New BPL minister informed power bills should begin to abate

The new minister in charge of Bahamas Power and Light (BPL), Jobeth Coleby-Davis, told the media on Friday that BPL’s management has informed her that power bills should begin to come down as the company reaches the end of its glide path for fuel cost recovery, which has frustrated Bahamians with high power bills since the beginning of the year.

This comes, though, as the world begins to see global oil prices spike once again to almost $100 per barrel.

Coleby-Davis said while she could not give an exact time frame in which Bahamians can expect lower bills, BPL Chief Executive Officer Shevonn Cambridge has informed her that some relief is in sight.

“I did have a conversation with the management… well the CEO,” said Coleby Davis.

“He is out of the country, but we did have a conversation over Zoom, and he provided me some input on their gliding scale. And that the impact and the loads that we would have experienced over the summer is now coming to an end. And so the [customers] should be seeing some relief.

“I’m not sure what the date is, so I don’t want to quote a month. But I’m hoping that it will be soon, because it seems as if the major part of the scale is coming to an end now.

“And so I’m a part of it. I also have an electricity bill that I need to make sure is down. And so I’ll be in the back end internally, trying to make sure we do the right thing to bring some relief to the citizens.”

BPL confirmed to the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) in recent discussions that fuel charges have reached their peak and consumers can expect lower rates moving forward, URCA said in a statement last week

“The company has confirmed the fuel charge will decline this month for many consumers, and that will be reflected in those consumers’ electricity bills next month,” URCA said.

In October 2022, BPL announced an initiative to increase its fuel charge to reflect the rising cost of fuel, and to clear some of the outstanding debt it owed on prior fuel purchases.

This was done gradually through the use of a glide path strategy since last year.

URCA said, “BPL’s glide path strategy was designed to slowly increase the fuel charge to a peak this summer, and then decrease the fuel charge continuously through the end of February 2024.

“By March 2024, BPL is expected to have paid off its outstanding fuel debt.”

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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