By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Deputy Chief Reporter
BAHAMAS Power and Light executives have urged consumers to submit claims in instances where they believe frequent disruptions might have damaged appliances. And as load shedding is expected to continue for several more days, the company is also making an appeal for consumers to save energy.
Acting Chief Operating Officer Ian Pratt said consumers may find the claims process tedious, but said it must be followed in order to determine whether appliances can be fixed or replaced.
BPL Chairman Donovan Moxey further apologised for such occurrences.
“So the process itself involves submission of a claim form,” Mr Pratt said yesterday. “What sometimes customers have difficulty with is in order for us to actually process the claim we need to have some indication of what happened to the equipment.
“So one of the requirements is to have an appliance repair technician look at the equipment to determine whether or not it can be repaired and that does two things for us: it tells us what happened to the device because you can look at a device and determine if it was a power problem based on the type of damage that you’re seeing and it also indicates to us whether or not it can be repaired or not and therefore we would know what price we have to pay.
“But there are a lot of concerns sometimes from customers about having to go out and find an appliance repair technician company that can provide those services but it’s a necessary part of the process.”
“We have to have the information for us to be able to determine what happened to the device and so that is a necessary part of the process and so we actually encourage you if you incur this cost (for a company to look at appliances) to submit it along with the claim as well so that it can be considered,” Mr Pratt said, when asked if any effort was being made to make the process easier.
For his part, Mr Moxey invited consumers to submit claims to allow BPL to rectify cases as soon as possible.
On the issue of energy conservation, Mr Moxey said power saving measures are also likely to lessen BPL’s need to load shed.
These measures include changing light bulbs, unplugging appliances that aren’t in use and switching off lights.
“If people can conserve energy to the point where that generation capacity that’s required gets reduced, that helps everybody, so it really minimises the load shedding,” Mr Moxey said.
“So one of the things that we are doing within our PR and marketing department is talking to Bahamians about how best to conserve energy and that goes from changing out light bulbs, getting high efficiency appliances, putting insulation in your home so that your air conditioning is not running as long as it should and turning off lights in rooms that are not being utilised.”
He also said: “Again conservation is something that all of us can get involved with and so at the end of the day if we reduce our need for the amount of generation it can help everyone by minimising the load shedding activities and exercises that we go to.”
Regarding efforts at state owned facilities, Mr Moxey said over the next several months officials would be rolling out initiatives to cut back on energy consumption.
He said using solar panels at the Office of the Prime Minister and other government offices will be first on the agenda.