Planning Your Service
Customers should plan carefully to ensure that the service requested will meet their needs. It is important that customers notify BLPC as early as possible of their service requirements. BLPC should be notified well before the installation work is completed.
» Application Process
» Security Deposits
» Government Electrical Engineering Department (GEED) Inspections
» BLPC Inspections
» Temporary Supplies (Special Events)
» Customer Wiring
» Important Notes on Loads
» Changes in Customers' Requirements
» Distribution Line Work
» Customer Contributions
» Rural Electrification Programme
» Bridgetown - Special Considerations
In order to expedite the connection of new services, customers may use our “Notice of Inspection” form to apply for service in advance of the completion of the electrical installation work and before an inspection certificate is issued by the Government’s Electrical Engineering Department. The electrical contractor should ensure that a “Notice of Inspection” form is completed at the time of applying for an inspection by the GEED and that the customer immediately submits this form to the Company together with the relevant documents.
Application forms for electricity connections are available to customers at the Company’s offices at the Garrison and in Bridgetown. All customers who wish to obtain an electrical service are required either to come into our office and sign a service contract or, if they are unable to apply in person, to submit a signed contract together with a covering letter to the Company. When applying for service the following are required:
• Barbados ID card, passport or other valid means of identification.
• An electrical inspection certificate of approval from the GEED if you are applying for one of the following:
1) Installation of a new service.
2) Reconnection of an existing service that has been disconnected for more than 6 months.
3) Reconnection of an existing service where wiring changes have been carried out.
• The appropriate service charge. (Please call the Company for details)
• Security Deposit where applicable. See Section on Security Deposits.
Security payments are held to cover any outstanding bills should the individual or organisation be unable to pay. These are required for all business accounts and residential services for non-Barbadian residents. They may also be requested from other residential customers as the need arises. Security can be provided by a cash deposit, a bank guarantee or a security bond.
• These are normally required to cover three (3) months of electricity bills.
Cash deposits gain interest at a rate of interest approved by the Fair Trading Commission.
Security requirements can be reviewed periodically and may be adjusted accordingly. If the amount of a cash deposit (including accrued interest) exceeds the requirement, the excess can be refunded at the customer’s request. If it is not adequate to cover the requirement, the customer may be requested to pay the additional amount.
1. All wiring installations including temporary wiring for construction purposes or otherwise, as well as alterations to existing wiring, must be inspected and approved by the Government Electrical Engineering Department before being connected to the Company's supply. Defective installations, when corrected, should also be inspected and approved before reconnection. A certificate of approval from the GEED must be presented before the Company is authorised to make a connection.
2. The Company normally requires ten (10) to fourteen (14) days after receiving the Inspection Certificate to provide for the installation of a new service, provided the service pole is less than 30 metres (100 feet) from the proposed meter position and the installation meets the Company’s technical requirements.
3. The Company does not inspect wiring except where it affects service entrance and metering equipment and their location.
4. Services that have been either disconnected or, in the case of a new service, not connected for more than six months must be re-inspected and approved by the GEED before a service connection can be made.
After an application has been received for either a new service or for an existing service for which the wiring has been modified, an inspection is carried out by The Barbados Light and Power Company before the electricity is connected. Note: The Company does not check the customers’ internal wiring as this is the responsibility of the GEED.
The following areas are inspected by the Company's Inspectors to ensure compliance with the requirements as set out in this booklet.
• Suitability of location of meter socket base on the building and that the socket base is at the correct height.
• Socket base securely attached to building. Where the socket base is recessed on underground cable installations there should be adequate clearance around the meter socket.
• Correct type of socket base and that this is wired correctly.
• Correct height and position of weatherhead to meet all the specified clearance requirements.
• Adequate provision for attachment of service drop.
• Additional checks on multi-metering installations.
The Company's Inspectors are also required to carry out checks to ensure that the service can be fed from the existing Low Tension (LT) distribution system.
• The lines, poles and other equipment needed to provide the electricity supply are in place and are in good condition.
• The type of LT distribution. (115/230 or 115/200 volt network).
• Height of service drop above roadway - (greater than 5 meters).
• Distance of service drop - (less than 30 meters).
Delays can be avoided if the electrical contractor notifies the Company at an early stage of situations where the above requirements are not met.
Once the installation meets the required standards a meter socket blank is placed over the meter socket and sealed with a Company seal. The service application is then passed to the Company's Distribution Department for the installation to be carried out. Should the Inspector find anything which does not meet the Company's standards, the service connection may be delayed until the problem is rectified. For multi-metering installations, the busbar section (splitter box), main breaker panel and line end trunking are also sealed at this time. Current Transformer enclosures are also sealed at this time. Provision needs to be made for fitting of these seals.
Electricians or electrical contractors should NEVER break the Company's seals on socket bases or unmetered sections of the installation. If the seals are found to be broken by our installation crew on arrival, the service will not be installed.
Note: It is preferable to use equipment that is manufactured with provisions for sealing.
This type of supply is usually a limited term service to installations such as fairs, exhibitions, and construction projects. Meter sockets should be installed for temporary supplies except for one (1) day events. For all supplies, an Inspection Certificate is required from the GEED. These certificates are usually valid for three (3) months and have to be renewed for continuation of the Temporary Service. A prepayment is required on all special events. Please call the Company for details.
Advise us of your requirements for temporary supplies as soon as possible. We need time to plan our work.
As a rule, only one service connection is permitted to a building, but this can be connected to several meters. It is usually in the customer's best interest to make adequate provision in the initial wiring of premises for present and future use of appliances and equipment, and in this regard proper planning of the electrical installation is essential. Customers’ wiring and equipment should be installed to conform with:
(a) The Company's service requirements.
(b) Internal wiring regulations as specified by the GEED.
(c) Other statutory regulations established under the Laws of Barbados.
1. In order to minimise voltage fluctuations and to improve efficiency, circuits supplying major appliances and power points should be separated from the lighting circuits.
2. In view of the ever increasing use of electrical service in the home, office, store and factory, it is strongly recommended that spare capacity of at least 50% should be provided whenever new switches, panels, feeders and circuits are installed.
3. Load mains of adequate size should be provided from the main circuit breaker to the meter position.
4. The manner in which single phase load is connected by the customer is critical with three phase services. On 115/200 volt or 230/400 volt "wye" services, all single phase load should be split evenly among the three phases. On 115/230 volt, three phase "open delta" services, all single phase load shall be connected to the 115 volt to ground legs. No single phase load shall be connected to the "high" phase. Connections made otherwise may result in overload or single phase condition with the possibility of damage to the customer's equipment. Note: The 200 volts to ground leg ("high" phase) shall be clearly and permanently marked with a RED marker at the point of delivery and at the meter location.
5. GEED requires that every customer's installation be adequately controlled by an externally operable circuit breaker. The circuit breaker must simultaneously isolate all live conductors of the consumer's installation and must contain over-current protection in all live conductors. The neutral however, shall not be broken by the circuit breaker. The disconnecting means shall be readily accessible to the customer at the point nearest to the entrance of the customer's service conductors and it shall be plainly indicated whether the breaker is in the OPEN or CLOSED position.
6. The Company is not responsible for defects in customer's wiring nor for any damage that may result from such defects. If the customer discovers any defects in any part of the installation, steps should be taken to rectify the defects immediately in accordance with current regulations. The socket base is provided by the customer and the Company does not accept any liability for damage that may arise from a defect in the socket base.
1. Motors, motor starting equipment and other apparatus such as welders and X-ray machines, particularly with respect to in-rush current, should be such as not to impair the quality of service rendered by the Company to its customers.
2. Motors up to 1 h.p. can be supplied at 115 Volts single phase.
3. Single phase motors of over 1 h.p. and up to 5 h.p. should be 200 volts or 230 volts, 50 Hz. Customers should consult with the Company to determine which voltage is available to the customer’s premises.
4. Motors of over 5 h.p. must be 3 phase. These should be fitted with reduced voltage starting if the customer is fed directly from the low tension distribution mains.
5. Single phase miscellaneous appliances supplied from 3 or 4 wire services should be so connected that the operating current unbalance between phases will be less than 20%.
6. Fluorescent and other gaseous discharge lighting equipment of inherently poor power factor should be corrected to a value of at least 0.85 before being connected to the system.
The capacity of the service provided by the Company is designed to meet the capacity requirements of the installation existing at the time that a connection is given. When the customer's actual demand is substantially less than the rated capacity of the customer's installation BLPC will install equipment to meet this reduced demand. The customer should give reasonable notice of his/her intention to make changes in the electrical equipment which would result in an increase in his/her demand in order that adequate facilities can be provided.
In cases where a customer is planning to carry out alterations to the existing installation, prior notice shall be given to BLPC. Service connections, meters or metering equipment shall not be removed or relocated except by persons properly authorized by BLPC to do so.
The following services will normally require additional line work to be carried out and Company personnel may need to visit the proposed site and prepare an estimate for the cost of providing the service.
• Single phase loads in excess of 70 Amps.
• Three phase loads.
In some instances smaller single phase services may also require line extension work to be carried out. Estimates need to be prepared and these take time. During the preparation of an estimate delays may occur which can ultimately delay the entire installation (e.g. poles need to be planted on another person's property and permission needs to be obtained.). In order to avoid delays in connection the Company should be contacted in the early planning stages. In the case of large commercial or industrial customers, it may be necessary to order equipment (e.g. transformers) and this can take up to 6 months to obtain.
Persons considering building or acquiring homes on land where the required electricity supply lines do not presently exist or do not have the required voltage or capacity, are requested to contact the Company during the planning stages to obtain the cost of electricity service. Land developers should present plans of their intended development to the Company in adequate time to allow for the electrical layout to be designed and estimated. Trees in the area which would interfere with the Company's proposed overhead electric facilities may need to be trimmed or in some cases removed by the customer or developer as required by the Company.
Where the Company has to install additional lines or strengthen existing lines in order to supply a customer, a contribution may be required from the customer towards the cost of this work. The customer does not bear the full cost of this work and allowances are given depending on the type of customer and his anticipated electricity usage.
A fixed allowance for each connection likely to be made to the new line shortly after it is constructed.
Please contact the Company for further details.
The Rural Electrification Programme is designed to assist those homeowners whose houses are estimated to be valued at $20,000 or less and are located more than 100 feet (30 meters) from the low voltage mains, but who cannot afford the cost of the line extension. A homeowner who applies for electricity supply through the Rural Electrification Programme is put on a waiting list. The waiting period for connection under the programme will depend on the cost of the extension, the number of other homeowners who will benefit from the same line extension, and the resources available to the Company for such rural electrification assistance.
Householders who are unable to afford this cost individually, but who are not prepared to wait to be included under the Rural Electrification Programme may encourage their neighbours who may also be interested in obtaining an electricity supply, to join them in paying for the necessary line extension.
The Bridgetown area poses a particular problem for our Company. With building renovations and refurbishment taking place, it is becoming increasingly important for customers to provide the Company with the space to install the equipment needed to meet the increasing demand for power. Old buildings, which previously required electricity primarily for lighting, are now being refurbished as air conditioned offices and shops. As customers increase their demand they may need to provide space for a Transformer Room or space outdoors for a Padmount Transformer and Ring Main Unit in order for the Company to be able to provide them with supply. In smaller installations (less than 200 amps) the customer will be required to provide space for a service pillar / turret.
How You Can Help Solve The Difficulties:
• Planning early and involving the Company at the design stage of the renovation or construction of a building.
• Sensitising customers to the need to provide adequate space for the electric supply equipment.