GPL has been giving back to customers amidst challenges – acting CEO
Amidst numerous challenges, the Guyana Power and Light Incorporated (GPL) has been achieving its targets while giving back to customers.
Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Renford Homer told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that since 2014, the company has spent $4 billion annually on its customers.
The company’s financial position is largely premised on the benefits from lower
fuel prices. Homer explained that towards the end of 2014 and in 2015, there was a drastic reduction in fuel prices and “admittedly” that aided GPL’s financial position.
“We introduced not only a five per cent reduction in tariffs but we also increased fuel rebates by an additional five per cent bringing a net effect of savings to customers of approximately 20 per cent,” Homer explained.
In addition, the savings also negated the need for government subvention and enabled the power company to repay $1 billion in 2015, and 2016 towards its debts.
The power company’s revenues are about $28 to $29 billion annually. Though the company has been able to save monies from the reduction of fuel prices, it is still not financially stable, the acting CEO said.
Homer pointed out that “as we stand as a utility, even though our financial position is stronger prior to 2014, it is not one that has positioned us to bring into play all the things that are necessary to move our company and its infrastructure… from its current state to that which is desired state.”
As challenged as the power company is, it still uses its limited resources to fulfill its commitments which include planned maintenance. This, Homer stressed, is critical for the upkeep and prevention of defects on the network.
“When we go out there and we have to take the power off that is for the safety of our customers, we will have a planned maintenance programme in the new year. Our network doesn’t lead us to alternate routes rather than taking off the entire network but maintenance is a must,” the acting CEO underlined.
Homer disclosed that new methods of communication will be employed in 2018 to better sensitise and inform citizens of the importance of routine maintenance.