After two meetings with the Barbados Light & Power Company (BL&P) in relation to its recent intermittent power outages, the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) is now awaiting a report from the electric utility company.
Word of this has come from Chief Executive Officer of the FTC Sandra Sealy, as she responded to questions from the media on Friday following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the FTC and the Financial Services Commission (FSC).
“The utility is expected to send us a full report of the circumstance within six weeks of the incident happening,” said Sealy.
This means the BL&P has until the end of December to submit its report.
“We have had two meetings with them and they assured us that they would be sending that report, and when we get that report we will be able to make any further determination on what needs to happen going forward with respect to customers that were affected,” she indicated.
On Monday, November 18, around 7:29 a.m. the BL&P’s approximately 130,000 customers were left without electricity, some for as much as 15 hours.
While about 50 per cent of the power was restored later that afternoon, the entire island was not restored until about 11 p.m.
However, the following morning, the power was again shut down.
The Barbados Water Authority later revealed that the power outages had contributed to the collapse one of its main pumping stations which left scores of customers with dry taps.
Following the outages, residents and businesses called for the electric utility company to provide compensation.
Sealy reminded that there was a process involved.
“There is a process with respect to persons who had a fallout due to the outage they experienced with the Barbados Light & Power. Persons have been told to contact the Barbados Light & Power and let them know the problems they are having and then they will deal with them according to the procedure that has been already set,” she said.
While the FTC is carrying out its investigations, affected BL&P customers have to complete a Guaranteed Standards of Service Claims form, which can be found on the company’s website, and return it to the company within three months of the date of the event giving rise to the claim.
The utility must then be given 14 business days to address the claim.