Friday, November 8, 2019
By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Deputy Chief Reporter
A DAY after consumers criticised Bahamas Power and Light over its announcement of an additional charge to monthly bills, the power provider released an extensive load shedding schedule for dozens of homes and businesses in New Providence.
The first round of load shedding from 9am to noon included Variety Auto Parts, Big Boys restaurant, Ridgeland Park east, SC McPherson, Golden Gates Plaza, North Westridge, South Westridge, Sandy Port, Delaporte, a portion of Elizabeth Estates, the Post Office and Police Station.
More load shedding was scheduled for noon to 3pm affecting the Bacardi area, Lyford Cay Point, Mt Pleasant Village, Nassau Industrial, Caves Village, Sea Beach Estates, and others.
And then from 3pm to 6pm PMH‘s extension Cat Scan Department, Ministry of Health Nursing School and surrounding areas were scheduled to be disconnected in addition to a long list of other areas.
BPL said the schedule was subject to change due to varying conditions, including increased availability or changes in system loading.
The load shedding schedule, posted on BPL’s Facebook page, drew criticism from many.
One user said: “But wait..light bill increasing along with load shedding? Really??”
“And y'all really want us to accept an increase in the bill for electricity that can barely stay on?” another user posted.
“Y'all still doing this?? And I just saw some crap bout bill increase…” read another comment.
On Wednesday, electricity consumers were told to brace for an “adjustment” to their bills with an extra charge as Bahamas Power & Light confirmed plans for its mammoth $650m-plus refinancing.
Dr Donovan Moxey, the state-owned utility’s chairman, promised that the proposed Rate Reduction Bond issue will ultimately result in “better outcomes” for all Bahamian households and businesses even though the “structure” of electricity bills will change.
A BPL statement quoted Dr Moxey as saying the new billing structure would “function as a short-term deposit” that will ultimately enable consumers to enjoy longer term savings from reduced fuel costs and more efficient generation plant.
However, legislation to facilitate the Rate Reduction Bond (RRB) issue makes clear that BPL’s customer base will be relied upon to service what is essentially a doubling of the debt burden associated with the utility to secure its financial future.