Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) announced yesterday its intention to resume disconnections immediately for certain residential customers, and said it is giving customers enrolled in its COVID-19 Relief Programme another 21 days to bring their accounts up to date.
In April, BPL suspended disconnections for “so long as the government says” and also rolled out a three-month bill deferment program for people who had been laid off or in quarantine because of the pandemic.
However, that suspension would have expired in June.
“Any customers who had a balance of $500 or more in arrears for 90 days before April 1, 2020, are eligible for immediate disconnection. Any customers with a balance more than 90 days in arrears since April 1, 2020 have 21 days – or until July 28, 2020 – to bring their accounts current, or to enroll in a payment plan. After that they will be eligible for disconnection,” BPL stated in a public notice yesterday.
“For customers who enrolled in the BPL COVID-19 Relief Programme, we note they now have 21 days, or until 28 July, 2020, to bring their accounts current or to enroll in a payment plan. After that they will be eligible for disconnection. BPL has made this decision after consultation with the government of The Bahamas.”
Last month, BPL indicated that 562 customers, of the more than 800 that applied, were approved for the program.
Nearly half of those approved customers work in the hospitality industry.
While the country has entered into the final phase of the government’s economic reopening plan, thousands, particularly in tourism-related fields, remain unemployed due to the decision of some major hotels to delay their reopening to the end of the year.
BPL stated it is proceeding as normal with its commercial customers.