Belco urge angry reader to call them
Bermuda's electricity utility, Belco, has agreed with Government to “renew efforts to advise the public about reducing electricity consumption to help lower bills,” it said yesterday.
The comments came in a response to a customer who complained in a letter to The Royal Gazette that she was receiving exorbitant bills from the utility.
Belco urged that she contact their customer care manager to resolve the issue and that there had been a miscommunication.
The customer wrote although the household's energy consumption had been modest, the Belco bills had been as high as $1,088.76 and never lower than $500 since moving into a two-bedroom apartment in March.
She said that when she contacted Belco, the company told her that she would have to pay for an electrician to check the meter and write a report to be submitted to her landlady and Belco, and there was no guarantee that the matter would be addressed by the utility.
“The letter in today's paper clearly points to miscommunication, and we apologise if the customer was misinformed about the service that Belco provides,” the spokeswoman said in response.
A special department dealing with metering issues inspect meters at no cost to the customer, she added.
“However, if the problem is found to be on the customer's side of the meter, that is, with wiring inside the residence, etc, then the customer is charged a $100 fee for the service call, and the customer or property owner is responsible for hiring a qualified electrician to correct the problem.
“If no other problems have been identified, then customers are encouraged to review their energy consumption. Often residents are not aware of how much energy they are using to power large LED or plasma television screens, old refrigerators and freezers, or the biggest energy consumers, air conditioners, pool pumps and water heaters.”
She continued: “Energy efficiency was among the topics reviewed with the Minister of Economic Development Grant Gibbons last week in a discussion about lowering consumers' electricity costs.
“During the conversation, it was agreed that Belco will renew efforts to advise the public about reducing electricity consumption to help lower bills.”
Government announced on Labour Day that it had engaged in talks with Belco and a grocery chain with a view to lowering costs for food and electricity for residents.