Diesel and propane sellers see uptick in sales amid power outages

Diesel and propane sellers see uptick in sales amid power outages
Farah Isaacs, Shell Nassau

BPL anticipated load shedding until fall when demand drops-off

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — While months of intermittent power outages have left thousands of Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) consumers frustrated and on edge, a number of businesses in the energy sector yesterday reported an uptick in sales since persistent load shedding began in June.

As generator owners flock to gas dealers to restock on fuel, a number of fuel distributors have experienced an uptick in sales.

Farah Isaacs, the general manager at Shell Nassau, said she has seen a “large increase” in diesel sales.

“Ordinarily, I don’t have very high diesel sales; it’s usually just the buses, but I’ve seen at least 100 or so more gallons of increase in my diesel sales,” she said.

Just about a mile west of Shell on Boyd Road is Esso On The Run at John F. Kennedy Drive.

Edika Gibson, an associate at Esso On The Run, also told Eyewitness News Onlinethat the gas station has observed a similar trend.

“We have seen a big increase in diesel sales,” she said. “We have seen people come here with small to large-sized containers for diesel fuel to fill their generators.”

Meanwhile, Anthony Knowles of Caribbean Gas and Andy Thompson of Moss Gas confirmed that propane retailers have also seen business pick up, a contrast to numerous businesses throughout New Providence which has reported significant losses as a result of the load shedding exercises.

“A lot of people are using generators a lot more than normal, but we have been trying to support as much people as we can; working very hard over the last few months to make sure that everyone is comfortable in their homes and definitely people with generators are enjoying that benefit,” Knowles said.

Thompson added, “We are getting a lot of call-ins for generator refueling, so we have seen an increase.”

While noting that generators provide some comfort during outages, Knowles acknowledged that that the price tag for a generator and the associated costs can be too much of a burden for some.

“It’s a costly investment,” he acknowledged. “But, when you look at it holistically it increases the value of your home. You are more comfortable and there are a lot of options in generators that people can choose from now.

According to BPL officials load shedding is expected to continue well into fall until power demand begins to taper.

Cooler temperatures this week have lowered peak demand for residential customers.

The result was a temporary stop in load shedding yesterday morning and afternoon — the first in weeks.

About Theo Sealy

Theo Sealy is an award-winning journalist who serves as senior broadcast reporter and weekend TV news anchor at Eyewitness News. He has achieved several career milestones, including his work as a field contributor with CNN, his coverage of four consecutive general elections, his production of several docuseries and his Bahamas Press Club Awards win for “Best Television News Story” in 2018.