T&TEC authorised to enter premises ‘at all reasonable times'
Representatives of the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) are authorised to enter an individual’s property to carry out its duties, including among other things, inspections, disconnections and trimming/clearing trees.
The clarification comes from T&TEC, after popular television host and comedian Sunny Bling posted a video to social media questioning whether T&TEC officials can enter a customer’s home, when they are not there to carry out disconnections.
His electricity was disconnected while he was not at home.
The television host noted that he has since paid his bill, but expressed concern that the T&TEC representatives entered his premises while he was not there.
T&TEC has sought to clarify the issue.
It noted that 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.
According to the Act, T&TEC representatives can enter a premise 'at all reasonable times.'
Section 63 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.”
Section 37. (1) (d) gives additional authority:
“The Commission may for the purposes of this Act… enter or authorise any person to enter upon land at all reasonable times and to remain thereon as long as may be necessary for the purpose of effectually doing any act or thing as may be reasonable necessary for the purpose of any survey or preliminary investigation or incidental to the exercise of any power or the performance of any duty of the Commission, or for carrying into effect any of the objects of this Act and for any of the said purposes and for the protection of the works executed thereon to cut down from the vicinity thereof, to such extent as may be necessary, any trees or brushwood growing upon any such land so entered upon.
T&TEC also noted that Section 79 of the Acts states that if any person assaults, molests, hinders or obstructs any member of the Commission in making or attempting to make an entry or inspection or in the execution of any is liable on summary conviction to a fine of three hundred dollars.
It is also reminding customers that registering for e-billing ensures that their electricity bill is available on-time, every time, by email, allowing ample time to note their due date and avoid disconnection.
It added that the T&TEC mobile app (available for Android and iPhone) also allows customers to check their bill balance and due date and pay their bill online, once registered for the payment service.