NASSAU,BAHAMAS — Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) has created a COVID-19 Relief Programme deferring payment for three months for customers impacted by the virus.
The programme is offered for those customers who are diagnosed with COVID-19, customers who are in COVID-19-related quarantine, and customers who have been laid off because of COVID-19.
“For these customers, BPL has elected to defer payment for three months, beginning April 1, 2020. For each of the three tiers of affected customers, the account must be in the applicant’s name, and the account number and the National Insurance number must be provided along with either proof of diagnosis, proof of mandated quarantine or proof of layoff,” the company said in a statement.
BPL Director of Customer Service Peter Rutherford explained that BPL has created a fillable form that customers can use to apply for the programme.
Rutherford added: “In accordance with the social distancing mandate and the emergency orders enacted to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we ask that customers seeking to register for this relief not send in a representative. Documents will not be accepted in the office.”
This means that for those who qualify, payment of customer bills will be deferred until July 1, 2020.
BPL CEO Whitney Heastie said: “As Bahamians continue to cope with the unprecedented challenges of this virus, we at BPL are committed to assisting our customers as best we can through the difficulties ahead.
“We have created this relief programme in line with the government’s desire and our wish to ensure that customers are able to meet their obligations without sacrificing their own security and sense of safety.”
Earlier this month, Minister of Works Desmond Bannister who has responsibility for BPL announced that the cash strapped utility Bahamas Power and Light would halt disconnections.
Still, Mr Bannister urged consumers to act responsibly.
“People have to be responsible however,” Bannister said.
“No one should take advantage of this. If people can pay they still should pay their bills. If they cannot pay then they should be in contact with BPL but BPL is not going to be disconcerting anymore,” he said.
BPL said it would continue to suspend disconnections as long as the government maintains emergency orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 form is available on BPL’s Facebook page (@mybpl242), Twitter (@mybplbahamas), the BPL WhatsApp Community groups and the BPL website (www.bplco.com).
For complete qualification and registration information, or for other questions regarding the COVID-19 Relief Programme, customers are asked to please email COVID19@BPLCO.com.