Categorized | National News

Load Shedding Challenges Airbnb Owners

Former Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) Chairman Leslie Miller said the current electricity problem in The Bahamas is costing Airbnb owners money this summer. 

Last week, Mr. Miller shared his concerns during Love 97’s Issues of the Day talk show, where he explained that a number of Airbnb owners have had to reimburse their guests because of the frequent power outages.

“That’s expected because people from the United States always have consistent power except for hurricanes or really bad weather. They don’t expect it in the summer months,” he said.

“When that happens, they get back on that flight and head back where they came from. They tell those homeowners that they want a refund.”

Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar, however, assured that he fully understands the plight of these business owners. 

“I want the Bahamian people to know that we feel their pain. Many Cabinet ministers are sleeping in darkness as well. So, it is an unfortunate situation, and we are trying to get more generators online and reduce the amount of load shedding,” he said.

 “Is it affecting the tourism sector? If you don’t have backup power, you’re being affected. So, if you’re in the business of Airbnb, which we are promoting Bahamians to get into, yes, you are being affected. Until we get this situation mitigated, hopefully by the end of the week, or certainly by the end of the month, we will be stuck with this horrendous load shedding.”

Former Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe believes if the government wants to encourage more Bahamians to become involved in the industry, the government should try to compensate these homeowners in some way. 

He said, “Well, obviously, the government has to consider how they can assist them.  Maybe they can assist with getting them generators because it doesn’t help The Bahamas. It hurts The Bahamas.”

Last Wednesday, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis indicated that work has already begun on a 132-megawatt power plant in New Providence as a part of that long-term solution. 

In the short-term, Bahamas Power and Light is currently carrying out a plan to mitigate its shortfall in generation. 

It’s expected to provide relief to residents as soon as possible. In support, an additional nine megawatts of power from Aggreko units are expected to be returned to service. 

Further, a six-man team of specialists from Philadelphia Gear is in the capital. 

The team has started working with the intention of returning an additional 20 megawatts of power to service at the Baillou Hill power plant. 

BPL’s peak demand is 250 megawatts and is currently experiencing a 40 megawatt shortfall.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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