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Freeport, Grand Bahama — PLP Candidate for Marco City, Gregory Moss, says that he has received documentation which shows that the Grand Bahama Power Company has admitted, in writing, that it has overbilled commercial and industrial customers in Grand Bahama for the last 7 years and that it has paid compensation to those customers for overbilling.
According to Mr. Moss, he has been informed that the total compensation which has been paid by the Grand Bahama Power Company to its commercial and industrial customers so far is in excess of $5.5 million. Such customers are said to include Polymers International, Bahama Rock, Pelican Bay Hotel and the Grand Bahama Shipyard.
As a result, Mr. Moss has written an open letter dated 5th October, 2011 to Mrs. Sarah MacDonald, the President and CEO of the GBPC, to ask her to address the following issues:
1. Were commercial and industrial customers of the Grand Bahama Power Company overbilled?
2. For what period were they overbilled?
3. What was the reason or reasons for such overbilling?
4. When was such overbilling discovered?
5. How was such overbilling discovered?
6. Why was such overbilling not discovered earlier?
7. Why was such overbilling not discovered as a part of the Island Wide Meter Audit which was conducted by the Grand Bahama Power Company in 2009 in response to his call for the same while he was President of the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce?
8. Has the default which led to such overbilling been corrected?
9. In what aggregate amount were such commercial and industrial customers overbilled?
10. Where did the money come from to compensate those commercial and industrial customers for such overbilling? Specifically, did such money come from the general revenue of the Grand Bahama Power Company and, if so, will the Grand Bahama Power Company be seeking to recover that lost revenue through its monthly billings to its residential customers?
11. Is any audit being conducted to ensure that residential customers have not been, and are not being, similarly overbilled?
12. Were any residential customers similarly overbilled? If so, how many and in what aggregate amount?
13. Have any residential customers been notified of any overbilling? If so, when and in what aggregate amount?
14. What safeguards have been put in place to ensure that no such overbillings occur in the future?
Mr. Moss described the alleged overbilling as being “of grave concern to the people of Grand Bahama” and voiced the view that “residential customers, and not only commercial and industrial customers, deserve to be compensated for any overbilling that may have occurred”.
Mr. Moss also referred to a meeting which he had with members of the executive team of the Grand Bahama Power
Company in March of this year during which meeting he expressed the view that I “the Grand Bahama Power Company must do more than simply stabilize the cost of power in Grand Bahama. Instead, it must reduce the cost of such power”.
Specifically, Mr. Moss questioned “why power generation in Grand Bahama, utilizing untaxed fuel, costs residential customers in Grand Bahama an average of 35 cents to 40 cents per kilowatt hour while power generation in the State of Florida cost residential customers an average of only 10 cents to 12 cents per kilowatt hour”. He described that discrepancy as being “unsustainable as it is a major drain on household incomes, and a major impediment to business development, in Grand Bahama”.
Bahamas Press wonders who in the government knew of the overcharging to the people of that Island. We also wonder who in the government is investigating the skyrocketing bills now being impose on residents of New Providence by BEC.