More than 1,100 complaints filed against GPL since 2016
- CEO laments continued illegal connections
A total of 1,104 complaints were filed with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) against the Guyana Power and Light Inc. since 2016, according to Chairperson of the PUC, Dela Britton.
This was revealed on Friday morning during a webinar organised by the Commission, held under the topic “Energy and Electricity: What we should all know.”
Britton, while providing brief opening remarks, said that these complaints ranged from allegations of tampering to claims for compensation.
Importantly, she said that GPL’s customer base stood at 387,473 at the end of December, 2020.
The last complaints figures were provided last year. Then, for the year 2019, the PUC received 262 complaints against GPL.
Meanwhile, at that webinar, GPL’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bharat Dindyal said that illegal connections continue to plague the company despite best efforts to limit these.
“Despite the fact that we have spent over US $40 million providing legal power, they’re choosing not to use legal power but to continue to source power directly without recourse for the utility,” he lamented.
He also explained that a number of technical experts have been brought to Guyana to remedy this but many efforts have been in vain.
Still, the GPL CEO said he remains hopeful that with a possible reduction in the cost for energy in the coming years, attributed to the gas-to-power project, there may be a change in attitudes. And, as such, he contended that there may be less people attempting to engage in illegal connections.
In the interim, he said that the company would engage in social management work and initiatives to help “change the hearts and minds” of people.
In fact, he opined that technological interventions to prevent the possibility of illegal connections may not solve this problem- especially since people have been able to bypass precious interventions.