DOMLEC limits pay-as-you-go purchases

Dominica Electricity Services Ltd (DOMLEC) has announced that soon there will be a minimum amount of power pay as you go customers can purchase.

Senior customer representative at DOMLEC Edison St. Jean said on the company radio show Power Talk this week that this decision became necessary.

“There is a very high cost to assist customers who are disconnected while we are in the business of customer service, we need to operate in a very profitable environment.  For example, someone is disconnected but by one dollar, then that customer is scheduled to be reconnected. If there is a communication issue and we are not able to reconnect that customer through our system, it means that we have to send someone or two men for example as far as Good Hope to reconnect that customer. This certainly does not make economic sense,” he explained.

St. Jean said therefore this decision of a five dollar minimum purchase is in the best interest of the customers and electricity company.

“Our case was made actually to the Independent Regulatory Commission (IRC) who considered both the company and also the customer and an amount was approve of five dollars minimum top up effective August 1st.

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23 Comments

  1. July 13, 2019

    Why not computerize the system that way you can switch the power on and off at the office.

  2. July 13, 2019

    Why not computerize the system that way you can switch the power on and off via office and also create a website for online payment. For example if a customer lives in the Belles area and has access to a computer instead of waiting until next day to travel to the city you just setup an account online and pay online or a family member can pay from abroad.

    • Pipo
      July 15, 2019

      Jenn, if people are that poor you suppose they have a computer at home that also uses electricity by the way? And if you must prepay Domlec it is also unlikely you have a credit line with any bank or credi union. We are talking here about people just existing, instead of living.

    • alixmom
      July 15, 2019

      They do have a website to purchase power. I use it regularly and it is very efficient. It even details your daily power usage.

    • say sa
      July 15, 2019

      There is a website and customers can purchase power online. All that needs to be done is create an account. You can also view your daily consumption and balance so you are aware when you balance is low. They also notify you by text.

  3. Bwa-Banday
    July 12, 2019

    So when the opposition says that they don’t love people, they love people to be poor they are 10000000000% correct. That $5.00 minimum is an indictment NOT to DOMLEC (because they understand the level of poverty in the country and trying to help) but on the DLP. Oh what a damn shame! 8) . Time for change!

  4. aceejay
    July 12, 2019

    I think the example provided by St Jean is weak. There has to be another reason; probably one that DOMLEC is not comfortable disclosing to the public. If the company is unable to reconnect a customer via its computer network, because the network may be down, why not change the network provider? Why not pressure Flow or DIGICEL to compensate DOMLEC for the cost in sending a team to Good Hope?

  5. REAL!!!!
    July 12, 2019

    I was told 2 years ago that 70% of people are Toping Up for lights below $5 daily and I dismissed it.

    I really did not believe it but the move by Domlec has confirmed this is very true.

  6. Annon
    July 12, 2019

    That’s what happens when you sell the sole gov’t owned electric company that was doing so well for Peanuts. This is only for getting automatically connected by just paying $5 instead of $1 which shows ordinary Dominicans can’t afford their sky high rates which cripples foreign direct investment and renders the island a very dark place. We can’t even today go into neon lights of the early 1900’s because rates are so hugh. Just lower the darn rates and watch magic happen.
    Having said that I strongly sympathize with Domlec after the losses we all suffered due to Maria. Although they received grants, however after the World bank loan is paid off and geothermal comes on steam I do hope these rates come down.

  7. Frank N Stein
    July 12, 2019

    So you mean to tell me in a country where cool out is all 40gran, people buying under $5 power? To do what, power a candle? I dont even see how under $20 making any economic sense. Wow Skerrit you have really outdone yourself. Dont tell me anything about politics it is politics, jesus!

  8. Lord help us
    July 12, 2019

    This is why i live off grid, fix your system instead of hurting the people.

  9. Dominican
    July 12, 2019

    I am shockend, not by Domlec’s argument but that this illustrates the level of poverty that exists in our country. $5.00 is not a large amount by any standard, except when you have no money at all. I accept that Domlec is not a charity and must return a profit for it to be viable but something is seriously wrong when we have to leave the most vulnerable without basic services. I suspect the same applies to Dowasco customers, which is a government owned company. Every month I see public notice warning customers that their piped water supply will be cut off if they do not pay their bills, which makes me believe that the incidence is quite high. There must be a considerable number of poor people in our country, more than is imediately obvious.

    • Rat Race
      July 12, 2019

      Your comment pretty much sums it up. There are people living in real poverty while others are out there living their best life.

  10. Woman time
    July 12, 2019

    See the efficiency you get when women run things? Bertilia for PM!

  11. really
    July 12, 2019

    let’s be real here… DOMLEC ALWAYS MAKES PROFIT. The only times they prob didn’t was 2017 cause Maria and 2018 after effects of Maria. I am pretty sure that 2019 they’ll come real close to profit. Also I am confused as to what the $5 minimum is for? So if someone gets disconnected and they can’t get reconnected from the office the $5 covers the service fee for them to send someone out? How often does that really happen?

    • concerned
      July 12, 2019

      The point isn’t whether domlec makes a profit or not. In this case majority would count. Every company wants to operate at a profit. Putting power of $1.00 is not profitable to them. Also when someone light gets disconnected due to not even being able to pay usage after the weekend has passed. This is a sign that the country isn’t prospering and something needs to be done. Common sense alone tells us that if a person is putting light at $1.00 or less than $5.. Something is totally wrong.

  12. pal_lotte
    July 12, 2019

    People put $1.00 power?

  13. SN
    July 11, 2019

    Are Domlec and the IRC serious? It cannot be economically feasible to have a $5 minimum purchase. How much electricity can $5 buy? Even $20 may be inadequate but it should be at least $20.

    • zandoli
      July 12, 2019

      I was thinking the same thing. If you can only afford to buy $5 worth of electricity in DA, you might as well use candles to light your house.

      • Can't With it
        July 12, 2019

        But if you reach properly you’d notice that they’re saying people put as low as $1 so they’re going to make it a policy that the minimum is $5.

  14. google
    July 11, 2019

    St Jean you are not making sense.
    Once you are disconnected with PAYG you have no power.
    When you pay or top-up you are automatically re-connected.
    If something goes wrong and you have no power then its your fault why the system is not working efficiently.

    • Frank N Stein
      July 12, 2019

      They do not cut off on weekends. People buy on Friday and they have power till Monday. However you will be cut off by 12pm on Monday if you do not top up. when you top up on Monday they are supposed to take what you used on Saturday and Sunday.

    • concerned
      July 12, 2019

      Normally during the weekend, DOMLEC does not disconnect ones light. As such anytime after 12pm on Monday, you will be disconnected if you are not able to pay what was used up during the weekend plus what you need to complete your day or week. So if you used up $10 for Saturday and Sunday and Monday before 12pm and your accustom of putting $5.00 light, then there is no way you will be reconnected.

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