As Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) consumers brace for a 15 percent increase in their next electricity bills, BPL Director of Public Relations Quincy Parker projected that consumers won’t feel that increase by the end of summer and will likely see a “significant” drop in their bills by next year.
Initially, BPL officials had projected that the cost savings from the use of heavy fuel oil in its new Wartsila engines would offset the introduction of the upcoming rate reduction bond.
However, Parker said with the cost of oil fluctuating, previous projections that the cost of electricity would drop by the end of this quarter are unlikely.
“All things considered, if the price of oil is stable, which we know it’s not, then we would have been on track for slightly lower bills by next month,” he said yesterday.
“We are looking for rate neutrality – that people would not feel the increase by around August or September of this year. That’s the best estimate at this point.
“Even though we have reduced our cost, the increase in price of fuel means that that reduction is small.
“Should fuel stay constant, you should see a significant reduction by next year.”
On November 6, Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister introduced the Rate Reduction Bond Bill in the House of Assembly.
When consumers review their next bill, a “National Utility Investment Bond” will be added.
The move comes as BPL attempts to tackle its more than $300 million debt.
BPL has repeatedly called for understanding from its customers.
Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest said last year it was either increase light bills or raise taxes.
BPL Chairman Dr. Donovan Moxey said the average BPL consumers would see their electricity bills increase by an estimated $27 per month.