Thu | Dec 8, 2016

Disconnection drive pushes down CTL's light bill

Published:Tuesday | March 17, 2015 | 12:00 AMAinsley Walters

CAYMANAS TRACK Limited's electricity bill has decreased by $2.5 million, a combination of its continued disconnection exercise as well as the trending downwards of international oil prices.

Chief Executive Officer Cedric Stewart last week confirmed a bill of $6.7 million for February, now down to $4.2 million. In a shocking admission, Stewart said CTL's April 2014 power bill had skyrocketed to $8.3 million.

"Yes, the bill has gone down. It's a dual action which includes lower power costs and the disconnection drive. What we know, for sure, though, is that less people are tampering with our system. We have been doing weekly sweeps and we're almost free of illegal connections," Stewart pointed out.

Last October, a major disconnection exercise was conducted by the racetrack's security team, McKay Security, and the St Catherine South police. Hundreds of feet of conduit used to steal electricity from the racetrack were removed.

Similar exercises were carried out by McKay Security and the police in 2011 and 2012.

In October, Stewart said light thieves were costing Caymanas Park approximately $3 million per month.

"It is costing us about $3 million per month. Our light bill is about $8 million per month," he said then.

"We're very happy with what has happened with our electricity costs. It is finally going down," Stewart pointed out last Thursday.

The racetrack's disconnection efforts were boosted last November after CTL had consultations with authorities and it was borne out that a private entity could move to have trespassers on its utilities prosecuted.

Winsome Callum, corporate communications manager, Jamaica Public Service, confirmed that any affected private entity, working in tandem with the police and technical personnel, can identify electricity theft, in which instance, the police can choose to prosecute.