Frequently Asked Questions
What are the available consumer level voltages in the Bahamas?
Residential voltages available are:
120/240v single phase
120/208v single phase (dependent upon location)
120/208v three phase.
What is a fuel surcharge?
The Fuel Surcharge is a component of your electricity bill that is calculated based on the fluctuations of fuel prices on the world market that impact what the utility must pay for its fuel.
How do I calculate my energy consumption?
Accurate CALCULATION of your energy consumption is often difficult as it requires detailed monitoring of the use of every electrical device that you have along with knowledge of its power consumption pattern. However, it is possible to approximate these using approximate parameters. Check out our Energy Depot for tools to help you to do this.
Why do I have to pay for my own pole or transformer?
When it is necessary to extend the electrical system to supply a customer, the customer is required to pay a contribution towards this cost. Several factors are taken into account when calculating this cost and in many instances the customer does not pay the full cost. Additionally, all further maintenance is done by the utility at no additional cost.
Can I build my own distribution system in a private subdivision?
Developers can request to have the electrical infrastructure in their development privately installed. There is a defined process of contractor selection, approvals, payments and inspections that must be followed should this option be selected.
Can I interconnect my solar panels to the BEC electricity grid?
Currently interconnection of any private generation (including solar panels) with the electricity grid is NOT allowed. Moreover, these installations MUST be configured to insure that this cannot happen. Such interconnects could cause injury or death to utility personnel. Any such installation discovered will be immediately disconnected from the grid and remain disconnected until the situation is corrected to the utility's satisfaction.
Can I buy a used utility pole for private use?
The Corporation does provide used poles in short lengths only (4-10 feet) for a minimal fee. Full length used poles are not sold. Full length new poles are not normally sold for private use.
When do you auction your used vehicles?
There is no set schedule for the auctioning of used vehicles, therefore you must check for the notices in the local newspapers.
Can I supply a subdivision with backup generator?
Theoretically, you can. However this would require a VERY elaborate and cost prohibitive installation. Therefore the practical answer to this question is NO.
What do I have to do to get electricity to a new building being constructed?
- The owner or the owner's electrical contractor must submit to the Ministry of Works & Utilities an application for a new supply. This should be done during the early stages of construction. Typically this is possible once the outer walls have been erected.
- Once this application is approved a copy will be sent to the Consumers Office of BEC (located at the Marathon Mall) for initial processing. If the installation is one that can be addressed by the Consumers Section this section will communicate with the customer any associated cost and/or requirements that must be satisfied prior to the installation taking place. After these requirements have been satisfied the customer can go to the Consumers Section at the Mall at Marathon with a copy of their paid contribution receipt to establish their account and pay their security deposit. This will result in their electrical meter being installed and their service activated once all works have been completed.
- If the installation requires an extension and or modification of the electrical system in the area the application will be transferred to the Technical Planning Department for a service proposal to be designed and quoted. The planning department will then communicate with the customer any associated cost and/or requirements that must be satisfied prior to the installation taking place.
- Once the customer has paid the required contribution their service request will be passed onto the Construction Department who will schedule the work to be done. When this work begins the customer can go to the Consumers Section at the Mall at Marathon with a copy of their paid contribution receipt to establish their account and pay their security deposit. This will result in their electrical meter being installed and their service activated once all works have been completed
I am planning to build in a subdivision that does not have any electricity, will I have to pay for supply to come into the area?
Under the Bahamas Government's Subdivisions Act, developers are required to pay for the installation of utilities in subdivision that they develop. However, property owners and developers sell lots without meeting this requirement. BEC's advice is that you insure that the developer that you are purchasing from is meeting this requirement. Ask them for a copy of their approval to sell lots. This document is issued by the Ministry of Works Subdivision Section and outlines the developer’s responsibilities. If you are purchasing through a real estate agent ask them to provide a copy of this document.
Should you purchase in an area where the developer has no such obligation then you will be required to pay costs associated with getting electrical supply to your property.
How can a service be terminated?
Customers wishing to terminate a service should visit our office and request the termination. They will need to provide appropriate identification (Passport or Voters Card along with Your National Insurance Card and or Drivers License). They will also be required to provide the Account number(s).
A Final Meter Reading will be taken as of the termination date. Based on the final reading & billing, a refund of the Security Deposit is made.
How much notice is required to have a service terminated?
Normally two working days are required.