago

the water heater you can turn on and off, but the fridge is a hog and requires batteries. it is not cost effective to run a fridge on solar power.

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pingmydling 1 month ago

John I appreciate your good intentions. I would venture to say however that affordable Engineering is not part of your expertise. To equip your average 3bed/2bath dwelling with A useful working solar system will cost in the region of $40000. ( including panels, batteries, Inverters, voltage regulating, plumbing, wiring, etc. etc.) Thats an up front initial cost. How many Bahamiams can afford that? Many cannot afford the $300 to BPL every month. On the private islands down through the Bahamas you see the systems installed and Performing great. Down East Street not so much.

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sheeprunner12 1 month ago

BPL needs to let the Out Islands go green ......... no need for them to be on dirty oil.

That is the first energy reform that Bannister can do ......... right now!!!!!!

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ohdrap4 1 month ago

solar energy is far from green, the batteries do not run on algae

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kairosmatt 1 month ago

Well if the government would make it legal to sell back to the grid you wouldn't need batteries because the grid itself would be storage.

It's not that it's dangerous, it's that they want every single Bahamian shackled to their antiquated, oil generating scam that enriches the government.

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pingmydling 1 month ago

Are you talking about Govt. Involvement or individual entrepreneurial initiative??

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pingmydling 1 month ago

I think you mean ALGAE. Education is a wonderful thing

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TalRussell 1 month ago

Yes, or no the comrades BPL, must've sourced their Out Islands generators from the same source Guardian Talk Radio bought their cheapie broadcasting sound system from, yes, no even more listener' annoying sounding than university students radio station?

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VDSheep 1 month ago

If these centralized polarized governments (PLP & FNM) can divorce their centralized colonial mentality away from putting most investments into New Providence and – start diversifying the country’s development outside of New Providence, we can and will do better. Make all alternative energy apparatus duty and tax free – create agencies to help with financing ‘ teach various alternative energy disciplines in university ‘ build a national agency for developing and executing a national policy for alternative energy – cut down and stop dependence on corruptive fossil fuel to drive energy – If only we could have good leadership that can see the future – now!

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Clamshell 1 month ago

P.S. ... Not one of the cruise ships visiting the Bahamas is running on fuel cells. Not one. They are still in the planning stages. Info here:

https://www.maritime-executive.com/ar...">https://www.maritime-executive.com/ar...

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ted4bz 1 month ago

Ok fine, so rather than targeting those trying hard to keep up with the electrical bill (but paying something) why not also target those who are paying nothing but are turned on illegally by their buddies at BPL? Some of these people have been on for years and no ones bothering them. It’s not like this is something new or that we don’t know about, we all live in ‘ neighbourhoods where there is at least one person or more illegally connected, and whose paying for this? No one but struggling paying customers, who else!

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