More than 2,900 Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) customers, who collectively owe the corporation $10.3 million, are without power, BPL Director of Public Relations Quincy Parker said.
As of May 13, 2019, there were 2,946 disconnected BPL customers.
Parker said the data indicated “a sharp decline” in disconnection numbers that had been reported in the past.
“The decline in the numbers is due to a transfer of customers from ‘S’ status to ‘F’ or finalized status,” Parker told The Nassau Guardian in a recent interview.
“For clarity, we give the designation ‘S (shut off) status’ to accounts/customers whose lights are off. In the past, if an account has been at ‘S status’ for more than six months with no payments then in it is automatically finalized.
“Finalized accounts are those that have been terminated and the security deposit has been refunded.”
Parker said BPL’s customer service department has suggested that the decline is “a key economic indicator”.
“…It could be that these were or are customers whose lights are off and may not have had the financial means to recover and hence had to close out their accounts,” Parker said.
In November 2018, Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister revealed that more than 5,000 BPL customers, who owed the he corporation $5.3 million, were without power.
There was a 41 percent decrease in the disconnection of customers between November 2018 and May 2019, and an 80 percent increase in the fees owed.
In November 2018, it was revealed that New Providence, North Andros and Central Andros had the highest disconnection numbers.
New Providence had 4,639 disconnected customers who owed roughly $4.2 million; North Andros had 132 disconnected customers who owed $128,0000; and Central Andros had 116 disconnected customers who owed $153,000.
Bahamas Electrical Workers Union (BEWU) President Paul Maynard said yesterday that the disconnection number was “a big concern” to him “because that’s how we get paid”.
“It’s of great concern,” he said.
“BPL and the government are going to have to figure out how to alleviate the situation with people being able to pay their bills. They are going to have to do a better job of public relations.”
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