Categorized | National News

7-10% Cut In Light Bill By July

Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) Executive Chairman Leslie Miller announced yesterday that Bahamians could expect to see a major reduction in their electricity bill as early as July.

As a result of the new engine turbines the corporation expects to install at the Clifton location, Mr. Miller said he expects the venture to save the country millions of dollars, which would ease the burden off consumers’ pockets.

“Every month while we run our Baillou Hill location, at the detriment of Clifton, it is causing the consumers of this country no less than $6.2 million every month. When you consider $6 million a month times 12, that’s $72 million right there,” he said.

He said if things go as planned, the reduction could be even greater by December.

“So we’re looking at this $100 million savings that would amount to some 20 to 25 per cent off your bill directly,” he said.
Mr. Miller warned that if the corporation doesn’t move swiftly in fixing things, it could lose up to $40 million this year.

The company currently rents power from Argentinian power company El Greco, which costs $10,000 per month.

Because there are no plans to renew the contract after the new engine turbines are installed at Clifton, the chairman expects the corporation to begin to save much more money.

It is also his hope that with these new engine turbines, there will be little to no disruption in service to its consumers this summer as there is usually an overload of electricity used.

The chairman anticipates that the corporation would become a profitable entity for the government within the next three years but added that before that can happen, there has to be some adjustments to labour and wages.

“I’d have you know that BEC lost $18 million last year and even with that big loss all the employees still got bonuses,” he said.

According to Mr. Miller, BEC was once a corporation that made money for the government, but salaries and pension nearly killed it.

The chairman is currently in talks with the union and is now preparing a three-year contract that he said will not sit well with employees, but said is in BEC’s best interest.

As for BEC being sold, he said that the installation of the new engine turbines at Clifton is the first step in the corporation being privatised, but added that it will not be like the BTC deal where 51 per cent of the shares are owned by a foreign-based company.

“The prime minister has already noted that if there were to be any consideration of BEC being privatised, it would be a deal where 60-70 per cent of the shares are owned by Bahamians,” he said.

“But if you ask me, all the shares should be owned by Bahamians. We have more than enough Bahamians that are skilled and qualified to run this corporation [BEC] and any other corporation in The Bahamas.”

Mr. Miller added that the government is currently seeking out ways to purchase cost-friendly solar panels from China in order to tap into renewable energy.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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