The Fair Trading Commission is seeking public input on its proposed amendments to the Standards of Service for the Barbados Light & Power Company Limited (BL&P).
The Standards of Service framework sets out the minimum level of service that should be received by BL&P customers. The Commission has outlined a number of matters for consideration in its consultation paper and members of the public are encouraged to submit their comments on the themes presented, which include:
- the application of automatic compensation to two additional BL&P Guaranteed Standards;
- whether the level of compensation under each Guaranteed Standard is adequate; and
- whether the current target levels for the Guaranteed Standards should be amended.
The Commission’s review indicated that BL&P’s performance was acceptable over the three-year period. However, whilst the BL&P has resolved the majority of eligible claims during the period under review, the Commission remains concerned about the continuing trend of underutilisation of customer-initiated (manual) claims, with more than 80 percent of eligible manual claims left unfiled by BL&P customers.
Furthermore, the level of automatic compensation has declined by more than 30 percent and 40 percent for April 2019 to March 2020 and April 2020 to December 2020, respectively, when compared to the first year of the review period.
Conversely, the number of claims which would require customer initiation increased by 50 percent and 110 percent, respectively, when compared to the first year of the review period. As such, the Commission will consider the application of automatic compensation for additional Guaranteed Standards (i.e., GES 2 Fault Repair – Distribution System and GES 5 Complex Connection – Cost Estimate), with the exception of Response to Billing Complaints (GES 8).
The Commission has also recommended that the target for GES 7 Reconnection be reduced, which would allow customers whose AMI meters have been disconnected at the meter to have their service reconnected within two hours instead of six, once they have settled their outstanding bills. Likewise, for GES 8 Response to Billing Complaints, BL&P would have to assess and resolve billing complaints where a site visit is required within eight working days instead of ten.
In addition to other matters which the Commission has outlined in its consultation paper, members of the public are also encouraged to offer their comments on whether new Standards should be introduced, existing Standards should be removed or additional changes should be made to the Standards of Service.
The Commission’s consultation paper also proposes other modifications to the Standards. The public is invited to respond to all or any of the questions posed. This feedback is important in establishing the level of service required of the utility.
For more information on how to participate in the consultation and to access the consultation paper, visit the Fair Trading Commission’s website. Written responses to the consultation, which should be submitted as a Microsoft Word document and attached to an email cover letter, may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, faxed to (246) 424-0300, or mailed/hand delivered to: Chief Executive Officer, Fair Trading Commission, Good Hope, Green Hill, St. Michael.
Responses must be submitted by 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 22, 2021. The Commission’s consultation follows its review of the BL&P’s Standards of Service performance for the 2018 to 2020 period. Details of the review are also included in the consultation document.