The Bahamas Electricity Corporation is one of the most hated companies in the country due to their high rates and frequent power outtages but is it possible to beat them at their own game?
Both Bahamian businesses and Bahamian families have to allocate a significant part of their income just to keeping their lights on. Recently there was a reduction in rates but that might change once the cost of oil goes up again, which it is expected to do again in 2016/2017. Even now I hear of friends speak of home electricity bills that are equal to mortgage payments.
I no longer worry about paying B.E.C and months will go by without me opening the bill. Here is how I did it in three easy steps.
Dollar Cost Averaging
I’ve written about Dollar Cost Averaging here. If you’ve made a a resolution to save your time, money and/or sanity you should really read the post. If you’re too lazy or too dumb, here is how to make it work with B.E.C.
Sign onto B.E.C’s website here.
Once you’ve set up your account, go to “Service Summary” to find your monthly average, pay the monthly average plus $5 -$10 extra. If you can’t pay your average then you seriously need to read the next step.
B.E.C Power Station courtesy bahamasfilms.com
Year ago, I had an electrician install an on/off switch to my heater (the single biggest consumer of electricity in my house) and each morning before I walk out of the door I shut it off. Given B.E.C’s love of burning up computers and televisions I would unplug them as well. I also installed CFL bulbs which I will be upgrading but more on that later.
The Drop In Rates
The first two measures were already in place and humming along nicely when there was a drop in the cost of electricity. This lowered my monthly average bill from $97 per month to $79 per month. Since I was paying $110 per month (remember I don’t always open B.E.C bills) per month, I quickly built up a credit which means in the summer months I can blast the A/C without worry while cutting back on the amount I pay each month.
So, what am I doing with the money I’m saving. I’d like to report that it’s going on wine and women, but, that would be a lie. Some of the money will be going to the purchase of LED bulbs (These are even more efficient, don’t contain mercury and are guaranteed to last at least a year, but they may last for 15 or more years) which will lower my bill still further and then I’m going to take out my wall A/C and replace it with low energy split system. The intention is to lock in place an electricity bill that is below $80 per month for at least the next three years despite rising oil prices.
If you are doing anything to lower your electricity bill please let me know in the comment section.
I’ve recently been informed by my friend Betty Rolle that Dollar Cost Averaging (Number 1 on this post) is the technique that employees of BEC use to pay their electricity bills. If it’s good enough for them then it’s definitely good enough for me.
NEXT MONTH’S POST
Getting publicity for small shows/events.