GPL launching new project to clamp down on electricity theft
The Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Incorporated is intensifying efforts to reduce the shocking rates of electricity theft.
GPL Public Relations Officer Shevion Sears explained that the new project “GPL Customers in Focus” was set to be launched on August 8, 2017 to raise awareness about electricity theft.
In an interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI), she pointed out that GPL’s loss reduction division would conduct interactive sessions to sensitise customers. “They (customers) will be informed and educated on metering issues, how to apply for a legal service, penalties for bypass and diversion of electricity among others. So GPL will be in several communities interacting with the customers to ensure customer satisfaction and that they are informed and educated on all aspects of GPL’s operation.”
The initiative falls under the loss reduction division of GPL, which has three departments: operational, metering and field services. The customers will be interacting with key personnel from those departments.
The PRO encouraged customers as well as users (those persons who divert or steal electricity) to participate in the awareness sessions so that they would also be able to educate others. Sears highlighted that the programme was not intended to humiliate persons but to help them to understand the value of paying their bills on time and getting on the grid legally.
GPL Operations Manager (Loss Reduction) Leon Williams explained to the DPI that electricity theft was costing the power company millions. Therefore, the loss reduction division will outline to customers how electricity theft can affect their safety, the tariff or cost of electricity, and how they can work together with GPL to eliminate electricity theft.
Many persons use ingenious methods to pilfer electricity. The Operations Manager explained that in some cases, the theft was not visible and the power company had to use specialised equipment to detect it, which could be challenging.
“In some cases, the customers are innocent, because they would have inherited a premises (building) that has a bypass to electricity theft, so we would like to work with them so that when we detect these thefts, the customers do not feel cheated and all parties are satisfied,” Williams underlined.
The project will be implemented in all the served areas across Guyana.