A Love Letter To Barbados Light & Power

From the Facebook Page of Rosemary Parkinson

I was once a vibrant, beautiful woman without a wrinkle! But this is what your harassment of my life has turned me into. Perhaps a court case would be in order for turning me into a monster with your bills???

BARBADOS LIGHT & POWER – are you waiting for the whole of Barbados to just come down to your offices and scream and shout and behave bad like a set of lunatics all because of your incessant insistence on taking the mickey out of each and every Barbadian who uses a light bulb in this country? Has it dawned on you that two years ago the very same bill from you for the very same usage of your raas gold power at our residence was BDS$400 a month? One year later for the very same usage of that same raas gold power of yours suddenly became BDS$750 a month? Within this last year that very same usage of that very same gold power suddenly became platinum at BDS$1000?.. and now to add insult to injury… one month…yep! I said one month later your raas platinum power has become more expensive than uranium – the bill being BDS$1700 for same said on month supply?

Nothing has changed in terms of usage in this household for the last two years. Sorry! Mea Culpa. I lie. At great cost I turned in my old fridge for a new Energy Saver one! But nothing extra has been purchased to plug into sockets that feed into your miserable meters that are read when you feel like it. The price of oil plummets, the recession arrives, people are losing their jobs and you, dear, dear BARBADOS LIGHT & POWER find it amusing to hike everyone’s right to light to suit your investors’ dividends at the end of a year. For, God forbid, those should drop!

Or is it that by assuring an overseas company that you are able at your whim to dig out the eyes of people on this rock; that no matter how high your now uranium bills become the chuped idiots known as your Barbadian fellow men will just continue to pay without a word and, therefore, you in your almighty power can demand a higher price for the sale of your company to them? I can hear you in the boardroom: “We demand this price for all the assets of our Uranium Power Plant because Barbadians are a set of poppets and no matter what you charge, they will pay and continue to live merrily along.”

On the other hand….perhaps it is just a plain death wish you have, for one can push people to a point and then they suddenly rise up in anger and do things they would normally never consider. And by the way, please do not even begin to consider this note to you a threat of any kind. I would never consider threatening such a powerful uranium company….even ‘though you obviously consider me chuped and a poppet. I am merely trying to help you. I am merely being a good citizen and warning you that this time you have gone just a tad too far in your deceit of the people of this country.

And whilst I am at it? How dare you try to convince me, an intelligent grown woman, that the reason for the enormous bill received this month (a month filled with sudden cuts in power by the way!) is due to an increase in this household’s usage and nothing to do with you all going totally mad in your Accounts Department!!!

Enough is enough!!

162 thoughts on “A Love Letter To Barbados Light & Power

  1. I used to pay $97 dollars a month in 2008,then $150 in 2009,$275 in mid 2010,$340 for the first couple of months in 2011 then $400 for the most recent,now last months bill came at $500 flat.I did all i could to reduce usage,all my bulbs are the energy saving type,no luxuries like a/c or nothing so just a tv fridge and a fan or two.
    Seems like i ill have to buy a kerosene lamp when i get paid next week cause my electricity will be disconnected,and not by choice.

  2. B’dos Light & Power and DLP like parasites on the backside of this country, seeking to draw every drop of blood out of the nation. A time of reckoning will come. It is an act of criminality for gov’t to grant an increase at this time of crisis, when Light and Power was not making losses. They actually have the gall to boast in Advocate that profits jump from 28m to 43m at a time when bajans suffering and every other business getting losses. Old people facing these bills and cannot get it pay. My lil business squeeze pon every side. I get a small generator to help and the fuel cost is another trial. Now they say that oil companies dilute the fuel so it burning fast, fast. Somebody got to save us from the rapacious greed and unconscionable acts by these people. Anytime the rest of wunna want to march or do something call me. I will join you.

  3. First of all let me say what I forgot in my irate mood when I wrote the above – that Energy Saving Fridge? I had to buy it because Light & Power in their great sense of fun for surging electricity mashed up the one I had. But I did not fuss….could not be bothered at the time to make a mountain out of a mole hill….should have but did not.

    What I fail to understand is why the fuel cost in the first place….? This to me is just another ploy to extricate dollars.

    We did not have a fuel charge in the past and I am sure Light & Power was not using wind to create power. I have never seen (in the past or now) Light & Power not being able to pay their shareholders dividends. So that means to me, this dumb blonde, that Light & Power made money then, and making money now.

    Yes! they got an increase in rates to help their plea for a) higher cost of oil and b) whole new better working L&P. But now we have more power cuts than ever, some of them islandwide. Not only power cuts but constant surges that play de backside with our appliances. And this added fuel charge instead of moving with the times, seems to move with Light & Power – perhaps they use special high end thicker oil or something? And on top of that excessive power charges to householders at their whim…because this bill seems very at their whim…and there is NOTHING WHIMSICAL ABOUT IT!!!!

    Some comments from friends – a Barbadian: My bill is normally $550 now this month over $1500 because they have not ready the metre since November I ask them for a written explimantion as it is not my fault that it has not been read – they find you when they want to turn it offf how about finding us when they need to read it – time for a petition to be signedIt seems like all this is happening in the heart of a recession when business is terrible – people are getting laid off and food prices are soring I like you and also worried about the fate of this island – The talk of Devaulation has risen its head yet again?????

    A friend in Shanghai and everyone thinks the Chinese coming here to holiday: Just got my power bill in Shanghai…for 2 months, with ac running non stop…RMB150…ie BDS 46.40…ok!!! CHINA AIN’T BACKWARD!

    From another Bajan living in the US: It is terrible how much basic services cost in Barbados, I wonder how many old, poor, burdened people/families are struggling in the dark a risk of possible fire because of candle and gas lamp use.

    From a Bajan living here: ‘Uranium Pirates of the Barbadians’!! Total despots – they wield far more power than our Silent PM!!! WHO WILL BELL THE CAT?!!!!Is there such a thing as an ‘Energy Audit’ available to Barbadians by a NON-B L & P professional? Something seems very, very wrong here!

    From me again – someting gotta be done! This is just not alright!! Not this time!!!

  4. Wow! I had predicted that this was going to happen if you sold the only light and power plant that you have to an outsider. But for the love of money and greed you sold it and now they are gouging out your eyes with a smile; Barbadians needs to realize that nothing will change unless you all band together for the common good of all; These people don’t give a rat’s ass about you. It’s all about the money that can be made at any cost. Thy saw an opportunity to make money, and took it; BLAME the share holders who thought that money was more important than HUMAN-BEINGS; You sold your souls to the DEVIL and now he is showing his ass, because he knows he holds all the cards in this game; The prices will continue to rise because they have no competition to threaten them;
    I feel so very sorry for those older people who are on a fix income to be living this way in what you call modern times; When things should be better than their presently are;
    A sad Bajan in the US…. Prayers alone isn’t going to do it this time;

  5. The Barbadian public has now awaken to the realisation that the Barbados Light and Power Co. Ltd. is ripping them off. Well I have news for you, as far as I am aware they have been ripping of this country for the last thirty years. Cast your minds back to the rate increase before the last. There was a twenty-six year interval. Now ask yourselves, how could anyone sell a product at the same price for 26 years and continue to make a handsome profit for all of the 26 years if the product was not already over-priced from the start.

    People continue to blame port charges and other things for Barbadian products being uncompetitive, but that is not the case. The two main reasons why our products are are too expensive and not being accepted by our neighbours are the cost of electricity and our over valued dollar.

    BL&P owes every customer a large refund.

  6. Just to let all those reading this blog. In the interest of being fair…first…since I have not been keeping up with who sell what to who…I was under the impression that negotiations were still on re the sale of our power company to a Canadian entity…now I hear that this sale has already been complete. So now we have Canadians diggin’ we eye out in a company that seems to have never made a profit loss since its inception. No problem with that, of course. We all gotta make a likkle money, business is business, but when Barbados Light & Power was still owned by the previous lot, the name Bajan Poppets had already crept in to the vocabulary of those who owned it then…obviously. And could it be that when they forced the hand of government to give them an increase they already knew they were going to sell the company and wanted to show the new would-be eye-diggers how great a profit they could make once the acquisition took place?? And second and most importantly Barbados Light & Power your suggestion to us that our usage had gone up and something was wrong at our end…is a load of codswallop and eff you ent know what dat means…it means you think you can screw wid us! We have just had a Certified Electrician come here and check everything…from the meter inside the house to everything that we use…bit by bit…very systematically and he has said (like I knew he would!) in no uncertain terms that nothing is wrong…not one thing…and that hike of $700 in one month has nothing to do with usage since we have been using the very same things from day one that I moved in here…actually I thought it was two years….but we are now almost into a complete three!!! So Barbados Light & Power what say you??? Oh! and in case you think I lie…he will be sending us a written report of his findings which I shall also publish. Let me tell you something my dear Canadians who own Light & Power now….I already vex with your airline for something very very mean they have done to one poor little old lady…so please ah beg ya…doan mekk it worse by telling me more crap hear? ‘Cause right now…ah vex ’till ah vex. All I want is for you to apologize to the people of this country and send us corrected bills….NOW!!!

    ……and yes! Where is the Fair Trading Commission????

    • @Rosemary

      Stephen Worme monitors BU even if he has had to accede to instructions to stop communicating with us.

      Why don’t you give him a call?

      He always seem amenable tp chatting with the public.

  7. Check on your bill and see if there is an E (for estimated) in the column on your bill marked RC.

    Read your meter and compare it with the Reading as of the date of the bill.

    I did that last year and had BL&P read my meter as opposed to estimating my consumption and ended up paying zero for four months running as BL&P evened out its billing of me.

    I regularly read my meter and guage my daily consumption.

    At the moment I am ahead by about $100.00.

    Reading the meter and comparing it with the bill is easy and fun as it is a way of understanding what electricity you actually use.

    For a few days, or even a day, if you have nothing much in the fridge, unplug it and see how much electricity you save.

    …. or, read the meter at night and then again in the morning and see what you paid for the security lights around your home.

    If there are 100,000 homes in Barbados there are 100,000 meters to be read each month, every month.

    That is tough.

    My meter is the old time kind with dials so a meter reader actually has to come and physically read it.

    The newer ones can be read electronically.

    I get the same with water, an estimate of $700.00 vs a reading of $30 odd. I pay my $30.00 until a meter reader gets the reading.

    I suspect there are electronic water meters but can’t see them being installed in any great hurry in Barbados.

    Meter reading is tough for a utility company.

    • The following comment was posted on David/BU’s FB’s page:

      Government’s level of taxation is mainly to blame. Vat on a bill of $100 is $17.50. Vat on a $1000 bill is $175.00. That is a 1000% increase in the amount of VAT paid. Then there is the excise taxes on fuel which also multiply as the cost of oil has tripled in the past five years. Despite the cost of electricity, most people are very careless in how they use it, leaving on lights and electrocnic equipment when not in use.

  8. Does anyone remember the name EMERA?
    Does anyone remember that EMERA CHARGES THE HIGHEST ELECTRICITY RATES in Cananda?
    Does anyone remember who has majority ownership of Barbados Light and Power?

  9. My Ontario hydro electricity bill.
    Time of use $380.
    Delivery $ 184
    Regulatory $ $39

    BL&P is now owned by Canadians so look out.

  10. Oh! how food connects with memories….as I was downstairs cooking me lunch on my gas stove (sorry! BL&P you cyant blame dat too for me high bill) I remembered once when I lived in Toronto…the price of bacon went up by one cent…Canadian housewives got all smoked up…the Consumer Affairs people looked into the matter, found the hike to be unfair and forced the particular bacon company to put the price back to where it was originally…Oh! and while this was being looked into, not one housewife bought the particular bacon…it was rotting on the shelves.

    Now I know that story is about food but I bet if your fellow Canadians in Canada got a bill such as what many of us have gotten this month from you….the electrifying scream might have been heard all the way down here, the ensuing mess might have caused you to close your doors and go outta business…so this begs a question.

    Did you guys come down here because you know that we Bajans not known for making big fuss? After all even historically we really only had two major uprisings in our history – not like all our warlike brothers down to the south and up in de norff…no sah! we have always been pretty much well-behaved and the perfect place for tiefs to settle…’cause we ent say much normally excep’ in de rum shops – de University of Life – where we vociferate loud but usually go home inebriated enough to eat and fall asleep. But times change….and the internet technology is rampant here now and people opening much more especially when dem pushed into a corner….
    …perhaps you might just have underestimated us on this little rock….just perhaps…

  11. I am actually reducing my electricity bill by keeping on top of my meter reading.

    I realsise however I won’t get large savings as the fuel charge is a killer, but I am getting reductions.

    My meter only has four dials but the youtube extract below has five.

    No matter, same principle.

  12. @Rosemary Parkinson – based on BL&P’s explanation it sounds like your meter is showing much higher usage than previously. Perhaps you might also ask BL&P to check your meter to see if it is working properly. Apart from that John has given good advice.

  13. @Brutus. We have had an independent electrician check out all of what we are doing re electricity usage…we have also asked (and they promised to send but we have not seen anyone as yet) to come and check out what is going on between post and meter….Whatever way you look at it, unless someone else is tapping into our power…there are no (so far) indications as to why our bill should rise from BDs$1,000 to BDs$1,700 in one month. We have done NOTHING DIFFERENT for the last two/three years..except change our habits towards maximum energy saving…..Maybe we should go back about one and half years ago when we left lights on at night…and did not pay close attention to every little light detail in our house…we had more decent bills then!!!!

  14. Relate the Reading of your bill on the date shown to the reading you get on your meter.

    In my case the estimate on the bill was higher than the reading I was getting days after the estimate was made.

    I went in to BL&P and pointed out the error.

    They told me call in the reading next time … I took it in.

    The estimate is a way of not having to read every meter in every house every month.

    It evens out over time, but if your bill is going berserk, it might be that the estimated consumption rate is based on a time when you may have had guests, or for a time when it was very hot and you were using alot of airconditioning.

    BL&P won’t bite.

    Tell them the reading you are getting if you suspect your estimate is too high.

    Ask them to send and read it and review their estimated consumption of your home if you feel it is warranted.

    In my case I can state I paid not one red cent for four months of electricity consumption last year.

    … but remember, the estimate is a convenient way of avoiding monthly visits from the meter reader and can prevent surprises both for the meter reader and the home owner as can be seen in this youtube clip.

  15. @Rosemary – you probably need to stop looking at the dollar amount of the bill and tell us how many kWh were used in the month when you paid $1,000 and the month when you paid $1,700. Even at $1,000 for a month though I think you would be among the top residential users in Barbados which indicates you are normally using a lot more power than the average household. Your electrician should easily be able to tell you if the meter reading seems wrong.

    I hope you appreciate that your bill will also increase significantly because of the cost of fuel, even if your usage of electricity is the same.

  16. On the subject of fuel charge, it would be useful for the public to know the details of the arrangement between BNOC and BL&P.

    It is also interesting to note the price of oil has been trending downwards last two months or so with no significant change to consumer price in Barbados. Could it be the BNOC has hedge covering the period of the downward trend which means Barbados has not been able to benefit? If this is the case say so, Bajans would understand. and BL&P.

    It is also interesting to note the price of oil has been trending downwards last two months or so with no significant change to consumer price in Barbados. Could it be the BNOC has hedge covering the period of the downward trend which means Barbados has not been able to benefit? If this is the case say so, Bajans would understand.

  17. Fight. Complain.Protest…..but

    The best tactic is to reduce your consumption of electricity. Turn off the lights and use the AC sparingly.

    Some of the economists in Canada are still predicting $200 a barrel oil in the next year or two.

    Bajans should try Solar energy options. You have to reduce your dependence on BL&P.

    A Solar system for a 2000 sq.ft house cost less than a Toyota Corolla.

  18. that is so unfair, now the gas prices are coming down why cant the light and power and other businesses in barbados bring back down the prices. If you check the prices in the US for oil its coming down and barbados get most of their products from barbados, its so unfair what they doing and there is no one to correct this big problem.

  19. Pay the high bills with some of the money that you got for the shares. Emera has the company and may very well soon have back the money paid for it as well. You are smart, highly educated Barbadians – you figure it out.

  20. Caswell

    The Barbadian public has now awaken to the realisation that the Barbados Light and Power Co. Ltd. is ripping them off. Well I have news for you, as far as I am aware they have been ripping of this country for the last thirty years. Cast your minds back to the rate increase before the last. There was a twenty-six year interval. Now ask yourselves, how could anyone sell a product at the same price for 26 years and continue to make a handsome profit for all of the 26 years if the product was not already over-priced from the start.

    I think I may actually have a logical answer to this seeming contradiction.

    It is to do with stratgic planning.

    I have to see if I can find an article written in the 1980’s by an engineer at Light and Power describing the savings of installing low speed diesel generating plant and the ability to use “cheap” bunker C fuel.

    Then I may be able to quote you actual figures.

    I may be wrong about the article but when I find it I will let you know.

    I suspect the choice of plant and the payback period were major elements in setting rates.

    I have not got a clue what type of generation plant is currently installed but suffice it to say that whatever is installed requires the fuel it was made to run on.

    You can’t magically make one generating set run on all fuels.

    Once the decision to install certain plant is made and it is installed, you can’t unmake it and change to some other choice without incurring costs and downtime.

    It is like diesel and gasoline vehicles.

    Fuels are not interchangeable, at least if you don’t want to mash up your engine.

    I think a couple of questions might be what mix of fuels are required to run the generating plant and does the mix minimse fuel costs?

    I have been out of touch for too long to be definitive in anything I say.

    I would have to ask some questions and educate myself as to the current status quo vis a vis generating capacity.

    Right now I am real busy so all I do where utilities are concerned is to concentrate on understanding my household’s usage and seeking to minimise where possible.

    I know Bajan’s are frightened for electricity but reading a meter is not difficult and should be perfectly safe.

  21. I will have more news for all concerned tomorrow…thank you David. At least we have gotten some attention and perhaps there is an explanation…whatever it is someting wrong here…

    I keep saying that apart from meter reading we have done all we can to save energy, makes no sense to give this blondie tips on that…I can read and have informed myself long ago on energy saving.

    Technology is a hell of ting…I just heard from a T&T friend that my bill is equal to his and his family for a whole year…but he did tell me that there is technology now that your meter can be tampered with by employees whose family are receiving free electricity….I pray this is just a figment of his ‘techie’ brain…and that if it is available that we in Barbados would not stoop to such low tactics….hmmmm…..I know times are hard…and Bajans learning how to “capture” electricity from the pole but tampering direct into the meter??? Wow! I do not want to believe it or even think it.

  22. @John
    It is like diesel and gasoline vehicles.

    Fuels are not interchangeable, at least if you don’t want to mash up your engine.
    Not exactly correct. Multi-fuel engines have been in existence for decades with the military. The Bedford MK, many of which can be seen in Guyana, is one example.

  23. Rosemary

    My last bill was 75% fuel charge, 25% electricity.

    The question to put to your T&T friend is what is the cost of a litre/gallon of gas at the pump in Trinidad.

    Compare that with what it is here.

    If it is say 50% cheaper there than here, reduce the fuel cost on your bill by 50% and then compare bills.

    I admit that is an approximation.

    I agree with Brutus, your bill is high.

    Clothes dryers and airconditioning require alot of electricity.

    Heating water is also expensive.

    I once was called to look at high electricity usage at a house with an electrically heated outdoor jacuzzi which was uncovered!!!!!

    Please tell me you don’t have anything like that or you use a solar heat exchanger for that purpose.

    Again, if you know how to read your meter you can actually measure the consumption of major appliances around your house.

    Turn everything off and then use one appliance at a time. See how long it takes for the smallest dial to move by one. That will tell you which appliance uses the most electricity.

    Come to think of it, try turning everything off and ensure your meter is not measuring electricity!!

    If you have a meter with dials there is a disc that rotates if electricity is passing through the meter.

    It should stop once you have everything turned off.

    This test also works with the water meter to see if you have leaks. Turn everything off and make sure it is not recording water.

  24. I might soon have to go back to using a kerosene lamp, with the cost of electricity going up every time. I believe the govt should reduce the vat on the cost of electricity to 8.5% and the FTC should revisit its decision to award the company an increase. The more i install energy saving equipment the higer my bill is becoming. I give up. The other day i was roasting a bedfruit and i said to myselff that i have to keep the two bricks togehteer as i migh have to cook on wood sometimes to help to cut down on the cost of operating a house. Promise to pull out the fridge later in the year when i go on holiday and see how much the bill is going to come in for. I called the company about two wees ago to check the meter, waiting for a call from the company. In may i went over and away i pulled out everything except the the little fridge and the bill came in for the samething as if i were home using electricity. Will pull out everything NEXT TIME..

    I could recall that when the BL&P had commissioned the new equipment at spring gardens it had bosted that the cost of electricy would have been cheaper and that never materialised. Why did EMra or whatever it is called paid an interest in the shares of BL&P, because it realized that the comapany is a milking cow. I would like the economist on this blog compare the ROI of light and power with similar ones in the regoin and afar and tell us their findings.

    I could not understand why jamaicans and trinidadans steal electricity, but i am now getting a clearer picture.

    Is the arrangement in place with SOL contributing to the cost of diesel and gasoline at the pump, can someone investigate?

  25. No matter what economies you put in place, your power bill is going to rise year on year forever, you are only shifting the inevitable to your fellows.

    It’s called capitalism, live with it.

    When the board of any company cannot report increased profits to their shareholders year after year, questions as to their ability will be asked at the AGM, threatening their golden goose positions.

    You save, switch off a puny 40w light in the vain hope you’ll see a reduction, but if carried out nationwide, BL&P in their corporate wisdom will approach the toothless lapdogs at the FTC and plead their capital expenditure is under threat due to falling revenues and a rate rise is necessary to maintain the system.

    Outcome: The consumer uses less, pays more and the utility increases the shareholder dividend year on year,guaranteed by government.

    Sweet for some, suck salt for the victims of an imposed monopoly.

  26. Power supplied by solar panels is the way to go, however Government must provide the incentives for people to do so. The only problem is set up cost. If Government provide concessions so that people could reduce the initial cost. BL&P might think twice about their price gouging.

  27. just only asking

    Check how much on your bill goes to fuel and how much to electricity.

    If you are cooking using electricity, think about alternatives, bottled gas or natural gas if it is available in your area.

    If you are ok reading the meter, read it every day at the same time each day for a week to see what days are high usage in your household.

    Read it every three hours every day if you want to see what activities are consuming the most electricity on a given day … if you have the time.

    As you start to understand where the money goes in your household as far as electricity is concerned you will start to compare the individual activities that consume that money for cost vs benefit.

    For instance, I guarantee a clothes line will dry clothes as dry as any clothes dryer …. if all you want is dry clothes!!

    If you want the benfit of speed however, then use the clothes dryer and pay the cost.


    The folks that take care of consumers are the consumers themselves.

  28. Welcome to criminal Barbados. Monopolys got us like caged rats to poked and provoked at will. This bunch want to sending to Siberia, never to return to political power.

  29. Caswell

    The benfit of “free” electricity has a cost.

    There is maintenance of individual solar units.

    Batteries go bad and need to be replaced …. and worse, to be disposed of.

    Remember, during the night there is no sun visible so batteries need to be charged during the day to supply the power at night.

    Wind is perhaps a better alternative because as a “fuel” it is available 24/7.

    I am quite capable of designing, building and maintaining a solar unit for my home but I would hesitate and think long and hard before I installed such a unit, either of my own design or from anyone else for those two basic reasons.

    If there was a supplier who had the technical know how and resources to keep that unit working 24 hours a day 7 days a week, maybe I might reconsider.

    At first glance, a wind farm is probably a better alternative, but that is just a spur of the moment suggestion with no rigorous thought or research invested.

    Of course if we were to find major oil under Barbados or offshore our problems would be solved!!!

    ….. don’t you believe me …. more would be created!!

    An understanding of what resources exist offshore and how to tap them safely and profitably will probably be a key to our future in the long term where energy is concerned.

    How many of our politicians (B or D, aspiring or incumbent) would you trust because of their demonstrated track record of understanding on technical matters to lead us into the future where energy is concerned?

    Most are lawyers but none seem to have thought that a change in the law was necessary for their chosen candidate to become Chief Justice, … or to open Dodds as a replacement for Glendairy.

    May God help us!!

  30. John
    The maintenance to the solar panels would only entail washing off bird droppings. There are no moving parts to go bad. Solar panels that are now being manufactured have a warranty of 20 years, but because they are solid state they could last much longer. You might get problems in the event of a hurricane, but that is all. In addition to the panels, you would need a simple inverter to change the current from direct current (dc) to alternating current (ac), and I agree that you would need batteries that would be charged during the days, by the solar panels, to maintain power at night.

    Tax incentives would help to lower the cost, but that is not being encouraged since the power that you obtain from the panels would not have to pass through the BL&P lines, hence no light bill.

    You then asked,
    How many of our politicians (B or D, aspiring or incumbent) would you trust because of their demonstrated track record of understanding on technical matters to lead us into the future where energy is concerned?

    For that answer, you would have to give me some time to think: right now I don’t think that they are any that I would trust to cut my toenails.

  31. @John….if you read my comments you will see that our continue efforts to save energy has only done one thing – increased our electric bill to exorbitant proportions. And no, we do not have electric heaters…we have solar. And yes, we did all those tests of turning on and off various things for the electrician who came to the house yesterday and NOTHING was pulling excessively – NOTHING!! @Just only asking. I know your pain ’cause when I used to travel our bill nevah did a dip…sometimes I would be away for a whole month!

    I will be discussing all of the above with Light & Power today…if anyone has questions you wished answered, please let me have them by 9 a.m. I am not going to just deal with my bill and my concerns…I am one of those who deals with all concerns…I started the ball rolling with my letter on Facebook and I do not stop until real answers that satisfy give all the peace we deserve. And yes! I understand monopoly, I understand shareholders wanting returns – I do not understand greed particularly at a time like this when we should be helping our fellow man to stay upright in whatever way we can, so we may all pull through these difficult times. The profits being made by Barbados Light & Power in these hard time are excessive and certainly a slap in the face of every Barbadian when they are published for all of us who cannot afford to pay our monthly bills far less buy shares in that obviously dream of a company to invest in! Bless.

  32. @Straight talk…I will bring this up. No reason really why a small island like Barbados could not be the first to have this! What a wow! Thank you for posting. We could make the world really look at us. Wonder if Light & Power would do this with all the profits they make, so that our people and our island can benefit….!! 🙂 🙂

  33. Light and Power (BL&P) have found a way to print money, and the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) obviously did not have the brains or expertise to work it out. What they (BL&P) do is take your peak usage from one month and apply that to a massively expanded rate the following month. You can mitigate against this by ensuring that you do not have too many appliances working at any one instant in time. Refrigerators we know, have to be plugged-in all the time, but if you use a washing machine or worse, a dryer at the same time as another high electricity guzzler such as an air conditioner, this will affect your following month’s bill drastically. Try and pace your use of high electricity-using appliances so that they are not all working together. High users of electricity are: washing machines, dryers, water pumps, air conditioners. Also, many security lights have 150 watt bulbs, which can be replaced adequately by much smaller energy-efficient bulbs. Flat screen TV’s are also high users. How many of us leave them on when not watching? The BL&P tariff is almost criminal in its application, so try and mitigate against it until something is done about it, if ever.

  34. Caswel

    For that answer, you would have to give me some time to think: right now I don’t think that they are any that I would trust to cut my toenails.

    Please don’t go to any unnecessary bother, the question was rhetorical.

    … but I can see from your initial thoughts you know that!!!

    A simple inverter has in electronic parts which can go bad.

    It isn’t only mechanical parts that fail.

    I would consider a solar electric power unit to supply a small part of the electrical demand (almost definitely my fridge) in my house on a day to day basis but would consider it essential in case of a protracted power outage to keep the fridge running.

    I would start small and see how dependable the technology is and what sort of battery life can be expected. Technology will improve in time.

    In my car I know that two years is the most I can expect. It is amazing how dependable that figure is. Somehow the battery always dies two years after purchase ….. the failure is totally reliable.

    I would choose solar power over a generator because it makes no noise and in the event of a hurricane/storm/bad weather and ensuing power outage I would not want to attract trouble given the noise a generator makes.

    Along with the solar power unit would come the necessary change over switch to enable me to use either power from the solar unit or the national grid.

    Depending on how fancy that is there are more parts to fail.

  35. Rosemary Parkinson | July 11, 2011 at 5:50 AM | @John….if you read my comments you will see that our continue efforts to save energy has only done one thing – increased our electric bill to exorbitant proportions. And no, we do not have electric heaters…we have solar. And yes, we did all those tests of turning on and off various things for the electrician who came to the house yesterday and NOTHING was pulling excessively – NOTHING!!

    Now you have to introduce the time element.

    Do you hear the fridge cutting in and out as it runs?

    If you have ac, are the rooms it services well sealed?

    Do you hear the compressors cutting in or out?

    If the control of these major appliances is not working your bill will be high because they do not know to shut off when the temperature set is reached.

    The test is as I said, over time.

    The electrician looking at an instant in time will not help unless he/she has taken the time to ensure the major appliances are working as they should.

    Ensure you know what to listen for.

    … and if your consumption is estimated, it won’t matter if you are away for three months. You will get the same bill, depending on the fuel charge for that month.

    Light and Power will not read our meter and will bill you according to the estimate it has of your consumption.

    You have the power (!!) to correct it if you find it is too high.

    You do not have to wait for them to come and read your meter.

  36. @John…yes! We have already done the listening for cutting out when temperatures have reached their goal….and yes all is well in that area too.
    How can it be that when I go away for three months that my electric bill would be the same…that is crazy…and why should I be paying fuel charge when I am not using any fuel (well certainly not much…enough for one security light outside???) Dear God!

  37. @Wake up!

    How exactly does BL&P measure peak usage of a residential consumer? How does using more than one appliance at the same time affect the kWh’s recorded on your monthly bill?

    If for the interim bill in one month, BL&P’s estimate is too high (based as you say on peak usage), wouldn’t your bill for the next month be lower if they come and read the meter? If the fuel charge has increased in that month isn’t it possible that the consumer might pay less overall than if BL&P had read the meter in both months?

    Or are you saying that even the actual meter readings are too high?

  38. More comments from others:

    Bajan artist:This electricity and costs has gotten ridiculous.
    I would also like to know why we are having these constant outages ( again yesterday) which are playing havoc with equipment. The outages almost add insult to injury when we are suddenly paying so much more.

    Bajan employee: Ask them WHY their ‘period of usage’ differs so greatly – like the time the ‘fuel adjustment’ is at its highest….they wait the longest to read the meter!!! Therefore when your bill comes…..call Sandy Crest! They need to be WAY more customer friendly!!! Also…they have some policy where if your bill exceeds a certain amount of $$$, you will be automatically changed to a ‘commercial customer’ and billed at higher rates! Well….fuel charges have gone UP, which would automatically raise your bill, even with less usage. Have they raised the ‘threshhold’ to reflect this? THEY NEED TO LEARN HOW TO PLAY FAIR!!! I must say how much I admire you Rosemary for taking the David and Goliath stance……I sincerely hope you can get PERSONAL RELIEF from this iniquitous situation!!!! All the best!!! ♥

    Friend employed in tourism: Somebody just posted on why they think the interim bills are estimated on the low side. Because BL& P can only gain when the meter is actually read since fuel charges go up all the time and it will mean more revenue to BL&P….

  39. This is what happens if you sell the shares cheaply to an overseas company that has a record of high-electric price rates in their own country. That should [b]never[/b] been sold to EMERA. What makes it worse it’s a monopoly (the only Electric power plant in Barbados) and they (like C&W/LIME) will be charging loads of money.

    No matter how hard you tried to conserve electricity, your bills will still be worse like you’re giving stimulus package to the BL&P. What are we getting in return from BL&P?

    No matter how hard you tried to conserve your electricity the costs multiplier goes up and our electric bills emptying out our wallets. Me and my mother are thinking about purchasing a diesel powered generator and getaway from Light and Power company’s expense route.

  40. Reply to John | July 11, 2011 at 12:28 AM |
    >>If there was a supplier who had the technical know how and resources to keep that unit working 24 hours a day 7 days a week, maybe I might reconsider.

    Try local company Green Technologies, Inc., greetechno@gmail.com 829-8039

  41. Rosemary

    @John…yes! We have already done the listening for cutting out when temperatures have reached their goal….and yes all is well in that area too.
    How can it be that when I go away for three months that my electric bill would be the same…that is crazy…and why should I be paying fuel charge when I am not using any fuel (well certainly not much…enough for one security light outside???) Dear God!

    If yor bill is estimated it does not matter if you are at home or in Timbuktu.

    BL&P will charge you for the same number of KWh it has as your estimate.

    In $ terms it could be more or less depending on the fuel charge.

    In 2000, Jan to February my household consumed 688 KWh.

    I paid 9.6968 cents per KwH for the fuel charge and my total bill was $202.56.

    It was an estimate.

    In March that year when my meter was read, the consumption was found to be 414KWh for the previous month.

    Fast forward to 2011, March to April.

    My household’s estimated consumption was 308 KWh.

    I paid instead of 9.6968 cents per kilowatt hour as the fuel adjustment 45.3897 cents per Kilowatt hour.

    My bill was $228.04 although my household was consuming about less than half of what it consumed in 2000.

    I believe I can get the consumption down by another 15% but as you can see, I will not alter what I pay in utility bills if the fuel charge goes up!!!

    I have to consider whether there is a justification for the increased fuel charge before I start blaming BL&P.

    Everything I hear independently of BL&P leads me to believe the price of oil has gone up.

    Can I justify the fivefold increase I have experienced with a fivefold increase in oil I hear of?

    I probably can.

    So what I am left with is to keep trying to minimise my household’s consumption by any means I can …… legally please!!

    If the cost goes too high I will look hard at alternative sources of energy.

    Did you know that the water your household consumes has potential energy in it which in theory can be converted to electricity?

    All the bits necessary to make the conversion are available off the shelf. Kind of like a mini hydro electric generator.

    You still end up with batteries and an inverter and the converter will be mechanical.

    I’ll run some numbers and see if it is worthwhile!!

    I expect pretty soon water rates will rise.

    We get water through electricity.

    I’ll run some numbers and see if I can estimate what it costs BWA in electricity to deliver water to a household of say 4 persons compared with what that household pays.

    My feeling is that the GOB subsidises the water consumer heavily.

    I pay about $30.00 per month which is ridiculously low for the utility I get from water.

    I figure it is just a matter of time.

  42. @John….after reading that link, I am convinced that men with such egos need to be made into eunuchs…sorry guys! but hey! this is all so much crap!! And today I have had enough crap to last me for a lifetime and it pains me to know that when I wake tomorrow, there will be more there for me to face.

  43. I would describe myself as an optimist ……. but then there is reality.

    We have avoided the crunch caused by the mess with oil prices.

    Like I say, if it manufactured, somebody needs to be strong up …. but I won’t go into the gory details.

    Maybe BL&P are exploiting the mess, maybe they are not.

    There should be a logical clearcut way in which the fuel charge is arrived at an it should be subject to audit by the FTC.

    Maybe it is published somewhere on the internet.

  44. Rosemary

    There is usually an electric booster heater in the solar tank.

    Make sure it isn’t switched on.

    It is easy to miss and turn it on and forget to turn it off.

    Maybe get the electrician to disconnect it if solar works well as a rule.

    As you see the fuel charge is pure murder and the electric meter is completely unforgiving of even the slightest slip ups in discipline.

    Maybe disconnect any external plugs if you suspect someone is using the power.

  45. @John: “There is usually an electric booster heater in the solar tank.

    You are wrong.

    I had the opportunity this weekend to inspect five (5) solar hot water collectors/heaters. None had electrical connections.

    If you ever see high-wattage electrical connections (read: thick wires) to your solar hot water heater, worry.

    If you don’t (which most wont), don’t worry.

    Some are simply trying to scare and distract you….

  46. It is correct that there is an electrical heating element installed in at least one brand of solar heaters manufactured locally.
    It is also correct that many are not connect for various reason at the time of system installation.
    These elements are supposed to be used if there is persistent rain for a couple of days.

  47. The problem with BL&P is that they will not read your meter for months on end, then when they finally do, if they were underestimating your usage, you then get hit with a very large bill.
    Earlier this year I was hit with a bill 6x more than what I had been paying for the previous four months.

  48. @All…

    Just putting this out for consideration…

    With all we *know* about the “Fuel Adjust Clause”, who makes the Money when fuel is expensive?

    Here’s a hint: it ain’t BL&P.

    Here’s a further hint, and a leading question: who does BL&P buy their fuel from?

    • @Chris

      During the last rate hearing was any attempt made to determine how much money BL&P makes by estimating usage? It seems, if we go by complaints, the estimate is using the high number which means there is money to be made in float.

  49. @Raw Bake: “It is correct that there is an electrical heating element installed in at least one brand of solar heaters manufactured locally.

    Care to name that brand of locally manufactured solar heaters which provide electrical augmented heating?

    @Rawbake… Please correct me if I’m wrong, but would not the amperage required require some serious engineering, certification, and an electrical inspection for each and every installation?

    Since that much energy being so close to the water supply could quite possibly introduce risk-to-life situations?

  50. @David: “During the last rate hearing was any attempt made to determine how much money BL&P makes by estimating usage? It seems, if we go by complaints, the estimate is using the high number which means there is money to be made in float.

    I don’t recall — I was rather involved with pedantic technical issues.

    However, the “Public” was made aware of the proceedings thanks to ROK and myself. Please see http://bajan.wordpress.com/2009/10/06/the-barbados-light-power-rate-hearing-commences/ for data.

    Perhaps the Public who are now complaining can research the prior art to answer the question now at hand?

  51. @CH,
    Are you trying to tell me that along with the VAT, gov.bb making a profit from selling fuel to BL&P?. Please say it ain’t so.

    I cannot speak to the electrical specs of the element as I am no electrical engineer. I can however tell you that the brand is Solar Dynamics. The element is similar to the one in an electric water heater so I imagine it is no more dangerous that an electric heater and probably even less so as the switch is normally off.

    • @Raw Bake

      There is no need to sidetrack the conversation about whether there is a booster switch installed on solar heaters or not, we know this to be the case.

    • @Chris

      As usual you chose to be selective in using your comprehension skills.

      Let others interpret for themselves.

      You may have the last word.

  52. David you is something else though!
    Bossman check and see who first mentioned the word booster on this thread. My name easy to call? Wuh rong wid you?

    Seriously though, you okay?

    • @Raw Bake

      Agreeing with you actually.

      Just saying forget Chris and his pedantics on the booster issue.

  53. @BU.David: “Just saying forget Chris and his pedantics…

    Gosh David.

    Just a little bit more negative energy, and I might be inclined to be offended…

    (Not likely, I agree. But it is fun to play… Is it not?)

    • @Chris

      You know the BU household holds you in high regard but when you indulge you must be called out …lol.

  54. Chris is not really a bad fellow. It must be difficult adjusting to the Bajan version of first world standards.

  55. It would be interesting to know if BL&P can a better price for fuel than what it pays the GoB. I always thought that BL&P imported its own fuel.

    So it is really in the interest of the DLP for the BL&P to be seen as the bad guy.
    Bottle gas gone down, light bills and gasoline might be next. 🙂

    • If memory serves there is a special pipe for BL&P to supply oil.

      Stephen Worme indicated that BNOC would have to be the one to disclose details of the BNOC/BL&P arrangement.

      Maybe the time has come for the details of this agreement to be made public.

  56. @David: “If memory serves there is a special pipe for BL&P to supply oil.

    It is interesting how a single word can make such a difference, isn’t it?

    The immediate above might be better worded “If memory serves there is a special pipe TO BL&P to supply oil.

    David, please DO pay attention to your words….

  57. Transparency,Transparency, Transparency.
    Why so much secrecy if everything is above board?

    Found this over at the Advocate, imagine that!

    The FCA is a mechanism that is intended to allow the company to recover the cost of fuel used in the generation of electricity. In its simplest form the unit value of the FCA is the cost of fuel used divided by the kWh sales. Because of the requirement for some forecasting the company may at times over or under-recover but by the end of the year imbalances are reconciled. It is a direct pass-through charge, which allows the company to recover the amount that was expended on fuel only. In 2007 the Commission undertook a study on the fuel adjustment charge which confirmed, among other things, that the company does not make any profit on this charge.

    The actual unit price of fuel oil is outside the control of the BL&P as it is required to purchase fuel from the Barbados National Oil Company Limited, the sole direct supplier of fuel oil on the island.

    In order to ensure continuity of service the BL&P is required to maintain adequate reserves, this means purchasing fuel months before it is used and maintaining an inventory. The price of fuel being used to generate electricity would therefore not correspond directly to the current price. Furthermore, in order to be assured of a reliable source of supply the utility purchases its fuel under contract and that price may not correspond to the current market price. Thus, it usually takes several months for changes in fuel prices to be reflected in the FCA.

  58. @all

    my solar water heater was installed in 1992 and it has an electical switich that i can switch on if the water is cold, and if you miss and switch it on you will see a red light.

    Hope that informs christopher.

  59. Is the arrangement in place with SOL contributing to the cost of diesel and gasoline at the pump, can someone investigate?

    Work this one out. I visited a gas station , not a regular one so to speak . I called for $50 worth of diesel. Access to this pump is on one side only. The pump stopped, indicating that $50 in fuel had been dispensed . The attendant who was standing on the other side, gave me back $10 from the $50 note offered. When questioned , I was told that the meter on the other side was indicating $40.
    Is it my understanding that the gas station operators,by that I mean individual managers , have the authority to calibrate the pump’s fuel delivery? If this is so ,therein lies a possible answer to the above query.

  60. I have seen booster heaters in two brands.

    The one I am most familiar with was on a 20 amp circuit, single phase.

    It is either a 1Kwatt or 1.5 kwatt element.

    I am going to assume the smaller value.

    Now, watch how the numbers play out.

    If it is turned on for an hour, 1 Kilowatt Hour of electricity is consumed and the BL&P charges at the moment 47 cents for the fuel and say 20 cents for electricity (assuming the third tier of the rates).

    Lets round that to 70 cents for the hour.

    Not bad!!

    Now suppose it is left on for a day, that is 70 cents x 24 hours = $16.80.

    Suppose it is forgotten and runs for 10 days.


    … and if it runs for a month ….. $504.00!!!!

    If the element were actually 1.5kWatts then that money would be $756!!

    The particular solar heater I am most familiar with had a pressure relief valve.

    I don’t think it had a thermostat.

    If it did, then the thermostat would have controlled the electrical power to the heater so the expense would not have been as high as $504.00, or $756.00.

    If it didn’t, the customer would be billed for $504.00 ($756.00 if the element was $1.5kWatts) because the energy was consumed on the premises, through the meter!!

    It is really important in these days that consumers know how to read their electrical meters. They can save themselves significant money and become aware of the activities which cost them the most in energy.

    Once you become aware of the cost to run an appliance and assuming you want to minimise the money you spend in energy, then you will automatically find ways to save energy.

    It is actually fun.

    That example can be applied to a 100 watt light bulb.

    If you left one on 24/7 for one month solid it would cost you 1/10th of $504 or $50.40.

    If you ran it only at night, every night, it would cost you a half, or $25.20.

    And if you ran a 150 watt bulb all night every night the cost would be 1.5 times $25.20 or $37.80.

    You can see why fluorescent bulbs save, for the same light output they require less energy than incandescent bulbs.

    Much of the energy supplied to an incandescent bulb will be dissipated as heat.

    You can also see that heating requires real energy ……. and although I haven’t shown it, so too does cooling.

    Lighing is cheapest.

    Hit the activities that involve heating or cooling hardest, that is not to say to ignore lighting and you will save.

    Learn how to read your meter so you can see the results of your efforts, don’t be confused by the estimates or interim bills that come.

    Hope rates come down, but realise that they will probably continue to rise.


  61. “During the period under review the fuel adjustment charge for Secondary Voltage and Large Power customers rose from 28.5220 cents per kilowatthour in April of 2008 to 49.821 cents per kilowat hour in August of the same year.

    The Government subsidy which allowed the fuel adjustment charge to remain at the October 2007 level 23.5357 cents per kWh for domestic and general power customers continued until November 2008 when the fuel adjustment charge fell below the subsidised rate.

    In view of this the subsidy was removed in November 2008 and thereafter all customer classes paid the same fuel adjustment charge.”

    Wonder what the subsidy amounted to as a total dollar figure and who the Government got to fund it?

    Whether we pay up front or whether the Government incurs the debt on our behalf is the question.

    If we feel the cost directly in our pockets we will act for the better to reduce the impact upon us.

  62. The behaviour of the fuel adjustment charge in the graph on page 9 of the FTC report is quite fascinating.

  63. @John

    you have given some intereting pointers, i use the machin every two weeks, no fans, no ac, The small fridge cuts in and out and thewriter says it used 437 kmh per year, I have only flourescent bulbs, motion sensor in the garage and at the back of the house, only press shirts, no dryer, dont use the switch to the solar, sometimes will fall asleep with television on and thats it.

    I am going to get some lamps, by the way wonder when solar power television and stereo sets coming?

  64. @David

    can you get some one to produce the ROI, the ROE, the interest cover among other things to let us see how bl&p is fairing when compared to similar companies

  65. @all

    Can you remember Mr. Worne keep saying that the Govt could not continue the subsididy with the comapny, i am now wondering why he had such a specail interest in the topic.

  66. @ CB
    ……..’Is it my understanding that the gas station operators,by that I mean individual managers , have the authority to calibrate the pump’s fuel delivery’?

    The answer to that (if it is a Sol station) is NO!!

    Try the ‘new’ Bio diesel…….cheaper and seems to be working well…..smells like something frying but I am told it cleans the engine well.

  67. Stephen Worme indicated that BNOC would have to be the one to disclose details of the BNOC/BL&P arrangement.Maybe the time has come for the details of this agreement to be made public.

    I agree!

    Now…John….I keep saying that we have checked everything…and yes! we have an electrical switch that powers up the solar unit when there is excessive rain and no hot water…..WE HAVE NEVER USED IT AND IT REMAINS OFF ALL THE TIME. All I can say at this time is: down the road a man has a large bar with pool tables and several beer cooler…everything runs 24/7…how come my bill more dan his by $600 – I am a home for crying out loud…. and I am basically living in one bedroom with my little office on the side. Downstairs lights are used so very occasionally…kitchen light is fluorescent. I have explained all above as to how I live…no need to do it all over again. I have explained that we had an electrician come here and look into each and every appliance…Life is stressful enough without having to read meters three times a day, mathematically working out whether my bill should be this or that. I am exhausted by all the worrying of how to make ends meet, am at my computer from 3 a.m. sometimes ’till 9/10 in the evening writing (my living) to eek out ‘charity’ money, (I say charity because I had a Marketing Manager from a company on the island tell me that “their charity budget was used up” when I asked for sponsorship for something to do with the arts – I learned that their company places the creative arts under the charity label which does not surprise me when we do receive charity money for the work we do!!!) So quite frankly just want a simple explanation as to why the bill is that high this month….and if there is no real explanation…then all I want from BL&P is how can I organize to pay this horrific bill slowly ’cause I ent got it this month…and the shock of the bill still has me even more stressed out!!!

    @David – I am still talking to BL&P. Will answer some of their questions today and the beat goes on…..I am simply exhausted….

  68. In the days gone by when we used to pay BL&P for their product without the fuel surcharge, what were they using for fuel? The same fuel we are now paying for? What I can’t understand is if someone is selling a service or product wouldn’t their prices include their all production cost? Ok I am no financial guru nor am I an economist, since the price of oil has risen, and we are made to pay this surcharge, I would like to know what percentage does oil have in their production costs, and at what price do they cost their fuel. Since they were granted a rate increase wouldn’t they have an increase in their fuel costs as well? This surcharge seem very unfair with the big profits they are making. We need to have them audited by an independent firm to see if and how much they have been ripping us off. In these trying times profits like these are unheard of unless there has been some price gouging. We the consumers are at their mercy and there seem to be no one to protect us. We are at sea on a boat without life jackets and life boats. Stupse…The bajan consumer is too docile and lazy. We need to march and protest this horrendous prices gouging by BL&P. Get up of yuh asses and let us be heard!

  69. I definitely got to stop reading all news. I doan even buy newspapers buh on ocajion does peep at de online ones. Now I gine have to stop reading dem too. Lawd have is mercy…whey de smelling salts? Wey de Alcolado? Me cyan onderstan….me jess cyan onderstan….Lawd…leh me tell ya lawd…forgive my sins lawd buh Hackleton Cliff looking sweet to fly off from so I could meet wid u and de angels – dat is only eff you can assure me dat we ent got a Barbados Light & Power in Buhbayduss Heaven lawd…please tell muh now ’cause eff you got one up dere lighting up de souls, I gine move to Trinidad or Venezuela so when I dead, is dem heaven I gine to.

    How in de name of hell can I read in Barbados Today that our monopolizing uranium company has made a whopping profit last year of 47 something million??? Dat de rise we government give dem ’cause dat huge profit?? And knowing how people suffering under the weight of these hikes, dat those talking to the press from dis same power company seem filled with so much pride to blurt out these figures like we all gine have a celebration over it!!! And what de backside is Self Insurance Fund…and whose money gine into that and what great investments are helping that company and its investors??? ‘Cause to me it sound like some o’ we money gine in dey and den de Uranium Company telling we is dat money dat help we island get over de big hurricane….I beg ya please explain dat one to me ’cause I real dumb and blond…leh tell ya. Is all ya pay to set we island straight after dat blow out from the weather….or was it we de people? ‘Cause eff it was we de people…den is us who should be proud dat we money fix up dis’ island and not the grand pompasetting of the Barbados Light & Power Co. Just asking? I only begging a question??? Maybe this fund is coming directly from the Directors’ pockets….and we should be grateful to them for dat!

    Please! Please! like dis’ power company want all of us who cyan’t afford a piece of dem pie to decide that communism is the best way out of all of this….. ‘Cause eff you aks me… dis’ democracy sounding more and more like dictatorship to we! Buh den I probably gorn off a little in me head dis’ mawning so doan pay me no mind hear???

    I know you got to make a profit Light & Power but 47 million in de people face? We definitely real poppets to accep dis’! An yu adding insult to injury by den telling we about how you working closely with big developments??? Who cares about big developments right now? We de people cyan’t even buy food after your bills. Hoteliers cyan’t even get people to come to dis’ over-de-top-highly priced island. Agents cyan’t get nutting sold, people leaving de country and putting dem house up for cheap cheap…uprooting dem families and moving away ’cause o’ de cos’ o’ living…you ent see how much real estate up for sale in this country? De whole of Buhbayduss under sale…de whole little rock under pressure…and you gine come out in the news and rub our faces in your big profits an’ tell we about more to come with big developments? I cyan see how more is to come ’cause my bills (and de ress’ o’ de island) dis’ year gone skyrocketing so high even de planes flying right over we and tekking de people dem to udder lands for de cheaper holiday! Gee me a break!!! BREAK!!! BREAK!!! BREAK!!!

    And now…my blood pressure real gorn up. My head feel like a raas turbine dis’ early mawning and I ent even get a cup of tea yet…shoots cyant use me kettle…got to put a pot on me gas stove to boil a little water hear…wey is dat calm-your-nerves tea….dat vervain me buy in de market??? Wey me blood pressure pills…and dat valium de doc gee me de udder day when I opened my electric bill…I need all all dis’ mawning…All I can say is praise be dat we Caribbean people ent like walking ’bout in rain ’cause all now so I would be on my way to de east coas’….

  70. I don’t remember ever not paying a fuel adjustment charge for electricity.

    If the fuel cost were treated as a straight cost of doing business then I guess BL&P could expect to make a markup on it.

    Perhaps they do but I get the impression that the idea behind the fuel adjustment charge (FAC) is to avoid this … I could be wrong.

    The audited financials forBL&P reveal they paid $306,803,000 for fuel in 2010, $236,552,000 in 2009, $297,612,000 in 2008, $225,299,000 in 2007 and $195,447,000 in 2006.

    Between October 2007 and November 2008, the GOB provided a subsidy which kept the fuel charge adjustment at a steady value. It looks like the fuel cost in this period was in excess of $250,000,000.

    Whatever the subsidy was, I am guessing it was in excess of $100,000,00 which is a debt we owe somebody incurred on our behalf to make someone look good for elections.

    While I understand the concern that BL&P might very well be FACING us at the moment, I would like to know how we were FACT in the past.

    Politicians and elections were involved so I know for a fact we were FACT.

    Who do we owe what debt to and how are they collecting on it?

  71. islandgal246

    Ok I am no financial guru nor am I an economist, since the price of oil has risen, and we are made to pay this surcharge, I would like to know what percentage does oil have in their production costs, and at what price do they cost their fuel

    I can’t answer the question about price for you but I can point you to page 18 of the bl&p financial statements for 2010 where;

    53 cents in the dollar goes to fuel excluding VAT.

    18 cents go to Labour and materials

    14 cents go to Taxes and VAT

    7 cents go to capital investments

    3 cents go to repayment of borrowings

    2 cents goes to insurance

    2 cents goes to shareholder dividends

    1 cent goes to finance charges.

    And yes, it would appear as though the shareholders do get their 2 cents worth.

  72. Another thing, why are we still using 50 cycles while most of our appliances are 60 cycles? Because of this our equipment are damaged and the BL&P claim they are not responsible because we have to protect them from their product they sell us. So what use is all the surge protectors we have are all made for 60 cycle equipment and the BL&P keep telling us that we need to protect our equipment because they are not responsible for their failure or damage. This seems so ass frontwards.

  73. Page 9 and 10 have a bit about price of oil

    The old adage of not having all your eggs in one basket applies very much to the situation that most islands in the Caribbean, including Barbados, find themselves today. Oil provides almost all of our island’s energy needs and
    represents the single largest expense in the generation of electricity. In 2010, the total cost of fuel purchased by the Company was Bds$306.8 million, up on the 2009 expense of Bds$236.6 million. The year opened with oil prices around US$80 per barrel and climbed steadily throughout the year ending around US$95 per barrel. With continued political instability in several of the major oil producing nations there is a strong possibility that oil prices will spike again.

    The Company recognizes that it is important for it to continue investing in more efficient plant and equipment. Over 80% of the gross generation was produced on the least expensive heavy fuel oil, using efficient generating plant.
    The Company is determined that its future be based on a broader choice of energy sources, but finding economic alternatives is not easy.

    Nonetheless, while the effort to diversify electricity generation away from oil has its challenges, it is imperative that we do so in the long term national interest and for the benefit of our customers.

    In February 2010, the Government of Barbados indicated its support for the importation of natural gas via undersea pipeline from Trinidad & Tobago and established a n a t u r a l gas negotiating team to pursue discussions with
    gas suppliers and the Eastern Caribbean Gas Pipeline Company. Steady progress is being made on this proposal, which continues to be an attractive option for Barbados to secure a clean source of energy at a lower cost than oil
    and on terms that provide price stability over the longer term.

    Wind energy has long been suggested as a viable option for Barbados, and following extensive public consultations, planning approval was granted on December 8, 2010 for the construction of a wind farm at Lamberts, St. Lucy. Discussions have now resumed with the landowner for the lease of the site at Lamberts. The Company remains committed to the community and will ensure
    that the project adheres to the conditions as set out by the Chief Town Planner.

    etc. etc. etc.

  74. Thank you John, but if they are making so much profit why can’t they absorb some more of the oil surcharge. Or offer less to the shareholders when profits exceed a certain amount. Something ain’t right there.

  75. Rosemary

    All you have to do if your bill is an estimate is to read the meter and see if BL&P owes you …. or the other way round.

    If you are indeed consuming the electricity BL&P says you are then figure out which days your consumption rate matches the Daily Average they have on your bill in the column marked Daily Ave. (kWh).

    One day will probably do.

    A reading at the beginning and end of a 24 hour period will give you an idea of what’s what …. no great mathematics required, just subtraction of two numbers.

    Their computer did the mathematics and provided you with a Daily Ave. (kWh) with which to compare what you get.

    You only need to go down to the detail of more regular daily measurements and mathematics if you decide it is warranted and you feel like doing it.

    I found it fun when I did it, kind of like sleuthing.

  76. islandgal246 | July 12, 2011 at 9:47 AM |
    Thank you John, but if they are making so much profit why can’t they absorb some more of the oil surcharge. Or offer less to the shareholders when profits exceed a certain amount. Something ain’t right there.


    You will have to take that one up with the shareholders and management.

    Audited financials for previous years might give say they are …… or maybe not.

    When I get a chance I will look.

    Given the capitalist nature of our economy I would guess not … but until I look, I won’t know.

  77. @John….we are monitoring same as we speak….I keep saying we are doing everything we can to find out what the problem is…so far nothing is coming up except a vicious bill to deal with…

    Tomorrow we will read the meter at 6 a.m., then 6 p.m., then 6 a.m. and get back to Light & Power as they have requested. I will say in all fairness, that whilst I pose and will continue to pose questions over the excessive profits (and excessive bills) of Barbados Light & Power when we are suffering so much financially over the global recession, Mr. Worme from Light & Power has answered my letter to him in a far more dignified manner than mine to him…I tend to rant when I am really upset (like no one has noticed!! but at least they are truth!!!) and we are working on finding out what the problem is here. I will not discuss my personal consumption of electricity any more until we have sorted it all out with the company….so I can make some kind of report.

    I still want to know more about this Self Insurance Fund? I am guessing John that when you say 2 cents goes to insurance…is it this Self Insurance Fund? And is this fund owned or looked after by a separate company? Also with investors? ‘Cause if this is so, then it is my money, your money, we money that going into this….or is it? As I said, just asking. My father taught me from young ‘Informate es tu deber’ – to inform yourself is your duty!

  78. Rosemary

    I like technical matters.

    Insurance and and all that stuff confuses me.

    Still, I know if I apply the discipline of inquiry I learnt growing up and was taught at school and university I can figure it out too …. but it will take me some time.

    The thing with electricity and water consumption is that both are brutally logical.

    Telephone now is another matter!!!!

  79. The FTC say that BL&P should read the meter at least once every two months and they take that to mean every two months. $47M in profits and they cannot hire staff to read meters every month? This thing about BL&P estimating people’s bill want stopping.

    They sit down in their offices with their foot up on the desk and estimate your usage, send you a bill and you have to find money from wherever to pay them.The money gets put on their bank account to make interest.

    When they decide to come and read the meter, they realise that the readings are way below their estimates. How could they have know that you unplugged the fridge, the microwave catching cobweb, wash and wear in effect and since CBC killed the dreambox, the TV gets turn off at 7 and lights out at 9 every night? So they issue you a credit instead of sending a bill.

    Now I ain’t got too much sense, so tell me if I am wrong for believing that I should be paid the interest that they made, when they borrowed my money and put in on the bank.

    Only dem one money got sense? Mine ain’t got none.

  80. …. but they don’t charge you interest when you owe them … at least I don’t think so.

    What they do is give you a credit for paying on time.

    In upwards of 100,000 households it stands to reason there will be some that the meter cannot be read because it is inside and no one is at home when the meter reader comes to read the meter.

    BL&P will not connect a new installation unless the meter is accessible to the meter reader according to their spec.

    Licensed electricians and contractors regularly attend seminars hosted by BL&P to be updated on changes to the specs.

    The old installations vary as to accessibility of the meter.

    All hell would break loose if BL&P started to require old installations to be retrofitted in order to make all meters accessible to meter readers according to their spec.

    A customer can read their own meter and pay according to what the measurement is.

    I was told I can even call in the reading over the phone.

    If BL&P has a problem they will make an appointment … and keep it …. to be satisfied.

    Once BL&P and the customer agree no problems.

    The meter gets read as regularly as required, once the two parties are in agreement!!

    As I showed in the youtube clip above, both the customer and the company benefit from the system of estimating consumption and can avoid unnecessary surprises.

  81. Tina

    You are insulting those 3 billion of us in the world who are really affected by povery and have no access to electricity whatsoever.

    This is about coming to terms with increased utility rates that are beyond our control and understanding what is needed from what isn’t needed.

    The Government has given up on subsidising us so we Bajans with our education, need to face up to and solve the problem ourselves.

    It is a great situation to be in.

    We have the knowledge, education and experience to solve the problem ourselves none of which can be associated with poverty.

    It is about cutting the suit to fit the cloth.

    If it really was about poverty there would be no cloth so the discussion on the suit would not take place ….. and there certainly would not be access to the internet!!

  82. @John

    For many the Internet is a place to use social media, watch movies and some other leisure activities. The fact that is also represents a rich resource which can add value to how we live is absent for many.

  83. @Technician.
    So who is retailing this Bio-Diesel?
    What ever became of Hally Haynes’ great plan to lease thousands of acres of palm forest in Guyana and to set up a plant to produce bio-diesel.

  84. A thought occurred to me. Where is BARP in all of this? I understand this group to which I belong actually is made up of about 10% of the population – enough members to make a real fuss about situations like this that affect people over 50 even more than the younger ones who mostly live at home, or are young enough to keep up with three jobs to pay their bills????

    Funny… today someone said to me that whilst it was commendable that I have brought this matter to the fore…nothing will be done in the end…people in Barbados will not rise up and march outside BL&P with placards demanding answers as to how this company can make such a huge profit in times like this….hmmm. I guess that’s why there are so many cars…we doan like to walk…and in de hot sun? Not at all. And heaven forbid we should get wet doing it…now that would cause the island to come down with head colds.

    Ahhh well…now I understand why poor Julian Hunte landed up being sent off to the mental…because he alone would stand come rain or shine with a placard around his neck against anything that was unfair…Hope there’s a room for me in Black Rock…that’s if I get to Hackleton Cliff and find it too steep to jump!! 🙂 🙂

    • @Rosemary

      BARP posted an excellent article in the Business Authority last issue.

      The question s whether this represents the sum of its advocacy effort.

    • The following exchanges on Facebook which includes Andrew Brathwaite, an FTC Commissioner should help to clarify:

      Raquel Gilkes Hello? When will people do a little research before they run off at the mouth? I am pretty sure that the reason why the Fair Trading Commission allowed the last rate increase is because the BL&P was, and still is, making a lost when selling fuel to domestic customers. I was in a FB discussion about this recently, and I am sure Andrew Brathwaite, who is more intimately acquainted with this issue than I am.
      15 hours ago · Like

      Sherwin Hinds Talk is cheap,do something,stand up for your rights.Anyway we are all addicted to new technology and instead of decreased usage of their product we increase it whether it is too high or not,a lot of the foolishness going on in this country we are responsible for,we vote in and vote out and that’s all.
      15 hours ago · Like

      Carson Cadogan
      Carson C. Cadogan | January 11, 2011 at 8:12 AM | The Barbados Light and Power must not fall one hundred percent into the Hands of overseas investors. The Barbados Light and Power is a Strategic National Asset.As mention before someone on this blog (Barbadosunderground) that the true value of Barbados Light and Power shares may be around $36.00. Therefore EMERA is asking a discount price for it’s shares.Barbadians will be robbed if they accept the $25.00 per share.EMERA according to Canandians who write on our blogs paint a grim picture of EMERA, EMERA CHARGES THE HIGHEST ELECTRICITY RATES, THEY FAIL TO PROPERLY MAINTAIN THEIR INFASTRUCTURE, THEY ARE PRONE TO OUTAGES.Be careful with recommendations from the Management of Barbados Light and Power company if they say sell your shares, they stand to make MILLIONS OF DOLLARS from any sale. They are not acting in the interest of Barbados, they are acting in their own selfish interest, bear that in mind.The Democratic Labour Party Government must not sell the NIS shares in Barbados Light and Power Company
      14 hours ago · Like

      Patrick Porter
      Here in Canada we are having our power rates going through the ceiling. They have gone up about 15% in the last 2 years.So it is a worldwide problem. They worrying fact is that they say they will increase another 10-15% in the next 4 to 5 years. We even have restrictions on when you can and cannotuse your power. If you use it in off peak times you get a 5% discount, if you don’t then you get hammered. The problem is that they are trying the green alternative and it is costing a fortune to install. In addition to the province paying the developers great sums of money I am talking 10 billion dollars
      14 hours ago · Like · 1 person

      Yogi Ni Ms.Gilkes when has the BL&P made a lost in Barbados in the past 30 years? I’m asking because I’m not well informed on these things. The day BL&P make a lost in Barbados , SEA water will be saltless.
      13 hours ago · Like · 1 person

      Yogi Ni What is the real purpose and FUNCTION of the FAIR TRADING COMMISSION? Maybe it is time for the Government to close it down. Who is going to guard the guard? Surely not the FTC.
      13 hours ago · Like

      Andrew Brathwaite Raquel – BL&P passes on the cost of fuel directly to consumers, so over time they make neither a profit or a loss on the fuel. However the rates (excluding fuel) are designed so that domestic customers pay less than what it actually costs to provide the service to them.
      13 hours ago · Like

      Andrew Brathwaite
      Based on numbers recently published by BL&P, a residential consumer using 300kWh per month would have been charged $169.09 in Jan 2010 and $235.39 in July 2011 – this is an increase of $66.30 per month.Of that increase, $7.02 is due to the increase granted by the FTC, $46.28 is due to the increased cost of fuel, and $13.01 is higher VAT (due to the increase from 15% to 17.5% as well as the increase in the base on which VAT is charged).The message I get from that is that we need to move towards renewable energy as fast as our little legs will carry us.
      13 hours ago · Like

      Andrew Brathwaite Of the total bill of $235.39, $166.18 (70%) is the price of the fuel (including VAT).
      13 hours ago · Like

      Rosemary Parkinson ‎@Andrew…you lucky…our bill was BDS$1700 – see Barbados Underground…
      12 hours ago · Like

      Yogi Ni Thanks for the INFO Mr. Brathwaite. At the end of the day BL&P are making SUPER PROFITS each year.Yes every business should and must make a profit if it is to remain a VIABLE ENTITY ,but when a Public UTILITY COMPANY is making SUPER PROFIT at the expense of it Customers, there is a real need for concern, and PUBLIC OUTCRY.
      12 hours ago · Like · 2 people

      Andrew Brathwaite Yogi Ni – what in your view would be a reasonable level of profit for BL&P to make?
      12 hours ago · Like

      Philip Corbin
      Andrew Brathwaite, The question to be answered is why was the BL&P application for a rate increase entertained at a time when this country was sinking into a deep recession, when infact the company was profitable and had significant retain…See More
      11 hours ago · Like · 2 people

      Philip Corbin
      Raquel Gilkes, You made the statement that BL&P is making a loss on the sale of electricity to private consumers. That statement I doubt, but even if that were so, BL&P , in 2010 BL&P took in an additional $93M(net of VAT) from consumers, …See More
      10 hours ago · Like

      Andrew Brathwaite
      Philip Corbin – the company requested new rates which were estimated to give them additional revenue of about $28M. The FTC’s decision granted them rates which were estimated to give them additional revenue of $25M. This was to give them what the FTC considered to be a fair rate of return of 10% on their rate base.This initial profit will help them acquire new plant which will be more efficient than the existing plant which is nearing the end of its useful life. The reduction in the fuel charge to customers for fuel as a result of this new plant is expected to more than compensate for the increase in rates granted. So customers are expected to benefit as much as the company (or maybe more!!)Note also that the basic rates are now fixed, and even as BL&P acquires new plant and expenses increase in future years the basic rates will remain the same unless they go to the FTC for an increase. Let me repeat – the bulk of the increase being seen by consumers is due to the increasing cost of fuel.
      10 hours ago · Like · 1 person

      Philip CorbinAndrew Brathwaite, Your state that the new rates granted by FTC is supposed to give BL&P an additional $25M in revenue……is this revenue or net profit ?
      9 hours ago · Like

      Vernon Robinson ‎@ Carson: The BL&P is one of what John Maynard Keynes called “The Commanding Heights of The Economy”. Governments should control the commanding heights of the economy.
      9 hours ago · Like · 1 person

      Andrew BrathwaitePhilip Corbin – this is increased revenue. I think that the $90M you are quoting for the increase in revenue includes about $70M from fuel.
      9 hours ago · Like

      Vernon Robinson so Andrew, what exactly are you saying. the rate increase was justifiable?
      9 hours ago · Like

      Andrew Brathwaite Vernon, I am trying to give enough enough so people can decide for themselves.
      8 hours ago · Like · 1 person

      Andrew Brathwaite sorry, enough information
      8 hours ago · Like

      Vernon Robinson ok
      8 hours ago · Like

      Philip CorbinAndrew Brathwaite, Thanks ……not that I doubt what you are saying, but it I have not seen the financials which is a pity as I would like to see the expense side for the fuel cost. From what youre saying the $20M represents the increase in rates which went directly to the bottom line. Hmmmm….
      7 hours ago · Like · 1 person

      Raquel Gilkes ‎@ Yogi. No. The BL&P does not make a loss! But it provides fuel to residental customers at less than what it costs BL&P to produce it.
      6 hours ago · Like

      Michael A Clarke ‎@RG. And how do you know that?
      6 hours ago · Like

      Michael A Clarke There are several ways to manipulate costs.
      6 hours ago · Like

      Doug Newsam
      OK, we don’t like it the way it is and has been. Let’s nationalise BL&P and see what happens …. revenue not collected, tens of millions in arrears, payroll growing at the whim and fancy of politicians, oh what a joy that would be. Upgrades to plant and equipment left unattended for decades (like BWA), financial statements late if ever prepared and never made public, losses growing like the Transport Board which we subsidise by taxes – oh I can hardly wait for these days to come. Leh we ah go.
      6 hours ago · Like · 1 person

      Philip CorbinDoug Newsam, I’m sure that many of us would never support the nationalisation of BL&P, that would be a major mistake given our experiences with govt controlled and operated organisations, however I still concerned that we allowed a monopoly to obtain an increase in rates at a time when we were entering a deep recession. This has caused an avoidable increase in the cost of living.
      5 hours ago · Like · 1 person

      David King Why are we fixated on the BL&P? We need to move the national conversation to rolling out RE sources of energy as Andrew stated above.
      5 hours ago · Like · 1 person

      Doug Newsam Agreed, but the relevant procedures were followed …. so…. something may be wrong with the process.I agree with AB & DK- too much talk about BL&P, let’s move to alternative sources.
      5 hours ago · Like · 1 person

      Ricardo Austin I am not knowledgeable on this particular topic but it seems to me from the readings that a few of the respondents can be spokesmen/women for the BL&P…Let’s be spokesmen/women for the people.
      4 hours ago · Like · 1 person

      Andrew Brathwaite
      Note that BL&P’s net profit for 2010 was about $33M compared to $21M for 2009 – this is based on the audited financial statements. The figures reported in the press are for the Light & Power Holdings, and include profit from the self insurance fund and the holding company. The profit is insignificant compared to the cost of fuel for the year which was $307M – so even if BL&P had absorbed $33M of the fuel cost and made zero profit might not have significantly reduced bills to consumers.
      about an hour ago · Like

      Andrew Brathwaite Iif BL&P had not been granted the rate increase, the consumer using 300kWh per month would have seen their monthly bill increase by $58.05 instead of by $66.30 (July 2011 compared to Jan 2010). The increase due to the rate increase granted by the FTC would be about $99 over the course of a year on a total bill of $2,800 for the year (based on the July fuel charge).
      about an hour ago · Like

      Andrew Brathwaite
      Note that BL&P’s net profit for 2010 was about $33M compared to $21M for 2009 – this is based on the audited financial statements. The figures reported in the press are for the Light & Power Holdings, and include profit from the self insurance fund and the holding company. The profit is insignificant compared to the cost of fuel for the year which was $307M – so even if BL&P had absorbed $33M of the fuel cost and made zero profit might not have significantly reduced bills to consumers.
      about an hour ago · Like

      Andrew Brathwaite
      People, we are in the middle of a global financial crisis so please expect that there will be hardship. Based on the Central Bank report on the economy for the first six months of this year things will likely get worse before they get better.In my view it is absolutely necessary that the high cost of fuel be passed on to consumers so that we are forced to change our habits and reduce our consumption of oil (and generally reduce our consumption of imported goods). This oil is a significant drain on our foreign reserves and has the potential to cause significant foreign exchange problems. Please stop blaming BL&P for that and focus on the real issue.I think that harsh measures are coming and we need to prepare ourselves for it. So far we have been spared the worst if you look at what has happened in other countries but we have serious problems in our economy.

    • For those interested in reading a little about how BNOC distributes oil to BL&P and some historical basis for doing so can follow this link to the FTC website.

      The FTC lost the case and has appealed the decision.

    • What is starkly evident is that the issue of electricity rates/prices is of high concern to Barbadians, obviously our lifestyle which depends heavily on electricity and the significant impact on inputs to other costs.

      As individuals we need to take ownership of finding a solution while at the same time pressuring government to pursue Renewable Energy sources of energy.

  85. Colonel Buggy | July 12, 2011 at 3:02 PM |

    So who is retailing this Bio-Diesel?

    @ CB…

    Joe Castillo in Green Hill behind Standards bond…it is called PGE… Paradise Green Energy.
    Around $2.25 per Litre (not sure if that is the correct price but it is cheaper).

  86. Are we in Barbados being secretly taxed? Why is it that so many who have unoccupied buildings are being sent bills for large sums of money?

  87. Emera stock price on the TSX has gone from $26 cad per share in July 2010 to $32.31 today.

    Seems like a good buy.

  88. A profit of 47 million dollars from a population of 275,000 borders on exploitation by a monopoly. The true cost of fuel should be part and parcel of their operating costs. Emera saw that they can buy us for a song and fleece us naked. And it is legal!

  89. Light and Power is doing what merchants in Barbados have done forever —sucking the blood of the sufferers-

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