Disconnected: Hundreds live with no power in Grand Cayman

(CNS): A freedom of information request to the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) has revealed that more than 640 CUC customers have been cut off by the power supplier, mostly as a result of non-payment of bills. Many of those cut off are families who have been living without electricity for 90 days or more. This is another reason that Small Islands Developing States need alternative energy.

The request, which was submitted by a CNS reader, asked for the details of residential customers who had been cut off because their bills were not paid. The statistics show hundreds of people, including children, across Grand Cayman have been without a power supply for more than three months, confirming fears that the number of people living in real poverty is increasingly significant.

The ERA said it was not able to break down all the statistics because CUC merely tracks non-voluntary disconnections, which may also be due to safety reasons and not always because customers failed to pay their bills.

The ERA also explained that CUC did not indicate whether these more long term cut offs were commercial or domestic. Although some businesses may indeed be involuntarily disconnected, the situation would not be for extended periods, as any commercial enterprise without power would not last for very long. It is fair to assume that the disconnections are predominantly residential.

The largest number of disconnections are in the capital, where 306 premises have been cut off for more than three months, as at 24 November. Another 119 customers in Bodden Town were disconnected by CUC and some 117 in West Bay. Meanwhile, another 29 people were cut off in North Side and a further 23 in East End. A spokesperson for the ERA explained that the missing 47 are accounts that have been written off as CUC believes they are abandoned premises.

In addition, the ERA was able to state that 273 residential consumers had been disconnected for a period of less than 90 days, but these figures are constantly changing and any number could have been reconnected to the supply while additional households could have been cut off.

However, on 24 November there were 51 households in Bodden Town, six in East End, 50 in George Town, Seven in North Side and 59 in West Bay without power that had been disconnected within the last 90 days.

CUC recently confirmed to CNS that the firm is now cutting off power suppy without warning to customers who fail to pay their bills within 30 days. More

 

 

 

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