Address by Stephen Worme to participants at the Electricians

Address by Stephen Worme to participants at the
Electricians’ Seminar held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford
Centre on October 18 to 28, 2010
Good morning ladies and gentlemen
We welcome all of you to this seminar which is part of Light & Power’s on going efforts
to bring together persons in the electrical field to ensure that our customers are served
efficiently and effectively.
A special welcome to the media who are joining us today.
While it is our responsibility at The Barbados Light & Power to make sure that we
provide a safe and reliable electricity supply to customers’ premises, it is our customers’
responsibility to provide the necessary wiring and internal infrastructure to take this from
the incoming point of supply into their premises to operate their lights, appliances and
other electrical equipment in a safe and efficient way. To do this successfully, customers
need advice and service from someone who could design their installation for them – this
may be an electrician, or electrical engineer – from an electrical wireman to wire their
installation and then from the Government’s Electrical Engineers Department to certify
and ensure the installation meets the safety and electrical code requirements.
We at Light & Power recognize that if all of these are not in sync with each other the
quality of service that customers receive is unlikely to be at the desired level. As a result,
over the years we have been working with the Government Electrical Engineers’
Department to bring seminars like this one, which on each occasion has attracted
hundreds of electrical wiremen, engineers, suppliers, etc., to help build a better
understanding of the processes and procedures that are needed to ensure electrical
installations are constructed and maintained in a safe and efficient way.
Your customers are our customers and the only way we are going to be able to serve
them effectively is if we work closely together towards that objective. It does not make
sense for us at Light & Power to bring a safe and reliable electricity supply to a
customer’s premise if the customer does not have the appropriate wiring and
infrastructure to accommodate their electrical requirements and vice versa. One without
the other may result in a less than ideal situation for the customer. And that is not good
Our Company continues with our traditional energy efficiency and safety messages and
in many cases customer’s will call on you to advise on these. They may also call on you
to advise them on what they can do to avoid their equipment being damaged from
electrical surges, etc. and to make sure that their electrical wiring meets the electrical
code requirements. You can’t do this unless you have an adequate knowledge of these
issues. You need to keep informed.
The world is changing.
Electrical appliances and equipment are becoming more
sophisticated. We are moving into an era of smart metering, renewables and advanced
electronics. Equipment is becoming more and more sensitive. We are moving deeper
into the internet and social media age. People are becoming more and more reliant on an
uninterrupted electricity supply and a quick response to problems. This is putting
pressure on all of us to continuously improve. We have to respond to this if we are going
to meet the needs of our customers.
An example of what we have done recently, is the introduction of the new Pilot
Programmes to give our customers options. The first one is the Renewable Energy Rider
which facilitates customers who have solar photovoltaic systems to interconnect into our
electricity grid and to sell excess energy to us. The Time of Use tariff gives our larger
industrial and commercial customers who have flexibility in their usage pattern to benefit
from reduced rates during peak periods if they can shift an adequate amount of their
consumption from peak to off peak hours.
There is also the Interruptible Service Rider which allows some of these larger customers
who have flexibility in their usage to benefit from a lower rate.
It is no longer good enough for us to react to customers’ problems when they occur, we
have to become more proactive. It is not good enough for you as wiremen and engineers
to use traditional techniques to size and wire installations. It is no longer a “one size fits
all” environment. We have to review and assess each situation based on its own merits.
To do this we all need to be up to date with the technology and the systems that our
customers are using.
For you, you also need to be up to date with our Company’s requirements for service
installations and with the wiring and design codes and techniques for the different
systems that you are wiring for. It is going to require you to have a code book and for
you to do your own research. It is going to require continuous learning. If there is any of
you not on the internet and don’t know how to use it to research issues, you need to start
NOW. And I mean NOW.
At Light & Power, we have been playing our part to keep you up to date through
seminars like these and making information available to you. In fact, after the last series
of sessions we held in 2007, we made the National Electricity Code (NEC) books
available at a significantly discounted price to those of the approximately 1,000 electrical
wiremen, suppliers and engineers who attended that did not have these books. More
recently we donated several of the code books to the Samuel Jackman Prescod
Polytechnic, Barbados Vocational Training Board and Barbados Community College to
be used in enhancing their curricula for their students. Sometime ago, we also donated
several new earthing measurement devices to GEED and assisted them with training to
enhance the quality of earthing of electrical installations.
Our commitment as a Company to our country since the introduction of electricity in
1911 is clear. Next year, as a country, we will be celebrating 100 years of electricity
service, a very big milestone for our country and we at Light & Power intend to continue
playing our part into the future as we continue to work to provide our customers with a
high quality electricity service. With your overwhelming response to this series of
seminars once again, it is also clear that you too are committed to doing the same.
I thank our Power Quality Engineer, Joan Bourne, and her team for their excellent work
of conceptualising and coordinating these very important sessions to help bring
consistency in electrical designs and applications so that together we can serve our
customers better. I thank Mr George King, Chief Electrical Officer of GEED for
supporting and participating in this effort and the other presenters Mr. Chester Pitt of Earl
and Earl Engineering and Kim Leacock and Cori King, both Distribution Engineers at
Light & Power, for their part in making this happen.
Last but not least, I would like to thank you from the electrical fraternity for turning up in
your numbers to support this effort. In fact, because of your tremendous response we
have had to put on three additional sessions at our Christie’s training room at Garrison
from 26 to 28 of October and they too have been oversubscribed.
So thank you all for coming. I am sure the sessions will be very beneficial to all of us. It
is my hope that with the additional knowledge and the building of stronger relationships
through opportunities like these, together we will be able to continue to meet the
changing needs of our customers, who are the public of this great country of ours called
Thank you.
Stephen Worme
Chief Marketing Officer
The Barbados Light & Power Company Limited