Barbados Light & Power Company mindful of competition

The Barbados Light & Power (BL&P) Company is undergoing several changes with the customer in mind, while also gearing up for the possibility of future competition.

With reports of another Canadian company seeking to enter the local solar market, Managing Director, Roger Blackman, told the media during a recently held press briefing, that the introduction of smart meters, a new customer centre and a fuel hedging application to the Fair Trading Commission, are just some of the initiatives implemented to re-engineer the current processes, and essentially keep the company on top of existing and newcomers to the market.

“We are in a competitive environment today. Customers already have choices, and they are demanding more from the utility, so those changes, in terms of our structure and our approach, are gearing us up to remain the customer’s preferred choice in the future.”

Blackman, who recently returned to Barbados after a two-year secondment at the parent company in Halifax, Canada, acknowledged, however, that there have been some concerns raised by members of the public about the power outages in recent weeks in the St. George and St. Michael areas.

“Not full blackouts... we tend to reserve the word blackout for big events, but we have had some outages in certain areas over the last few weeks. The main cause of those have been associated with contact by trees and tree branches and so on. That is one cause. And another has been third party contacts... basically cars hitting poles,” he explained.

“We are currently doing a lot of what we call vegetation management, to address the first cause, and within the next week or so we would have completed the Wildey area, where we would have had some issues in terms of clearing the trees off of power lines, and we are moving on to another area in St. Thomas, Arch Hall, where we tend to have challenges from time to time as well.

“What we have done is ramped up our vegetation Management Programme to address those issues that have come up over the last couple of weeks,” he assured. (JH)

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