The Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) has announced that there will be no disconnection San Pedro if persons are not able to pay their bills until the state of emergency is lifted. Today, the company held a press conference where they stated that persons across the country will also be receiving aid. The company noted that its number one priority is the continued supply of electricity to the country. According to the General Manager of Commercial and retail services, Sean Fuller the company fully understands the current situation in San Pedro and therefore decided not to disconnect anyone’s power for non-payment.
Sean Fuller, General Manager, Commercial and Retail Services, Belize Electricity Limited: “This week we know of this emergency situation in San Pedro we’ve cancelled disconnection in that municipality until the state of emergency has been lifted because we understand very much so there are some people that simply can’t pay their bills, there are simply people that can’t get out to pay their bills so we’ve cancelled disconnections in San Pedro at this time. So these are some of the things that we’ve done.”
According to the company, persons who are not able to pay their bills due to the economic impacts of COVID-19 will be given a deferment period. These persons must contact BEL for them to work out an arrangement with the company. According to Sean Fuller, they have set in place a mechanism for reaching out to a person who might not have ways of contacting the company.
Sean Fuller, General Manager, Commercial and Retail Services, Belize Electricity Limited: There are customers who will have difficulty coming out of their homes to reach us. We do have a mechanism where the customers that are typically those customers that would be late payers or customers that we’d have to remind to pay their bills we have their contact information. It’s very little chance that we’ll not be able to contact our customers unless something actually goes down with their phone or if they’re isolated in some areas with no service so we feel comfortable being able to access our customers to have a discussion and then to understand whether or not they do have the ability. Now how do you validate it ? Well if Orson Picard calls BEL- I will know you’re right here in front of me on the job , but it’s a very difficult task to do. We have to use our best judgments, there are people that we know have lost their jobs, there’s no too much that we can do to validate it but we just have to take the word of our Belizeans. We are very good people, we understand the need to keep the lights on, we will do our part. I truly believe as Belizeans we will do our part to make sure that this thing continues to operate. As far as calling in to our operators we have multiple mechanisms to reach us, we have a very active Facebook page as some of you know quite well, you can call the 800 number, you can send a text message to 235 and we’ll respond right away. If you have issues calling the 800 number try calling our 227-0954 corporate number but in all cases we expect that the 800 number will continue to work without interruption so call us let us hear from you and understand what your needs are so that we can find a solution to fulfill your needs but again we have to stress that people that can pay their bills must pay their bills.”
The company is encouraging those who are still able to pay their bill to do so in order to keep everything up and running. The company continues to monitor the current situation and are unaware of how much of an impact it’ll have.
Dawn Sampson Nunez, General Manager, Employee and Corporate Services: “The situation as you know it’s very fluid, actually we haven’t even seen the full impact as yet, we’re already beginning to see some impact but we don’t know exactly where this will go. We can’t quantify it in terms of percentage at this point but what we can say is that because it’s a fluid situation we are continuously assessing the situation but at the center of what we have to do here is regardless of how this thing develops and the situation develops our number one focus as Mr.Fuller said is to keep the lights on.”
BEL can be contacted by calling their hotline 0-800-235-2273, visiting their website or messaging them through their Facebook page.