BPL customers deserve better

Dear Editor,

Ten months post-Dorian, the most powerful hurricane this country has ever seen, and in the midst of a pandemic that has left Bahamians on countless lockdowns, adhering to curfews and living a new norm filled with restrictions and fear, Bahamas Power & Light (BPL) could not be outdone.

In wanting to make sure its presence was not forgotten, BPL reminded Nassauvians over the weekend, of who’s really in power by revoking power supply across the island.

On Thursday July 16, electricity was cut off in the Stapledon Gardens area from 3:53 a.m. until 8:08 a.m. the following day.

That day, Friday July 17, electricity was cut off four more times, with the fourth time lasting from 8:30 p.m. until 10:00 a.m. the following morning.

Then, not to be outdone, Saturday followed suit with electricity being cut off from 10:50 p.m. until 11:30 p.m., all times with a small amount of power remaining running, running the risk of appliances being vulnerable to shortages.

What’s even more is I am sitting in the dark typing this letter.

It’s the same ol’ cry from BPL every spring: “We have enough energy and generators to supply the island with electricity throughout the summer”; “BPL is prepared”; “There will be no need to load shed this summer”.

Yet, every summer, there is a new press release that is published every three or four days from BPL alerting its “loyal customers” of some blown transformer or other machinery that was destroyed in some way.

BPL is like a bad child – does the damage, promises not to do it again, goes a while without any problems, then ups and does it again, excessively, almost as if trying to overcompensate for lost time.

Bahamians have already had to accept the restrictions that come with combating a pandemic – wearing masks; practicing physical distancing; hand sanitizing upon entry into any establishment; not being able to gather for celebrations of milestones of all types; and most recently, not being able to enjoy our independence during the Independence Day holiday and weekend.

The last thing we should be worried about is BPL or a lack of power supply.

Speaking out about electricity being shut off on New Providence, and during a time like this, can sometimes come across as insensitive in comparison to our brothers and sisters in the north who have and have had it worse than us, especially within the past year.

But when service from an essential utility company is disrupted causing inconvenience, potential safety hazards and simply a pain in the butt, there is cause to complain.

There is also no reason why power supply has not yet been restored to parts of Abaco.

As Bahamians, as loyal, paying customers, we deserve better.

In 2020, pandemic or no pandemic, we should not still be facing power outages.

We were doing so good, until this past weekend, that I can’t even remember the last time my power was out.

What is the problem now? There must be a better way.

We deserve better. Bahamians deserve better.

A loyal, but frustrated customer

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