Saturday, Aug 24, 2019
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Take control of your electricity bill

Every month we all receive electricity bills from Bahamas Power and Light (BPL). The moment we open the envelope containing the electrical bill we hope, fear and wonder what the damage will be for this month’s electricity use. We are afraid to open the envelope because we don’t know what to expect, but we do expect the worst. What I want to discuss with you is how to change that very emotion of fear and turn it into confidence by making you aware of your daily habits relating to electricity usage.

Electricity is an invisible resource that surrounds us every moment of our lives. We use electricity to make our morning cups of coffee, charge our smart devices and watch our favorite TV shows. We rely on it to light our way to and from work and to keep ourselves comfortable. Without this invisible resource, our day-to-day lives would be very different in an unpleasant way.

Taking charge of our electrical bill starts by becoming aware that there are actions we can take to lower our electricity usage. The first step in the awareness process is not blaming BPL for the high electricity bill but to take ownership of our own actions and the resulting electricity bill. We can do this by starting to take a closer look at the electricity bill. Reviewing the electrical bill creates awareness and understanding if the amount on the bill is normal and seasonal; higher, due to a change or defective device that needs our attention; or lower, because of a new habit we started without realizing its benefits.

Being aware of our usage is one step in the awareness process. The second step is understanding the price of this invisible resource that we consume each day. Our electricity cost is high, but it isn’t the highest in the world. In The Bahamas we currently pay about 30 cents per kWh, including VAT. How does that stack up against other nations? In Germany the cost of electricity is 35 cents/kWh; in Denmark it is 32 cents/kWh; in Jamaica it is 24 cents/kWh; in the Turks and Caicos Islands, it is 35cents/kWh; and in the U.S. it is eight to 17 cents/kWh. This comparison raises a few questions, one of them being how countries like Germany, Denmark and Australia have such high electricity prices and still have thriving economies. What are citizens from countries with higher electricity rates doing different than us in The Bahamas? One of the biggest differences between European countries and countries in the Americas is the awareness and conservation of electricity. On average, households in Europe use less than half of the electricity we use in the Americas. You can live with higher electricity prices if you are aware how you are using electricity and minimizing the usage and waste of electricity.

We have to come to terms with the fact that higher electricity rates are not about to change and the best way forward is not to wait on BPL to lower the electricity rate but to help ourselves to reduce our electricity bills by becoming aware of our use of electricity. Over the next few weeks we will take control of our electricity bills by implementing green and efficient solutions in different parts of our homes or businesses. We will start this by discussion by looking at conservation of electricity; this step is very inexpensive but often creates the greatest impact on the net reduction of our next month’s electricity bill.

 

  • Philipp Feller is the general manager of SuperGreen Solutions Bahamas, located at 69 Wulff Road next to FYP. SuperGreen Solutions leads the market as one of the premier advisors, suppliers and installers of domestic and commercial energy efficient solutions, making it truly a “one-stop, energy-efficient solution shop”. Having been in the energy efficiency industry for nearly 20 years, the founders have established a solid reputation spanning five continents. The difference is that Super Green Solutions looks at energy creation and energy saving from a holistic point of view, to provide clients with total solutions.

 

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