NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) has turned the corner, according to Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister, who heralded the power provider’s performance over the summer and what he said was a complete absence of load shedding.
“This is the first time in at least two decades we’ve had no load shedding in the summertime,” Bannister told Eyewitness News.
“There has not been one incident of load shedding.
“Now as always, when you put new systems in place, they had one or two hiccups.
“And so, we did have exactly two hiccups with respect to generation.
“It caused power to be off for a little while. But all the other incidents when power was off were either faults or were situations where people carelessly rammed their cars into electric power polls, but not one single incident of load shedding.”
The minister pointed out the summer was one of the hottest on record and other jurisdictions, such as New York and California had to implement load shedding exercises.
He also noted that more Bahamian families and residents were home during the summer when strict curfews and frequent lockdown measures were enforced to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Bannister said as a result power consumption levels were very high.
“What ought to happen is as much as we criticize BPL, now that they’re turning the corner — and not only that, turning the corner where the bills and you can compare the bill and look at the tariff from last year and now, and see how much lower it is than previously,” he said.
“So, BPL should get some kudos for that because they have turned the corner in terms of power reliability and they have turned the corner in terms of pricing.”
A review of several consumers’ power bills over the last year shows the fuel surcharge rate last September was 0.186 compared to the rate of 0.105 last month.
The decline in the tariff rate resulted in a reduced fuel surcharge.
In one case, a Fire Trail Road resident’s fuel surcharge dropped from $168 to $98, despite consuming more power last month compared to the same period last year — 903 kWh compared to 933 kWh.