FTC denies BLPC request for increased rates this time Loop Barbados

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Barbados News

Requests by the Barbados Light and Power Company Limited (BLPC) to increase electricity rates by over eight per cent have been halted.

The BLPC sought an 8.79 per cent increase from April 1, 2022. However the rate requested has not been accepted by the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) as is.

Therefore, customers at this time will not have to pay as much as the BLPC wanted, but they must wait for the FTC decision on the final rates next month.

During a press conference on Wednesday, held at the FTC’s Green Hill, St Michael office, hearing chairman and deputy chair of the FTC, Dr Donley Carrington announced the FTC’s decision on the BLPC rate review application.

Dr Carrington stated the BLPC must submit a Compliance Filing to the FTC within three weeks.

The Hearing Chairman said: “The application would have had a number of attributes which would have led to the conclusion of final rates. Since the Commission has not agreed to all of those attributes as set out in the application, BLPC now has to make certain adjustments to some of the items identified in the decision….

“When they complete the calculations, they would submit a Compliance Filing report to us and then the final rates will be determined…. [We] will issue a Final Order with the approved rates shortly thereafter.”

Dr Carrington explained that once BLPC submits the report, it would be evaluated to ensure the items in the Order were adhered to, and the Final Order containing the new rates would be issued.

Dr Carrington declared that the interim rates will continue to be billed, but the Commission will issue the effective date of the approved rates in the Final Order. Refunds to customers will also be addressed in the Final Order.

BLPC’s request to recover the undepreciated portion of the 5-megawatt energy storage device and its operating expense in base rates is denied. The costs related to the energy storage device will continue to be covered through the Fuel Clause Adjustment.

To have a financial capital structure of equity at 65 per cent and debt 35 per cent in determining its rate of return is denied. The approved structure is equity at 55 per cent and debt at 45 per cent for rate-making purposes.

The Commission has accepted BLPC’s request to use a depreciation rate of four per cent for the Clean Energy Bridge; to recover costs related to renewable power purchases and expenses related to fuel through two separate riders, and proposed service charges.