BELCO Provides Information On Electricity Bills

September 22, 2023 | 6 Comments

I understand some of our customers’ frustration with high BELCO bills this summer, likely many have been running AC which can substantially increase bills, if anyone feels their bill is not correct they should call the Customer Experience team, and customers can visit BELCO’s website “where they can find many helpful tips on energy efficiency which will help to reduce their bills,” BELCO President Wayne Caines said.

A spokesperson said, “BELCO today provided a response to customers enquiring about high energy bills. BELCO customers are charged for the consumption of electricity – the higher the usage of electricity the higher the bill.

“During the last few months there have been prolonged periods of high temperatures and humidity that may have caused customers to run air-conditioning which requires large amounts of electricity, and this would have led to higher bills. The larger the difference between the outdoor temperature and the desired indoor temperature, the more energy required from your cooling system.

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“The Retail Tariff Base Rate for electricity is approved by the Bermuda Regulatory Authority and communicated to the public. The last Base Rate change was made on January 1st 2023. In addition to the Base Rate is the Fuel Adjustment Rate [FAR]. The FAR is adjusted quarterly and based on the price of fuel and is a pass-through cost to the customer. BELCO makes no profit from the FAR. The last FAR adjustment was on July 1, 2023, and is currently 16.513 cents per kilowatt hour[kWh], which includes 4.581 cents per kWh Government Tax.

“Customers who do not have an AMI meter installed require their meter to be read manually each month. Customers are asked to provide access to BELCO meter readers but when they cannot be accessed for various reasons an estimated bill is generated. Estimated bills are based on the average daily usage of the previous three months and the billing statement will have a notice stating it is an estimated bill.

“Most estimates are in line with the customer’s usage. However, once an accurate reading is obtained the account will naturally “true up”. If a customer has paid on an overestimated statement, the credit balance difference is applied to the account. If usage was underestimated, BELCO will cancel the previous statement[s] and adjust the previous estimate using the average daily consumption between the last and most recent accurate meter readings, spreading the usage evenly over the subsequent billing periods. BELCO does not charge customers for estimate adjustments older than six months.

“Some customers may question why their bill is high when they have been on vacation. A vacation may span across multiple billing periods [billing periods are not the calendar month] reducing the expected usage reduction on a given statement. In addition, while on vacation, some customers may still have high-energy usage appliances such as fridges/freezers and water heaters plugged in and using power.

“Customers can create an account on the BELCO website and if they have an AMI meter installed, they can view daily and hourly usage information which demonstrates usage patterns over specific periods.”

BELCO President Wayne Caines said: “I understand some of our customers’ frustration with high BELCO bills this summer. It has been a hot, humid summer and it is likely many customers have been running air conditioning which can substantially increase their bills.

“If customers feel their bill is not correct, they should call our Customer Experience team who can answer any questions or concerns. I also urge customers to visit our website where they can find many helpful tips on energy efficiency which will help to reduce their bills.”

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Comments (6)

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  1. Wow says:

    The fuel adjustment is wrong, Belco source from all the solar panels, so the price of fuel should be much lower, as less fuel should be used.

    The rates for usage went up. Caines, you are talking nonsense, people have always used air conditioners in the summer, this year most people are back to work and not working from home and therefore not running their air conditioners during the day, yet cost of electricity it still increased dramatically, while belco has been using the excess generated electricity from peoples homes etc.

    How about you explain the other sizable charge on the bill? You forgot to mention it.

  2. Toodle-oo says:

    How does this explain the very many people who have gone away on holiday for 3 weeks to a month and unplugged everything except their fridge and still got a bill higher than if they had been on the island at home ?
    And these are people who claim to have the new meters that do not require a belco staff member to manually read every month so there should be no estimated bills.

  3. Lemon Tree says:

    Mr. Caines. How about those of us with the AMI meters that do not communicate properly so that some hours it reports almost zero usage… wish my bill reflected that low usage.

  4. Belco needs competition says:

    Household activity that has not changed from winter season yet still receiving an increase more than double in BELCO bill is not justified…

  5. Just Saying says:

    So BELCO are picking the obvious the AC, when one works hard all day and would like to come home and cool down, it’s difficult to sleep in a sauna. BELCO use this excuse every summer. Then in the winter BELCO switch up and blame the heater. All the blame is put on the consumer. So you pay out of your… for electricity and can’t live in comfort. It boils down to (pardon the pun) no competition and greedy shareholders. BELCO has the monopoly on supplying electricity.

  6. FYI says:

    Those so called smart meters are faulty or they are very smart. They pic up every little glitch. Not good for the consumer but good for belco.

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