Sunday, October 25, 2020

Bahamas Power and Light Suspends Disconnections

Hundreds of Bahamians rush to hastily pay electricity bill amid emergency order

Amidst a rush by many Bahamians to pay their electricity bills to avoid disconnections, Bahamas Power and Light Company Ltd (BPL) said this afternoon, it would suspend disconnections as long as the emergency order implemented by Prime Minister Hubert Minnis remains in place.

In a press statement, BPL CEO Whitney Heastie said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has presented enormous challenges. When the government went to 24-hour curfew, as part of our efforts to ease the pain and stress of our fellow Bahamians, we suspended disconnections through March 31.

“Per our discussions with the government, I am happy to announce that the suspension of BPL disconnections will continue for as long as the government maintains emergency orders,” Heastie said.

Today, long queues were seen wrapping the building after BPL said yesterday that it would resume disconnections of delinquent customers at the end of the 14 day emergency order.

While waiting in line, many customers were visibly disobeying the social distancing order of standing 3 to 6 feet.

With the continuation of the emergency order which starts today and purportedly ends on April 8th, Heastie said Bahamians and residents should observe the orders and should seek to pay their bills online.

Yesterday, the Progressive Liberal Party Leader Philip Davis criticized the resumption of disconnection exercises by the company, stating that “this decision could not have come at a worse time when massive increases in job losses and applications for social assistance and unemployment insurance benefits are with us.

“Such a decision is also not in keeping with the spirit of state assistance and subventions to both companies and workers,” he said.

Heastie said, his company recognizes the difficult times and as such have introduced deferred payment plan for individuals who are directly affected by COVID19.

“Our COVID-19 Relief Programme covers three categories of persons: residential customers who are diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus, residential customers who are in quarantine due to the virus, and residential customers have been laid off as a result of the virus.

“The BPL COVID-19 Relief Programme allows customers who meet the criteria listed to defer payments on their BPL bills for an initial period of three months,” he said.

Customers can pay via telephone at 302-1130 through 302-1142 or pay online at the website: bplco.com.

Customers who have issues logging into the online system can call 225-5275 (CALL BPL) or email pinreset@bplco.com for assistance with that particular issue.

Customers can also pay online through private banks by selecting BPL as a payee through the private bank’s bill paying mechanism.

For qualification and registration criteria, customers are asked to email covid19@bplco.com or use CALL-BPL.

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