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Minister signals review of BPL tariffs

Bahamas Power and Light headquarters.

Bahamas Power and Light headquarters.

By KEILE CAMPBELL

Tribune Staff Reporter

kcampbell@tribunemedia.net

MINISTER of Energy and Transport JoBeth Coleby-Davis said she “believes” the government is looking at a full-tariff review after it was reported earlier this week that the power company bills Bahamians at double the global average.

“I can’t speak too much towards that because I’d have to get further detail on where BPL exactly is in doing that review but once we have more information I’ll be able to provide clarity or we’ll be able to get clarity from the sector itself,” the energy minister said.

Earlier this week, The Inter-American Bank’s (IDB) 2024-2028 country strategy for The Bahamas revealed that Bahamians are one of the highest paying in the Caribbean for electricity.

That report by the IDB outlaying the details of just how much Bahamians are paying for utilities comes after, Energy minister Coleby-Davis revealed during her mid-year budget debate earlier this month that Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) needs more than $1 billion to pay debts and upgrade it’s aging infrastructure.

She also revealed that Bahamians should see a gradual reduction in their electricity bills by July 2024 as the government has a plan which will see an improvement to the sector, though she nor Prime Minister Philip Davis have provided details of said plan.

Both have denied it involves the privatisation of BPL, despite the company’s unionised workers speaking out about hearing as such.

Earlier this month, the government revealed that “fundamentals” of a BPL deal have been agreed to, which will outsource the power utility company’s generation and transmission and distribution systems.

This has come under criticism from multiple Bahamians who are or once were stakeholders in the country’s energy sector including Bahamas Electrical Workers Union (BEWU) President Kyle Wilson, former Minister of Works responsible for BPL Desmond Bannister and former Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation (BCCEC) director Debbie Deal.

Comments

ThisIsOurs 2 months, 3 weeks ago

"I can’t speak too much towards that because I’d have to get further detail on where BPL exactly is in doing that review but once we have more information I’ll be able to provide clarity or we’ll be able to get clarity from the sector itself,” the energy minister said.

Exactly what's in the plan they said they cant tell anyone about yet if not a review of electricity rates and justification for whatever rate they settled on???

concernedcitizen 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Does anyone really believe outside companies are going to come in invest hundreds of millions of dollars and lower rates with only three hundred thousand odd customers to bill .

Socrates 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Successive socialist administrations decided all Bahamians will have electricity and those who live where it makes economic sense will have to pay to sustain it in the majority of places where it cannot be justified. Given that policy, inevitably the rates will always be inflated OR taxes will have to be imposed and money handed to BPL as a subsidy.. bottom line, you pay either way.

jamesg30 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Oh, if were so simple as to how you feel you have identified the problem. Electricity for all is not the primary reason for our costs being completely out of line. From under the table bribes to purchase inferior French made generators at Clifton, to multiple administrations ignoring the maintenance and replacement schedule elephant in the room, here we are. It is a mess and then some.

concernedcitizen 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Socrates watching too much Fox news and OAN..If your talking about Wartsila generators ,they are a Finish company and their generators are top notch : btw poor maintenance and sabotage we ruin them .

jamesg30 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm talking about the prosecuted government official who admitted taking a bribe, some years ago, in the decision to purchase French Made generators that were installed at Clifton Point. They were knowingly inferior to the competitive bids that were received. It was under the Ingraham administration. Doesn't matter what party it is, I was giving a factual data point related to one of the many reasons BPL is a bloated slob of of a company. Mr. Concerned Generator Man do your own homework and let everyone know that you were mistaken.

concernedcitizen 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I think the generators bought under HAI were Wartsila , Finish, but I could be wrong . Yes we have scoundrels in both political parties

jamesg30 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Tribune Business Editor

nhartnell@tribunemedia.net Stunned Bahamian politicians reacted with disbelief yesterday after it was revealed that a French energy company paid more than $300,000 in bribes to win a Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) contract. Yesterday’s $772 million plea agreement, struck between Alstom (formerly ABB) and the US Justice Department, reveals how the company covertly paid-off an unnamed Bahamian government “official” to win a bid to supply BEC with a generation unit more than a decade ago. The events, detailed by court documents seen by Tribune Business, mostly took place between 1999 and 2001, when the first Ingraham administration was in its second term in office. The Alstom plea bargain reveals how the French energy company hid payments to Bahamian officials, routing them through an unidentified American consultant, who was “a close personal friend” of one person able to “influence” the awarding of BEC contracts.

ThisIsOurs 2 months, 3 weeks ago

The "BEC bribe taker", the insurance executive. Yes. When these things happen instantly you know it's like cockroaches, if you see one, there are possibly hundreds hidden elsewhere. I believe that's the first and last time a Bahamian official was sent to jail for essentially misusing public funds. Amazing right? And much like FTX, the AG and the police didnt see anything amiss, it only happened because someone outside the country brought the scratching head in plain sight, or is it plane sight, evidence of some funny business.

You know almost every year I get some new insight into the bible. An insight that says these people who existed thousands of years ago had greater artificial intelligence than we do today. They wrote a text that in many ways transcends time.

"The love of money is the root of all evil". "Love", an emotion that drives you to do anything in protection or pursuit of a thing. The nature of the drive characterized by the seed of the emotion.

How many evils are being perpetrated in our country today? Murder. Illegal immigration. Sex trafficking. Gun smuggling. Drug smuggling. Bribery and extortion. Forged documents racket. Irregular crown land grants

Who's getting inexplicably rich and richer? Follow the money, the rolex watch and shingle purchases and the proposed legalization of acceptance of undefined "gifts" by Chester Cooper. Follow to Switzerland, Delaware and Cayman.

concernedcitizen 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Yeap , thieves in both parties , bloated contracts , kick backs etc .We should be the best little country in the world , we have millions of visitors every year paying a bunch of our taxes ,they pay vat too .All our governments can do is dream up ways to get the money out of the Treasury to family and friends and know one ever goes to jail

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