Persons depending on a reliable power supply to work from home during the pandemic will be affected, as the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) promises a series of power outages next week.
The utility company, in a notice, detailed several rounds of planned maintenance, which will roll out next week from May 4 to 7, 2020.
Since many persons are working from their homes, efficient electrical supply to power an internet connection or devices is essential.
On Monday, May 4, disruptions are expected on the East Coast of Demerara at Plaisance and Sparendaam from 09:00h to 15:00h.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, May 6, Garden of Eden to New Hope on the East Bank of Demerara will experience similar occurrences from 08:00h to 14:00h.
Maintenance activities will continue on Thursday, May 7, on the Diamond Public Road to Herstelling, East Bank Demerara from 08:00h to 14:00h. At the Good Hope Housing Scheme, ECD, the operation will last from 09:00h to 15:00h.
Over on the West Bank of Demerara from Vreed-en-Hoop to Good Intent, an inconsistent supply of power is expected from 08:30h to 11:30h.
Given these scheduled operations, power outages are likely to affect a significant percentage of people in these areas who are working from home.
Since the lockdown and curfew was imposed, a large percentage of non-essential workers have been performing their daily duties from home.
Throughout the local outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, GPL has sought to offer an exemption on the 14 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) on electricity charges for its customers. Effective from April 2020 and lasting for three months, persons would only pay for the power consumed.
For prepaid customers, this is reflected in the electricity tokens generated from April to June. Meanwhile, for postpaid customers, the VAT is exempted from their May to July utility bills.
With persons staying at home during this time, utility consumption has surged in most households.
A few days ago, the Guyana Water Inc (GWI) announced a staggering increase in water consumption. While the increase would signal the domino effect of an increase in revenues, it also poses a challenge for the company as well, since it now has to put measures in place to maintain water pressure to serve customers.