GPL warns against unauthorised acts during construction, renovation

Consumers urged to seek guidance from electricians and GPL before conducting any renovations and to also use appliances with correct voltage

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Guyana Power and Light Incorporated (GPL) is warning customers against unauthorised and careless acts during construction or renovation since this results in significant power loss for the company.

In an interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI), GPL’s Metering Manager, Loss Reduction, Wayne Watson said one major factor that contributes to these losses is the increase in load. This occurs when consumers attempt to add capacity, on their own, to the existing approved service.

Metering Manager, Loss Reduction, GPL, Wayne Watson

Watson explained: “So, persons are installing Air Conditioning Units (ACs) and operating them on the existing approved service. The repercussion of this is that meters are burnt – both the post and prepaid meters and base of the meter. It can also cause damage to the consumer’s property by the way of fire.”

He further explained that to have an increase either to a commercial or business property, consumers must first consult a certified electrician for inspection. Following this, they must receive a certificate of inspection from the Government Electrical Inspectorate (GEI) and then apply at any GPL office for a load increase.

Another issue that the utility company faces is the shifting/moving of the meters during renovation works. Watson said before commencing any infrastructural upgrades or repairs consumers must apply at GPL for a shift from a permanent to a temporary circuit to facilitate the works.

However, according to Watson, “that is not being done and that is an infraction because the meters carry a seal.  Once you contract an authorised person to do execute such an activity, in some instances the contractor may do more than shift the meter. Subsequently when we investigate and find that the seals are broken, neither the consumer or the contractor is prepared to accept responsibility.”

Additionally, many consumers have oversized Automatic Voltage Regulators (ATVR), this is predominantly for persons in the areas that carry 240 voltage. The Metering Manager pointed out that most consumers use appliances that carry are 110 volts and this results in a step-down from 240 to 110. This could result in unused watts which would still be recorded by the meter as consumption. When this is reflected in the bill, consumers then report a defect in their meter.

The Metering Manager is urging consumers to seek guidance from electricians and GPL before conducting any renovations and to also use appliances with the correct voltage.

By: Story and Image: Ranetta La Fleur