The Guyana Power and Light Inc (GPL) says it is losing around $30 million a month due to illegally installed street lamps and has launched a campaign to regularise and/or remove these lights in an effort to cut these losses.
GPL Loss Reduction Manager Loaknauth Singh told Stabroek News yesterday that the GPL has discovered that around 6,000 street lamps have been installed illegally across the country. The bulk of them are in Regions 3, 4, 5 and 6.
Moreover, he said, 20% of the lights are on around the clock, and “their owners” do not pay for the utility, leaving GPL to cover the cost. He said the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) are also refusing to pick up the tab which amounts to around $30 million every month.
To correct the problem the company yesterday commenced an operation which will see the illegally installed lamps regularised or removed.
Singh said GPL commenced its operation in Foulis, East Coast Demerara (ECD) where it removed 15 street lamps and regularised one. He made it clear that the company is not opposed to allowing residents to keep the lamps they have installed, but stressed the importance of having them commence payments for the electricity their respective lamps burn.
He said the removal of the 15 lamps in Foulis was necessitated only after their owners refused GPL’s offers to have them keep the light but pay for the service. Singh said that GPL already has a system to facilitate the regularisation of such street lamps, and is hoping that owners will go into the company and get them regularised before visits are made to communities.
GPL will commence operations on the East Bank Demerara after it is finished on the East Coast. The company will then move to the West Coast Demerara as it continues the campaign.