Works Minister: Shell deal will not bring immediate relief for BPL customers

Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister.

Works Minister Desmond Banister admitted Friday that the country will not get any immediate relief in electricity bills despite a new agreement with Shell North America (NA).

He said, however, the government is working diligently to fix decades worth of issues at Bahamas Power and Light (BPL).

Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Whitney Heastie told Eyewitness News on Thursday that the newly proposed deal with Shell North America (NA) will cut fuel bills, despite former Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) chairman Leslie Miller’s recent highlight of the impending cost of fuel moving beyond five dollars a gallon.

Heastie pledged that Bahamians would see significant savings, not only in the cost of fuel, but eventually energy as well.

However, Miller said, it is a risky deal.

During the budget debate back in May, Finance Minister Peter Turnquest said, value-added tax (VAT) will be waived for all residential electricity bills at or under $100, and water bills at or under $50.

Those thresholds have since been increased to $200 for electricity and $100 for water bills.