From the Facebook Page of Rosemary Parkinson
This is Mr. Worme’s letter to me re those discussions. It is only fair that since I wrote such an angry letter that his side of the coin should also be published. I will make my feelings clear in comments in bold and these will be sent to
Dear Ms Parkinson,
It was a pleasure meeting with you and Ms Galt to discuss the concerns which you expressed publicly regarding your electricity bills and the several other concerns you had about our Company’s operations.While there are always opportunities for improvement, I think our Company has demonstrated in many different ways our commitment to providing a high quality service to our customers and we intend to continue these efforts particularly during these very difficult times for our customers and our country as a whole.
My point: Agreed. It was indeed a fair discussion but must say always in the knowledge that Mr. Worme kept on pointing out that Barbados Light & Power has done nothing wrong. And we are to expect even higher bills as the months roll on.
After discussing your concerns and reviewing the billing of your electricity account, we found the following:
Your account with the greater electricity consumption supplies two air-conditioners, which are in regular use; two clothes dryers, which are used periodically; a refrigerator; other appliances and lighting. The average daily usage on this account between reading periods over the last year has varied from a low of 37.3 kWh per day in cooler months and as high as 58.8 kWh per day in warmer months.
The second account supplies mainly a refrigerator, other appliances and lighting. The average daily usage on this account over the last year varied from a low of 6.7 kWh per day to a high of 7.6 kWh per day during reading periods. The major factors contributing to your recent high bills have been:The high fuel cost. In July the fuel charge and VAT accounted for around three quarters of your overall electricity bill. The increase in usage between April and June was mainly due to higher use of air-conditioning during this hotter period.
My point: Our bill might be lower in cooler months but air-conditioners were still in use (it is just not as hard for them) as this particular house does not get the easterly breezes that seemed to have disappeared from this side of the island since all the development of St. Farlip. And all appliances in question also were being used including Washer/dryer etc.
Our discussion covered many issues ranging from the reason our Company applied for the rate adjustment, which we were granted last March, to the efficiency of our operations. We also discussed the fact that high fuel prices are not something our Government nor our Company has direct control over and, while there is always room for improvement, rather than complain and blame others for the situation, we have to each take responsibility for the things we have control over and to work together as a community to help each other find ways to deal with this problem which is likely to be with us for some time to come.
My point: I have no problem with the granting of the extra money by government. If it was deserved that is and I have to leave this to the economists ’cause obviously I ent one and + I nevah followed all the back and forths as to why this was required – I was too busy trying to keep my life afloat by working. But this is my problem. If Amera is supposed to be this multi-national Canadian company with a lot of financial power, surely now that they are involved with Barbados Light & Power, they should be able to help in the granting of the necessary loans in order for BL&P to improve their plant. Last year BL&P made 45 million Barbados dollars in profit. This year they are aiming at 53 approx. in order for them to be able to “see the light” – whilst we are in darkness? So why did we have to have Amera in the first place? And whilst I know that Barbadian (and other) shareholders sold out…if BL&P had said no, this may not have happened. But they encouraged shareholders to do so. Of course, we all have choices…and if selling out is one, then we cannot complain about most of Barbados being owned by other countries. Done.
…and yes! I agree that 17.5% vat on electricity which is a required human right in this developed country should not even be imposed….and if it has to be, then a lower amount for light and water should be what we as a people demand from our government….and no! I do not agree that fuel charges are correct, we all see prices going down worldwide but ours going up…do we get different gas/oil from the rest of the world or what. Is ours gold like the gold coast?
From the follow up information that you provided from the monitoring of the usage on your meter over the last 6 days, your average daily usage varied from as low as 17 kWh/day to just over 38 kWh/day. This is a significant reduction from the average of 58.8 kWh/day used between April and June. As you indicated, this has been achieved by turning off the air conditioners on some days and using less on others but this has impacted significantly on comfort level. I am sure if you continue to monitor the usage on your meter and both you and your next door neighbour continue your conservation efforts, you should be able to find the right balance between cost and comfort. I also recommended that you consider the installation of a power monitoring device that could monitor the overall usage as well as the usage on some of your higher usage appliances.
My point: Not only have we been monitoring/reading our metre twice daily (a bloody inconvenience!) and yes! it is reading lower usage but we have literally shut down all appliances including air-conditioners living in darkness and in boiling heat for the last four days…(duh!!) and the best is we are told by separate letter that this horrible inconvenience of having one’s home look like a chinese laundry with clothes hanging all over the place instead of being in the dryer (and yes we could string up some lines in the front yard so we can go ghetto) and the people within looking like naked drenched rats at all given times, will actually save us each maybe $200 a piece, seems completely ridiculous.
As discussed, we at Light & Power intend to continue to play our part to mitigate the high price of oil by optimizing the operation of our generators and to seek cost effective alternatives sources to use of oil in the medium to long term. We hope, however, that customers recognize the role that they too have to play by managing their energy consumption to help minimize the impact of these high oil prices.
My point: But why at the expense of us the consumer? I understand that cost effective alternative sources have been offered/advised by many over the last few years and only now is BL&P thinking about them…only now is government thinking about them? ….so how long will these cost effective alternative sources take to be put in place?
…and yes! before we received our enormous bill we were already playing our part in managing our energy consumption…very much so…now we could as well go live in a hut in the country and use a standpipe to wash our clothes hanging them up between two tree… even ‘though we have worked hard to give us a spot in life that we feel makes our being here comfortable.
I hope you have found this exercise useful and that through the process the information you have obtained will help you find a way to manage your electricity bills more effectively while allowing you to maintain a satisfactory level of comfort in your home.
My point: Mr. Worme you were indeed a wonderful person and I learned a lot from you but this exercise was not as useful as it should have been because we are still in the same position as we were in before. Probably worse as none of us are comfortable and apart from Laura and myself, we have an elderly bed-ridden lady who is definitely finding it very hard to live in heat.
1. Oh! And tell me something who pays for the electricity used at the BL&P offices – have they turned off their air-conditioners to help bring down consumption?
2. Does our fuel charge include their usage of fuel…just wondered about that one.
3. And I still want to know why we have to pay 2 cents per kwt. for insurance, a company that is owned by BL&P. I am told that insurance companies have put up their prices because of the amount of hurricanes etc. we have had, so BL&P decided to open their own insurance company. Okay I get that. What I do not get is why are we paying for it??? And is it true or is it a rumour that this insurance company also has investors? Surely if my computer suddenly is struck by lightening and I have to replace, I go to my insurance company for help to purchase another one and if I feel that they are not giving me a good deal, yes! I can buy my own insurance company BUT I cannot pass on my investment in another company on to the consumer….I cannot charge my client more money because I had to bring in a new computer…it is part of what happens within any company and those possibilities are iimbedded in my initial and known cost to my client.
Let me know if I can be of further assistance.
Chief Marketing Officer
My opinion: Both the government and Barbados Light & Power have to work with us your voters/customers in a much better way…we know about VAT and fuel charges …they need to disappear for awhile…but I would suggest that in the interest of keeping your people happy, Barbados Light & Power, and working with us to lower our charges, perhaps you could consider making those enormous profits a little smaller over a period of time until we get over whatever needs to be gotten over during these hard times. Use Amera. Just saying. Just my opinion.
Just to end: But I do thank you Mr. Worme for taking the time to come to us and write to us. You are definitely an asset to your company and indeed a patient and willing to explain every little detail kind of guy. And please understand that all the above are not only my concerns but the concerns of all Barbadians…I know I speak for all of us who have seen our bills suddenly sky-rocket…because I also happen to know that many bills have not – and this little fact is also causing me botheration ’cause if bills go up, dem supposed to go up across the board right??
And I do thank you for your time. This letter is nothing personal…just how I feel. Worse than the picture of me befo’ I was forced to live this way in order to save $200 a month!