17 March, 2007



Anglec is one of our most important public utility companies. It manufactures and supplies all electricity to the homeowners and businesses of Anguilla. I recently received the following complaint about Anglec’s disconnection policy relating to rental properties:

Anglec seems to have to strange policy regarding collecting outstanding monies. If you, as a householder/owner, are delinquent in paying your monthly bills, you are disconnected until these payments are forthcoming (including re-connection fee). On the other hand, if a tenant is renting your property, quite often he/she is allowed to run up bills of any amount and then disappear, leaving the owner to pay Anlgec. Until these bills are paid, the company will not give the owner power, so the property cannot be rented or used by said owner. It seems Anglec is putting the onus on the owner to see that bills are paid. Why not disconnect the property (as would happen if the owner were using the property himself) until these bills are duly paid? Often the owner does not have a contract with Anglec but rather the tenant contracted to pay for the electricity used. In Anguilla, everybody knows who owns what, and Anglec seems to think that they will squeeze the money from the owners. I know of three instances where this has happened. In one instance, the company was asked to disconnect the power by owners and did so, but the tenant then asked to have it reconnected because she had a baby. The company reconnected. Unfortunately, no written requests were made. That tenant is now long gone and the owner is stuck with the bill of seven hundred dollars.

I asked Anglec if they would care to comment. Neil McConnie is the General Manager of Anglec. Mr McConnie responded as follows:

Anglec’s policy is fairly clear regarding disconnections for non payment of electricity bills. I shall attempt to explain this below:-

All accounts are either in the name of the owner or occupier who contracted the Utility to provide an electricity supply to the premises. If a disconnection becomes necessary because the owner or occupier has not settled the bill in the given period, the account qualifies for disconnection. Very often however, the following circumstances arise.

(a) The owner leaves the account in his/her name whilst the building is tenanted and the tenant pays the bill.

(b) The owner leaves the account in his/her name and requests that the bills should be sent to the address in care of the tenant and the tenant pays the bill.

(c) The account is transferred in the name of the tenant and if the tenant defaults the account in disconnected leaving the premises without electricity if the tenant absconds or is unwilling or unable to pay. In this case, the service deposit is applied against the outstanding bill.

In the case mentioned in the complainant’s e-mail, where the owner’s account was disconnected and the tenant requested a reconnection which was facilitated by Anglec, this process is unusual unless it was a life threatening situation.

I would be pleased to discuss this matter with him/her so that further investigation can be undertaken.

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