For our world to function as is, it needs a lot of what we now consider ‘basic necessities’ such as cell phones, the internet, and of course, electricity. With that said, these things should not be hard to come by and definitely shouldn’t cost an arm, a leg, and a pound of flesh to maintain. Well, in a society where the cost of living is steadily increasing and minimum wage is struggling to keep up, how can we offset the cost of providing these essential services with the struggle that Bahamians face to put food on their tables? I don’t have the answer, but let’s talk about it.
This letter comes after information regarding the possible implementation of a late fee on overdue BPL bills made its rounds on social media. As one would expect, this information, which was later addressed by BPL as a future possibility and not an impending change, was poorly received by the masses. But are we surprised by the public’s reaction? The cost of electricity is already high, so adding a late fee on to late payments would make it even higher! Now, I can understand why people would be upset with this possible change.
However, we have to give credit where credit is due.
BPL allows late payments.
BPL allows a grace period before turning off its consumers electricity.
Taking into consideration that BPL is a business with a goal of earning a profit, those two statements show that BPL cares about its clients enough to give them grace as they understand that the service that they provide is essential. However, just like all the other businesses in The Bahamas, BPL must keep its books in the black as well. Think about it, if clients owed your company millions of dollars, wouldn’t you be trying to find ways to get the money that you are owed for the services that you provided?
If BPL continues to be in the red, how will we as a nation ever be able to move from generators, to clean energy, from load shedding to a consistent flow of power, and most importantly, from total reliance on outdated technology to 21st century infrastructure?
Now, I am not saying that BPL should implement the late fee and, the Government has already stated that it won’t allow them to do so. However, I do believe that BPL has the right to continue to try to find ways to get out of the red because if it doesn’t, the future of energy in this country looks a little… dim. But, like I said, I don’t have the answers, I just want to have a discussion, so let’s talk about it!