GPL fined for failing to improve services

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The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has fined the Guyana Power and Light Inc. for failing to improve its services in accordance with performance targets previously set out.

This is according to the PUC’s Annual Report for the 2018.

It was noted that early last year, the Commission as required by law reviewed GPL’s 2017 Operating Standards and Performance Targets and found that the company had failed to improve its service as against its 2016 standards.

As a consequence, the Commission imposed a fine of 5% of the total value of dividends payable to the Company’s shareholders.

The PUC said: “This stance by the Commission sent a strong message to the utility company which should in turn motivate it to strive to achieve optimum standards.”

The Commission went onto flag the power company over its inability to earn a profit as contained in the license.

In its Development and Expansion Five Year Programme 2018-2022 presented to the PUC last November, GPL is projecting an accumulated operating loss of some $21B billion.

The Commission said its “disquieting” that the power company intends to rely on debt capital to fund its operations during this period.

Furthermore, the PUC reported a 34% decreased in complaints in 2018, amounting to a total of 563. Of these, however, some 248 of those complaints were against GPL alone.

Despite these, the PUC lauded the power company for its implementation of the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) meters. This on-going programme will see GPL installing some 85,000 AMI meters, which will allow the company to not only retrieve meter readings but also reduce meter tampering.

This, according to GPL, will see commercial losses due to theft of electricity being reduced from 14.7% at the end of 2017 to 8.22% by the end of 2022.