• Today
    September 20

  • 07:32 AM

Electric rate increase unfair

TYRONE BROWNE,

Added 31 May 2010

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I AM here in my study looking at a company’s electric bill. The reality of the Barbados Light & Power’s (BL&P) successful rate increase has now sunk in.

How the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) could grant  the BLP a 500 per cent increase in its capacity rental rate defies my understanding and does injury to consideration for others in these trying economic times when manufacturers especially are struggling to keep businesss open and people employed.

It angers me that the FTC could be so generous, even though the BLP has been profitable every single year, has no energy bill (consumers pay for fuel used) and never has to worry about paying interest to a bank since consumers will now fund its investments.

No manufacturer I know of in Barbados enjoys such luxury. The previous kilo volt amperes (KVA) demand rate was $4 per KVA if the BL&P supplies the transformer.

This has now jumped to $24 per KVA. In my view this is designed not only to swell BL&P’s coffers but also to punish anyone who generates electricity and use the BL&P as a standby.

Regardless of the energy consumed, switching to BL&P for more than approximately a half-hour per month will incur a large KVA demand charge.

To make matters worse, there is uncertainty as to how the BL&P will arrive at a fair charge if the meter is not read and reset every month, which happens occasionally and sometimes too frequently for my liking. Bear in mind, this section of the bill has nothing to do with the fuel charge or kilowatt hours consumed.

This company is going to make a lot of money in years to come. Is it fair? How can a 500 per cent increase be? You be the judge. I hope those who have oversight will pull this back before it is too late.

TYRONE BROWNE

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