Oct 28, 2020 Letters
I learn that it will cost the government “$34 million each month” for the supply of electricity to the national grid via the GPL’s Demerara-Berbice Interconnected System (KN October 27). The recipient of that helpful arrangement and payment is Giftland. What follows next is personal.
It s good to read of this constructive agreement executed, since it will provide some much needed relief to power-fatigued and blackout stressed Guyanese, especially those on the well-populated East Coast corridor. It is good to know that the owner of Giftland is now positioned to receive a monthly payment for this initiative started by him. All around, it is good: good for citizens, good for Mr. Beepat, good for the GPL, good for the reputation of the PPP government as caring for the people, through providing long overdue ease.
Editor, with all that goodness happening and registering, I must ask this: what about some other people? What about more than a few (I think) people like me, who in some respects are in circumstances not radically different? How about a little goodness extended to the little people like me? Here are the facts.
It might have been three, but it is, at least, two years since I had arranged for the installation of solar power at my home. I was one of the early residential participants (guinea pig, or what have you) in this expensive experiment in energy reconfiguration. I should mention that the acquisition of solar power was not driven by any consideration of what the GPL would or would not do. It featured, but was not the central determinant, which was to obtain payment relief from the pricey monthly bills, and solar power being the way.
With that as context, a technical hook-up has been in place with the GPL for over two years now. Through this link, my system is configured to feed automatically to the GPL, Inc. grid any excess power. On cloudy days, the energy from me to the GPL is minimal, contingent upon usage in the home. But on the usual sunlight bright days there is an ongoing transmission from me to the company’s grid. I can read that from a computer programme, which tells the story in real time.
During the non-daylight hours, there is a backup system, which is replenished by feeds from the GPL, as needed. But the whole story is this: unless there has been an extended monsoon here (which there has not occurred, thank God), I have been sending kilowatts of energy to the GPL on a daily basis. When netted against whatever energy I may utilize (if any) from the GPL, I am ahead. Or to say it more unambiguously, I am owed. Have been for over two years now. Also, I am aware that there are other little people – some private individuals, like me, as well as companies – that are in the same boat. They give and have given up on getting anything as part of a fair and reasonable return arrangement.
I say fair and reasonable, because these things are up there, literally and pennywise. A little something could go a long way to make things right. I have had several engagements pre and post installation with top people at the GPL and another agency. To be clear, nobody made any promises. The stumbling block is that there is no guiding legislation in place to authorize compensation from the GPL (or from anywhere else in the state) to address and cure these situations. As an aside, I am willing to surmise that since these alternative energy arrangements have proliferated that, in aggregate, this amounts to a decent amount of energy given “freely” to the GPL and, by extension, fellow citizens. I think I prefer involuntary, since these connections have to be done under the watchful eyes of technical experts from the GPL, Inc.
On this personal note, I recognize that the little given to the GPL may not mean much in the national scheme, but it does to me, given what was expended, maybe expected. And now that Giftland and Mr. Beepat have come in on the receiving end of government’s favourable consideration, I encourage government to do similarly by expanding the cohort of recipients to include the small people like me and others like me. In view of how the PPP government holds me dear, it may be more inclined to favour delivering such a courtesy to people in the supposedly hated political opposition. Oh well, that is part of the price for being an honest citizen.
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