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General Information
 

» Introduction
» Supply Frequency and Voltage
» Electricity Rates
» Fuel Clause Adjustment
» Meter Reading and Electricity Bills
» Refusal or Discontinuance of Service

 

INTRODUCTION

The Barbados Light & Power Company Limited is an investor owned electric utility incorporated under the Laws of Barbados. Since operations first began on June 17, 1911, the Company has grown and the electricity supply network now serves the entire island with only a few homes being more than 30 metres from service lines.

Generation

The electricity is supplied by diesel, steam turbine and gas turbine generating plant located at Spring Garden, Garrison and Seawell. Most of the electricity is produced from the least expensive residual fuel oil available, and customers enjoy the convenience of electricity at rates which are among the lowest in the Caribbean.

Transmission & Distribution

Electricity is transmitted at 24,900 or 69,000 volts from the generating stations to substations located throughout the island. Transformers, located at each of the substations, step the voltage down to 11,000 volts for distribution via feeder circuits to residential and commercial areas. (Note: In the Pine/Wildey/Sargeants Village area distribution is at 24,900 volts.) Polemounted or padmounted transformers then step the voltage down for supply to customer installations.

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SUPPLY FREQUENCY AND VOLTAGE

The Company supplies electricity at 50 Hertz (cycles/second). Various supply options are available depending on the customer's requirements. All voltages stated are nominal and can vary +/- 6% due to load conditions.
» *See Note 1

Two Wire Services

In instances where customers have a 115 volt, two wire service, and are planning to rewire or upgrade their installation they will normally be required to change to a three wire service. Customers should give the Company notice of this change. This installation would have to be inspected and certified by the Government Electrical Engineering Department (GEED) before it can be upgraded.

Three Wire Services

The following three wire services are provided by the Company:

• 115/230 volt, 3 wire, single phase. (Figure 2)

• 115/200 volt, 3 wire, network. (Figure 1)

Customers requiring single phase, 3 wire service will normally have a certificate from the GEED for 115/230 volt supply. However, in situations where the low tension supply is provided from a network system the customer will receive a 115/200 volt supply. The electrician or electrical contractor should check with the Company if in doubt and advise the customer accordingly.

Three Phase, Four Wire Services

The following three phase, four wire, services are provided by the Company:

• 115/200 volt, 3 phase, 4 wire Wye (Figure 4)

• 230/400 volt, 3 phase, 4 wire Wye (Figure 5)

• 230/400 volt, 3 phase - Open Delta, 4 wire (Figure 3)

High Voltage Services

 The following high voltage services are provided by the Company:

• 11,000 volts

• 24,900 volts in areas with 24,900 volt distribution. (e.g. Pine, Wildey and Sargeants Village areas.)

Important Notes

1. The Company's supply is 50 Hz and special precautions should be taken with the use of equipment designed for operation at 60 Hz. This would apply to equipment designed for operation in North America and certain parts of Europe where the supply frequency is 60 Hz.

2. In every case, the Customer should consult the Company to determine the characteristics of the service to be supplied before procuring any equipment for new or existing installations.

3. The Company will endeavour at all times to provide a continuous and adequate electricity supply. However, it cannot guarantee the service as to the continuity, freedom from voltage and frequency variations, and will not be responsible for damage to the customer's apparatus resulting from failure or imperfection of service. In cases where equipment could be damaged by such failure or imperfection of service, the customer should install suitable protective equipment.

*Note 1: Click here for more information

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ELECTRICITY RATES

Electricity rates are subject to the approval of the Fair Trading Commission (FTC). There are four types of tariffs covering services offered by the Company:

Domestic Service
General Service
Secondary Voltage Power (SVP)
Large Power

For specific information on the various tariffs please refer to the rate schedules which are available from the Company.

Domestic Service

This tariff applies to single phase services to residential customers for lighting, cooking, heating, refrigeration and incidental domestic power in individually metered dwelling houses and apartments occupied by a person or household and used only and entirely as their own personal fixed place of abode for long periods of time or altogether. This tariff is not applicable to customers who occupy dwelling units used or registered for the purpose of transient occupancy such as rooming houses, hotels, guest-houses or villas, or primarily for commercial, industrial or non-domestic activities. No service may be transmitted from a customer who receives electric service to another premises without the prior written consent of the Company.

General Service

This tariff applies to supplies used for lighting and power to non-residential customers for which no other Rate Schedule is provided up to a maximum of 10 kVA. Three phase service may be provided under special arrangements.

Secondary Voltage Power

This rate is available for customers with a billing demand of not less than 5 kVA requiring single phase or three phase at standard Low Tension supply. Customers connected under this rate shall be metered as to demand and the billing demand shall be the maximum measured demand of the current month or 5 kVA, whichever is greater.  The measured demand may be measured in either kW or kVA at the option of the Company depending upon the character of the service.  If the demand is measured in kW then the maximum kW reading shall be divided by a correction factor of 0.85 for conversion to kVA for billing purposes. 

Large Power

This tariff is available for customers with a billing demand of not less than 50 kVA, who own their own transformation equipment and receive supply at primary voltage (i.e. three phase 24,900 volts or 11,000 volts). Customers connected under this rate shall be metered as to demand and the billing demand shall be the maximum measured demand of the current month or 50 kVA, whichever is greater.  The measured demand may be measured in either kW or kVA at the option of the Company depending upon the character of the service.  If the demand is measured in kW then the maximum kW reading shall be divided by a correction factor of 0.85 for conversion to kVA for billing purposes

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FUEL CLAUSE ADJUSTMENT

Fuel oil is used to generate electricity in Barbados. Fuel prices rise and fall unpredictably according to world market conditions. The Fuel Clause Adjustment allows both reductions and increases in fuel costs to be passed along to consumers automatically. It is therefore one of the most efficient ways of dealing with these fluctuating costs. The Fuel Clause Adjustment DOES NOT add to Light & Power's rate of return. All the money collected from the Fuel Clause Adjustment goes directly to the oil suppliers. None of it is kept by the Company. The calculation of the Fuel Clause Adjustment is checked every month by a representative of the Fair Trading Commission.

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METER READING AND ELECTRICITY BILLS

The meters for Secondary Voltage Power and Large Power customers are read every month. These accounts are billed monthly. The meters of Domestic and General Service customers are read every other month and these accounts are billed monthly. In the months when the meters are not read the customers’ usage is estimated based on an average of their previous energy consumption. This bill is referred to as an Interim bill. This estimate is usually quite accurate as most residential customers maintain a regular consumption pattern from one month to another. If, however, a customer’s consumption pattern changes the interim bill may be based on an average energy consumption that is slightly less or slightly more than the actual energy consumed. This is corrected when the meter is read in the following month.

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REFUSAL OR DISCONTINUANCE OF SERVICE

BLPC may refuse connection of a service or disconnect a service for certain reasons, some of which are listed below:

1. Non-payment of bills for electric service.

2. Failure to make a security deposit when requested.

3. Failure to rectify a deficiency in the customer's wiring or other facilities after receiving notice from BLPC that such condition exists.

4. Unauthorised use of electric energy including tampering with meters and metering equipment or other facilities furnished and owned by BLPC as well as current diversion.

5. Operation of equipment which causes voltage flicker or objectionable service to other customers.

6. Without notice where the customer has removed or relocated meters and/or metering equipment without BLPC’s proper authorisation.

7. Without notice in the event a hazardous condition is found by BLPC.

8. When required by the GEED.

9. When the period of validity of the GEED certificate has expired.

10. When it is found that a change or addition has been made to the customer’s wiring which has been connected to the supply without being certified by the GEED.

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