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In a press release sent out on Monday, June 3, 2013, Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) confirms that it has received a number of customer complaints about high electricity bills over the past month. BEL explains that the company is keen on ensuring it serves customers to high standards in every respect and that it is taking immediate action to carry out related investigations.

After residents of Ambergris Caye received their latest electricity bills over the past couple weeks, more than 90% of residents that Ambergris Today has interviewed have expressed concerns of their utility bill increasing more than 50% and even 100% in some cases. BEL confirms that there has not been a rate increase since January of this year and many people are pointing fingers to brownout that have been occurring lately and even human error from recently employed meter readers.

The fact is that a majority of island residents and business are recording a spike in their electricity bills with no reported increase in their consumption of power. Belize Electricity Limited has not cited any reason for this increase and has announced that the company is taking measures in finding an explanation.

As a first step, today Tuesday, June 04, 2013, the Company has dispatched two additional Customer Care Representatives from Belize City to the island to assist with receiving customer concerns in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Customers with concerns related to the company's service are urged to visit the company's San Pedro office, bring along a copy of their most recent electricity bill and share details of their concerns with the Customer Care Representatives who are on standby at the San Pedro office. Submission of the details related to customer complaints will provide the company with the necessary information to proceed with the full investigation on the matter.

Customers may also contact BEL by calling the company's toll free number at 0800-BEL-CARE or 0800-235-2273. The company has also established a special email for San Pedro residents to make contact at: [email protected]. This email address will be active for one month to address this concern. Immediately thereafter, BEL will commence the process towards conducting meter reading audits in San Pedro and thereafter take any remedial steps that may be identified as necessary.

The company also plans to carry out sample surveys in the municipality with residential and commercial customers. BEL stated that it is committed to ensuring its customers are satisfied with its service. Therefore, the Company will take all necessary measures to address the concerns of San Pedro residents.

BEL can only address the issues raised if island residents visit the San Pedro office and relate their concerns to their customer care representatives; it is the only way to find a cause of the problem and come up with possible solutions.

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Dorian Nuñez

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