Chairman satisfied with PUC’s work thus far

GINA, GUYANA, Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has from January to September 2016, been able to secure over $10M in credit for consumers who would have made complaints against utility companies and received satisfactory results.

For the corresponding period last year, the PUC accumulated the sum of $17,649,404.37 for customers, according to Chairman of the PUC, Justice Prem Persaud, CCH, in an interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA).

Justice Persaud expressed satisfaction with the work the PUC has done thus far, noting that there is always room for improvement.

Justice Prem Persaud, Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission

Justice Prem Persaud, Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission

In a breakdown of the $10,753,202.51 credit secured for the first nine months of 2016, the sum of $9,819,883.00 was from the Guyana Power & Light (GPL), $797,404.51 from the Guyana Telephone & Telegraph (GTT), and $135,915.00 from the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI). No credit came from Digicel.

The Chairman explained that “consumers do not receive money from the companies, but a credit balance is established and little by little the credit balance will go down, thus highlighting the ‘Do Not Pay Bills’ that consumers receive.”

The PUC Chairman said for the month of September, $20,000.00 came from (GPL), $108,941.83 from GTT, and $72,784.00 from GWI. There was none from Digicel. The total credit was $201,725.83 for the month.

The PUC receives an average of 18 complaints per month from GPL customers, 43 per month from GTT customers, and two per month from GWI customers.

Justice Persaud pointed out that some customers go directly to the PUC instead of the company first.

The “correct procedure is to approach the company first, and if they are not satisfied with the outcome from the company, then they approach the PUC and we will work together to see what agreement they can come to,” the Chairman explained. No one is turned away from the PUC if they approach that entity first, Justice Persaud stated.

When asked if he is expecting an increase in complaints during the Christmas season, the Chairman answered, “It is expected to happen.”

The PUC’s Mission is to ensure that regulated utility companies offer an efficient service to consumers at a reasonable cost. Its vision is to create an environment in which there is universal access to service in the public sector, as well as a high quality of service that is beneficial to all stakeholders.

Some of the objectives include: to establish and enforce rules and procedures for the regulation of public utilities, commensurate with internationally accepted regulatory standards, and to promote and regulate the efficient long-term provision of utility services for national development, consistent with Government’s policy among others.

 

By: Gabreila Patram

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