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Jul 20, 2020

Why Are Your Light Bills So High?

There are mounting complaints from consumers that their light bills have been going up, in some instances doubling, during these very difficult economic times. Now, since March when there was a lockdown due to COVID-19, meter readers have not been seen, but yet light bills have skyrocketed. Even though it is said that the consumption of power increased because families were at home instead of school and work, the billing process for electrical usage is being challenged.  According to B.E.L., an internet-based application is used; the meter reader syncs the information from the system at B.E.L. and takes that meter number and address to identify that meter.  A reading is taken and entered into a handheld device, which has properties to suggest if the reading is high or low. That information is then synced back to B.E.L. where assigned reps vet the information provided by the meter reader. Today, the utility company gave a demonstration of a meter reading. Service Delivery Supervisor, Sherman Ferguson says that the company has been monitoring consumption of electricity for years and data shows that it increases between the months of March and September.

 

Sherman Ferguson

Sherman Ferguson, Service Delivery Supervisor, B.E.L.

“Our billing process is very transparent. The equipment used to measure our customers consumption is actually at occasions. So they had access to verifying these readings. A customer’s consumption is based on the difference from one of the reading taken from one day from what the reading was on a specific day. So that’s how consumption is monitored. Of course, like you mentioned, we have received customer’s concerns regarding an increase in their consumption over the past few months so the conversation, of course, is welcomed. B.E.L. has monitored consumption patterns over the years; we’ve been receiving questions, concerns about the consumption from customers throughout the entire year. And they observed an increase in consumption starting from the month of March through to September of each year and these are the warmer months of the year.  Further review of this increase also indicates that it is a matter that is tied to the weather condition as well as the use of these customers’ appliances. Our major aim is to provide reliable and affordable services to our customers so we want to assure our customers that any increase that they may have seen in their bills is not the result of B.E.L. just arbitrarily increasing these consumption, but it is actually what the meter is reading.”

 

Calbert Walford

Calbert Walford, Supervisor, Meter Inspection

“There are three times of meters being used currently by B.E.L. for residential use. The first is the mechanical meter and we have two electronic meters. The mechanical meter uses dial to record its reading while the electronic has an LCD display. The advantage of one of the electronic meters is it’s considered AMI. The AMI meter is an electronic meter used for remote readings.”

 

Persons with additional queries are asked to contact B.E.L. for further clarification.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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