T&TEC representatives can enter a customer’s premises to disconnect electricity, among other things, even if the customer is not around.
That’s according the Commission, on the heels of a viral video on social media, posted by talk show host and comedian Sunny Bling.
In the video, Bling admitted that he had not paid his electricity bill.
He said he was not at home when the T&TEC officer arrived to disconnect his supply.
“Why is it that I had someone enter my premises without anyone being there? This is 2019. We have to be real,” Bling said.
He claimed to have spoken to a T&TEC official who advised that the T&TEC representative was not supposed to enter his compound.
“If you living somewhere and you come and meet your lights cut with the red tag sign, which mean they come in your place, that is cause for concern. That is what you call breaking and entering,” he advised the public.
“As to the paying of the bill, bill done pay long time. That was never the issue,” Bling said.
The video also showed when the T&TEC representative returned to reconnect the host’s electricity supply and the host questioning him about again entering the compound without permission.
“I done pay my bill. That is small thing, but can you enter here as you will to do your work? You can’t even answer that good yet and I know what (name called) tell me. Right now you not looking good you know, and if I want to be a Gaza youth as they say and play stupid and hit you some bottle and some big stone here now they will say I wrong,” Bling scolded.
The Express sent queries to T&TEC about the issue, to which it responded:
“The Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission Act, Chapter 54:70 authorises the Commission’s representatives to enter an individual’s property to carry out its duties including, among other things, inspections, disconnections and trimming / clearing trees.”
The Commission pointed the Express to Section 63 of the Act, which states:
“ Any officer appointed by the Commission may, at all reasonable times, enter any premises to which electricity has been supplied by the Commission, in order to inspect the electric lines, meters, accumulators, fittings, works and apparatus for the supply of electricity belonging to the Commission, and for the purpose of ascertaining the quantity of electricity consumed or supplied, or, where a supply of electricity is no longer required, or where the Commission are authorised to take away and cut off the supply of electricity from any premises, for the purpose of removing any electric lines, meters, accumulators, fittings, works and apparatus for the supply of electricity belonging to the Commission. However, the Commission shall repair all damage caused by the entry, inspection or removal.”
As to the consequences of obstructing a T&TEC representative from performing his/her duties, Section 79 of the Act states:
“If any person assaults, molests, hinders or obstructs any member of the Commission or any officer or servant of the Commission or any person authorized by the Commission in making or attempting to make an entry or inspection or in the execution of any works authorised by this Act or any Regulations or bye-laws made thereunder, such person is liable on summary conviction to a fine of three hundred dollars.”