Fair Trading Commission To Hand Down Barbados Light & Power Rate Hike Decision

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No. 2 of 2009

IN THE MATTER of the Utilities Regulation Act CAP. 282 and the Fair Trading Commission Act CAP. 326B of the Laws of Barbados;

AND IN THE MATTER of the Utilities Regulation (Procedural) Rules 2003;

AND IN THE MATTER of the Application by the Barbados Light & Power Company Limited for a review of electricity rates pursuant to Section 16 of the Utilities Regulation Act CAP. 282 of the Laws of Barbados;

The Commission will reconvene the Rate Review Hearing on Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Conference Centre, Two Mile Hill, St. Michael to deliver its Decision in this matter.

Dated the 22nd day of January 2010.

Peggy Griffith
Chief Executive Officer
Fair Trading Commission
Telephone: 424-0260

92 thoughts on “Fair Trading Commission To Hand Down Barbados Light & Power Rate Hike Decision

  1. A good thing which may come out of the FTC decision if they agree to a rate hike is the urgency which may follow to develop a renewable energy program.

  2. Actually the drive now is towards “Distributive Energy” which flies in the face of this centralised approach to dilivering electricity

  3. What is distributive evergy? Just heard light bill gone up by March 1, 2010!!!!!!


    Thanks CH, BANGO and others for fighting for us thanks although the people we pay are not listening to us!

  4. @David,

    This is probably what Barbados needs to duplicate on a smaller scale.

    “The government of the Canadian province of Ontario yesterday signed off one of the world’s largest renewable energy projects, inking a $6.6bn deal that will result in 2,500MW of new wind and solar energy capacity being built.

    Under the agreement a consortium – led by Samsung and the Korea Electric Power Corporation – will manage the development of 2,000MW-worth of new wind farms and 500MW of solar capacity, while also building a manufacturing supply chain in the province.”

  5. Sigh…

    Sorry everyone. We tried our best…

    The only good news is that rather than the requested 10.48%, BL&P are only getting a 10.00% rate of return on rate base.

    Part of this 0.48% reduction is being applied to the lowest users — rather than the first block being the first 100 kwh, it is instead the first 150 kwh.

    This means instead of approximately 16,000 customers seeing the smallest increase ($3.45 / month), it will be approximately 30,000.

    The Intervenors are reviewing our options…

  6. Hants, those companies don’t do small in Barbados terms for the simple reason that they can’t rake in BILLIONS. It’s a good idea but Bim lacks the space necessary to even consider that. Bajan will have to install solar panels themselves, which is overly expensive as is in North America, so imagine when Government stick on some tax and surcharges. That type of project would need serious collective agreement, and we got a FTC that can’t even support it’s citizens (mind you them included) with a deferral of price increases for maybe a year. REAL IGNORANCE going on in this place. Let oil go up and see what happens then.

  7. aawhhh !
    water up by 3 and 4 times —————–light up —foreign exchange parity to the dollar unemployment david Thompson—–somewhere in the mix-up –confusion reigns

  8. @All…

    I don’t want an answer from anyone on this (yet).

    But please think about it…

    How many of you (or those you know) spend more for telephony (read: landlines, Internet and Cellphones) services than you (or they) do for electricity?

    Please note that we are still awaiting a Decision from the FTC on the “Revised” Reference Interconnection Offer (RIO).

    The single-day Hearing on the RIO was held many months earlier than the 13 day Hearing on electrical rates, and yet we are still awaiting a Decision on the former.


  9. Distributive Power was the topic of the last Big memorial lecture at the Frank Collymore Hall. It entails every household generating its own energy from earth, wind, Fire (yea yea), sun etc. and feeding the excess into a national grid. It is the power equivalent to distributive (ed) computing in the computing world where peer to peer or even client server has replaced the centralised computing environment.

    The GoB was invited to be the first test domicile in the Caribbean… all that was required was for the Minister that was present, my good friend David Estwick to send the principals ONE email stating intent to move forward…!

    Does anyone know how much money was contributed to both political parties by the Barbados Light and Power Holdings?

  10. @BAFBFP…

    I hope we can refrain from fighting over this…

    But would you not agree that BL&P have a “natural monopoly” on [electrical] power *distribution*.

    Or, perhaps put another way, is not electrical power Transmission and Distribution a “natural monopoly”?

    Note that this is different than [electrical] power *generation*, of which I agree that BL&P have no natural monopoly. Thus the wish for “grid-tying” / “feed-in-tariffs”.

    With regards to the political dimension, I cannot speak. I don’t do politics.

  11. @BAFBFP: “The GoB was invited to be the first test domicile in the Caribbean… all that was required was for the Minister that was present, my good friend David Estwick to send the principals ONE email stating intent to move forward…!

    Language can be so *very* important in the message communicated. By definition…

    1. “The GoB was invited to be the first test domicile in the Caribbean…

    1.Q.1. Invited by whom?

    2. “…to send the principals ONE email stating intent to move forward

    2.Q.1. Please define “the principals”.

  12. Jeremy Rifkin, an advisor to international governments on climate change, energy security and cutting edge technologies, delivered the 34th Winston Scott Memorial Lecture at the Frank Collymore Hall on Monday, November 23, 2009 that started at 8:00 p.m. You should have been there Padre…! Peter Williams was…

    • Is it reasonable to expect the government and opposition to comment publicly on the FTC ruling?

      After all we did hear President Obama criticise the recent Supreme Court justices decision on election campaign financing.

  13. I think I made a little mistake in my calculations today. The marginal group is 66,000 and as Chris indicated earlier, the 150 kwh block covers 30,000 person in that marginal group. I said 60,000 and 20,000. My mistake.

    It actually covers half of the marginal group.

    • Most Barbadians had the feeling that the rate request would have been approved, that is our sense. What does that say?

      BU will not post a blog tonight, we are in morning at the FTC decision.

  14. There are a few pertinent factors here.

    Firstly, any major engineering business, indeed any business must have monies for re-development and renewals.

    Nevertheless, a monopoly has certain advantages there that the average business does not, obviously.

    In addition, are the shareholders forever guaranteed a dividend, despite economic times and the need for re-investment?

    Do the shreholders not bear a brunt of re-investment in the business that will ultimately give them more dividends?

    Or are the consumers to provide all such monies?

    Secondly, one has to be careful at this time.

    Significant increased costs to businesses e.g. hotels etc, will have implications at a time when there is no light at the end of the tunnel, indeed maybe things are slowing further, internationally.

    We cannot afford to put additional pressure on either the businesses that generate revenues nor the average Barbadian at this time.

    Thus, as a policy decision, this could be a costly mistake, from a macroeconomic viewpoint.

    In addition, this will imply additional costs for inflation on food and goods i.e. costs of refrigeration and lighting etc have immediately risen.

    Not timely at all.

  15. Dr.Poop,

    Shut up do. The previous Government seriously overleveraged this economy.

    And do not harp on about me raising the actions of the previous Government.

    Their actions are directly related to our current situation.

    An over-leveraged economy seriously handicaps subsequent fiscal flexibility, as we are now experiencing.

    So, cut the political ……

    Reality is that we have five to eight years of a tough economy, that is it.

    If the international economy slides again, it could be more.

    Hopefully within eight years we shall have borne out some of the over-leveraging and be moving to recovery.

    How do we get past this?

    Get back to cultural life and enjoyment, simple ways of life, with strong community roots.

    There is no silver bullet.

  16. Crusoe that would have made a lot more sense if Government had not done the seemingly backward task of raising taxes during a recession. Mind you, one was to raise money to fix roads and within a year come and say the have applied for a loan in excess of the $44 million that the same tax was to raise for roads. The party followers really need to stop trying to blind side people all the time with rhetoric and live in the real world. Even up north (USA) they seem to be coming into the light, but i am not holding breathe until i see something comprehensively change. Caribbean politics has to change and can’t continue along the old adages.

  17. David,

    From the FTC website ‘Our Mission:
    To be a transparent and accountable agency providing professional services to those whom we serve, thereby safeguarding the interest of consumers, promoting and encouraging fair competition and ensuring efficient regulated utility services.

    Consumer Protection
    The division serves as one of the guardians of consumers’ rights. Officers of the division provide public education awareness, investigate consumer’s complaints and seek amicable resolutions where possible. The division also monitors any promotional material released by businesses.

    Fair Competition
    Under the Fair Competition Act the division seeks to promote and maintain competition by investigating and prohibiting anti-competitive practices and by informing businesses and consumers about the importance of effective competition.

    Utility Regulation
    The Utility Regulation Division regulates two utility companies – Cable & Wireless (Barbados) Ltd. and The Barbados Light & Power Company Ltd. The division oversees rates and service standards and investigates queries and complaints’.

    So, there is no definitive mandate to take social considerations per se into account other than related to fair standards and service / competition.

    However, I was commenting more on the policy move bythe company and its implications on the public.

    That said, there must also be an element of moral suasion brought to bear in tough times, both socially and economically.

    Otherwise, how can we truly say that we are a chesive society?

    Is the company a part of this society in times of tribulation, or is it outside looking in?

    No one will disagree that development costs are substantial.

    But, these are tough times for all.

    Where does the moral responsibility lie, at this time?

  18. Now that ROK and Halsall have done their best to save Bajans from BL&P,
    Bajans can now save themselves by using less electricity.

    When you are not watching TV turn it off.
    Walk out of a room turn off the light.
    Not listening to the stereo turn it off.

    Use lower wattage bulbs except when you need good lighting for reading.

    Next time you buy a fridge buy a smaller one. Your friends might ask “wha you buy da little foolish fridge fuh? but they don’t help you pay the bills.

    I live in Canada and I am forced to do all of the above so wanna cuh do like me too.
    We even get a little break because the electricity is cheaper on weekends so all the Laundry and dishwashing is done on weekends.

    Conserve and save yuhself.

  19. Good advice hants.

    You know, how about looking at the glass half full and as you suggest, be glad we have electricity but use it wisely.

    If there were a severe international catastrophe, say a meteorite strike or a Middle East war, we would have either no electricity or much more expensive or rationed electricity.

    So, utilise from baseline i.e. think as if you had none and then decide what is important to use.

    That is zero based budget planning.

    Only spend IF it is essential.

    Hants, by the way, even reading lights come with various methods that now use less electricity, either flourescent or LED.

  20. I want to posit a suggestion that the intervenors were not fully equipped to deal with this matter. There were a number of issues which were not dealt with during the rate case. One of these was the number of gas turbines that this Company has in operation. Nearly 30% of its generating capacity is based on gas turbines. There is actually a report prepared for the Fair Trading Commission on this very issue. These gas turbines use the most expensive fuel available to the Company. The Company says that these units are used for peaking purposes but in reality they operate somewhere between base load operation and peaking load i.e. they run longer than typical peak load plants and less than base load plants. Obviously, if the customer pays for the fuel used by these units, the cost will be high. Therefore, I would like to humbly suggest therefore that the efforts of the intervenors were misdirected. The case should not be whether the Company required a rate increase but whether it is being responsible in minimising the cost to the customer by way of it application of the generating plant mix to meet the customer load demand. Indeed, the focus of the intervenors should have been further directed, in my opinion, to limiting the ability of the Company to pass on unrestrained fuel costs to the customer. As an example, if the Jamaican model is examined, the local utility is limited in the amount of fuel costs that can be passed on to their Customers, i.e. they have to absorb the costs if the exceed the agreed limit. The effect this has had is that the Jamaican power company is more responsible in the types of generating plants that it purchases and they will purchase plants using low cost fuels first. Therefore the customer benefits since the fuel charge is greatly reduced and the country benefits from the reduction in foreign exchange that would have been expended if higher cost fuels were purchased.
    There is more but that is just an example. I will pause for now.

  21. so Baje Engineer

    I take it you were working in Antarctica and have only now returned to Barbados to learn of this rate application and FTC decision. If not and you were here all the time…why the r#@@h*l% did you not join with the intervenors and fully equip them with say your expertise? Easy to stay quiet when it mattered and now come anonymously and pompasett pon BU!!! If however you had offered your advice and it was rejected well then “crapaud smoke we pipe”!

  22. Baje Engineer

    Thank you for that useful information.Sadly it is all over for us as the FTC seemed to have already made up its mind to accept BLP’s argument even before BLP started speaking.

  23. I, under another alias, (as well as others) tried to tell them that they were not addressing the issues but they did not get it!

  24. @ Anoymous, If I joined with the intervenors, crapaud would really smoke my pipe! Pick sense from nonsense!

    • @ROK

      Are you saying if information is uncovered which exposes that all pertinent facts were not considered that there isn’t grounds to revisit this matter?

      Please don’t say no!

      Also do you agree with Baje Engineer that the Intervenors did not fact the gas turbine generation in the argument?

    • @ROK

      BU is not too bright so be patient. Integral to the deliberation is the fact that BL&P needs to increase revenue to invest in plant.

      If as the commenter is saying the BL&P is using the most expensive type of fuel to drive 30% of its capacity; how is that not germane in a way which calls for investigation in a granular way?

      The commenter further stated a report was submitted to the FTC on this matter. Do you have this report? Was it part of the discovery or are we understanding you to say it was glossed over?

  25. @David

    The matter of the choice of turbines was raised. Note that Baje Engineer obviously has evidence which did not reach the Commission and which none of the Intervenors are privy to.

    The Commission declared that the company exercised prudence and professionalism in this matter, based on the evidence before it.

    If we discover evidence which is material to imprudence and wastage, then that is another complaint; but note that the company can easily say that it is their judgment. More expensive and more reliable are two different things and a matter of opinion. We may have to prove that the company lied, that would be material. We could then ask for a re-hearing.

    The fact that an appeal is a right, it is not necessarily the only route to go, or even the most immediate route as there is a process to be completed before an appeal could be heard. This is a mere technicality.

    However, if there are/were irregularities or a discovery of evidence, then there is a process to address the matter. When it comes down to the final appeal, it can only be on points of law or fact.

    Let me use an example for clarity (hopefully). An appeal means that the tribunal erred in some way in arriving at its decision. If there is new evidence it does not mean that the Commission erred since it can only consider what is before it. There can be no appeal based on this because the Commission did not err. This does not mean there is no cause of action.

    The Commission may be asked to review the new evidence; this is the procedure. The reason is that the court is not a utility regulator, accountant, engineer, etc. and prefer not to have to consider these matter since it is not competent in the professions outlined.

    Hence the reason for the tribunal. If new evidence comes to light, it is better for the Commission to determine the matter. Now if things cannot be resolved in this environment, this is where the court will kick in and there are two steps.

    1. Hearing before a high court judge on matters of law and procedure, etc. and if that does not work, then;
    2. Appeal.

  26. @Baje Engineer…

    With respect… I would humbly argue that the Intervenors did as good a job as we possibly could have done.

    There were eight separate Intervenors (at the end of the Hearing), many of whom were represented by more than a single individual. Economists, accountants, lawyers and engineers.

    Now, with regards to your particular issue… I would argue that because of the Fuel Clause Adjustment which results in the Company making *no* profit on any of the fuel consumed in Generation, that your particular issue would have been (correctly) deemed irrelevant to the Rate Hearing.

    But, just because all of the Intervenors didn’t consider your argument worth running with didn’t mean that *you* couldn’t have also sat beside us all as Intervenor number nine.

    Further, please consider that if your proposal was implemented, and the Company was given these “economic signals” (which I don’t think is actually required), the Company would receive less revenue because of this additional cost.

    Since, for clarity, this entire exercise was about what Rate of Return the Company is allowed to receive on Rate Base, at the end of the day it would have meant that the Company would have received more than they did actually get (10.00%).

    But, again, if you felt you could have done better, there was nothing stopping you from Intervening yourself.

    And, as an aside, I personally feel that the Fuel Adjustment Clause is terribly misunderstood by most Consumers. In my opinion, it is an excellent way of introducing transparency into the cost of Generation.

    • Here we go again, the consumer screwed. The FTC hearing would have deemed a possible wastage inefficient use of an input irrelevant.

      Who pays for the fuel cost? Is it not the consumer?

  27. @BU.David…

    Sigh… Please try to think a bit beyond paranoia…

    1. The Company has *no* incentive to waste fuel.

    1.1. Or to “burn” (read: consume) expensive fuel over inexpensive.

    2. If “Baje Engineer” has some hard data of relevance) that he would like to bring forward, *everyone* would be very interested.

    3. However, it is *very* interesting that “Baje Engineer” is using an anonymous alas.

    3.1. Perhaps “Baje Engineer” has some inside information…

    3.1.1. If so, “Baje Engineer” have *your* e-mail address — I’m sure you’d be happy to pass on anything he can provide to you to the Comission and the Intervenors with complete anonymity.

    4. But, stepping back a bit…

    4.1. If BL&P *didn’t* use the Gas Turbines sometimes, some of us would be in the dark during peak periods (read: “load shedding”).

    4.2. If you’re comfortable with this, then you should sign up for the “Interruptible Service” which the FTC will hopefully approve soon.

    5. This is fundamentally *engineering*.

    5.1. Can we please get a little more serious about it all, rather than ranting and raving without knowing what the issues actually are?

    • @Chris

      It seems you can speak with authority about what BL&P can do. Is anyone questioning BL&P’s capacity to shed load? The issue on the table relates to the cost of the fuel used to feed the gas turbines which represents 30% of generation.

      Baje Engineer hinted at why he has to use an alias, don’t you ever read between the lines?

  28. @BU.David: “It seems you can speak with authority about what BL&P can do.

    Only in so far as I read over 1400 pages of evidence during this Rate Review exercise.

    Just to be absolutely clear, I am not, nor have I ever been, employed by BL&P nor BL&P Holdings. I haven’t received a single cent from them.

    @BU.David: “Is anyone questioning BL&P’s capacity to shed load?

    Yes. This issue was raised during the Hearing.

    @BU.David: “The issue on the table relates to the cost of the fuel used to feed the gas turbines which represents 30% of generation.

    Of which the Company derives *no* financial benefit.

    So one might reasonably question why there’s a claimed “conspiracy” or some “missed issue”.

    @BU.David: “Baje Engineer hinted at why he has to use an alias, don’t you ever read between the lines?

    “Between the lines” can’t be submitted to court.

    But boy, it sure plays well to the uninformed, doesn’t it?

  29. All I am going to say at this point is that there is a report PREPARED FOR THE FTC which spoke to the use of Gas Turbines by the Company and drew a fairly interesting conclusion. I am sure if you requested it, it might be shared with you.

  30. David wrote.
    “Here we go again, the consumer screwed.”

    David the consumer is also masturbating.

    The consumer must immediately resist the screwing by conserving electricity in your homes and businesses.

    If a family of 4 practices energy conservation they will have more money to go to the movies or Moontown or Oistins .

    Give your children extra pocket money if they get with the program.

    The Intervenors cannot win against BL& P.
    They do not have the money to hire the experts to do audits and critical analysis.

    The consumer is paying BL&P to hire experts to show why said consumer should pay BL&P more money.

    Now is a good time to start energy conservation habits.
    If the recession continues you will be forced to cut costs so start now.

    • @Hants

      Take the point about the need to conserve but don’t you recognize the challenge? Bajans are being conditioned to aspire to success. How do we define success? There is a basket of material trappings which must be owned or accessed to achieve success in a modern Barbados. How do you tell these same people to conserve? Some cataclysmic will have to it.

  31. @Baje Engineer: “All I am going to say at this point is that there is a report PREPARED FOR THE FTC which spoke to the use of Gas Turbines by the Company

    Can you name this report?

    Was it part of the 1400 pages of evidence considered during this Hearing? Because I think I might have read the report you’re refering to.

    And, *exactly* please, what was the “interesting conclusion” drawn, in your opinion?

  32. The Company has no incentive to waste fuel is correct but the Company has a mandate to generate electricity at the least possible cost. Can you say that by using gas turbines which use expensive fuel (aviation fuel and diesel) which the customer pays for, is generating at the least cost to the customer? Please think about it for a bit! That is all I am saying to you. You need to apply some more analysis to this thing. Believe me it is not all that complicated.

  33. Mr. Halsall,

    I do not have a copy of the report available right now. Why don’t you do as I suggested and request it? It would have more weight if you got it by legitimate means. Don’t you agree?

  34. @Baje Engineer: “I do not have a copy of the report available right now.

    And yet you’ve made claims based upon it.

    @Baje Engineer: “Why don’t you do as I suggested and request it?

    How does one request something which one cannot name.

    When you get back to work, could you please check to see if the report you are referring to is titled “The Barbados Light And Power Company Limited System Expansion Planning Study 2007” produced by PB Power, dated December 2008?

    If so, then yes, I have read it. It was provided to us by the Commission after the Company provided it to them.

    I can actually provide *you* with a copy, if you wish.

    I do, however, ask again: please… what was the “interesting conclusion” drawn, in your opinion?

  35. Halsall
    You are a taxi owner and your passengers pay your fuel bill. YOU MAKE NOTHING FROM THE FUEL PAYMENTS.

    What kind of taxis will you run? modern $200,000 units that give 50 MPG? or old beat up scrap that cost $5000 and average 1 MPG?

    And how much would you invest in fuel free (alternative fuel) vehicles?

    But then again! Knowing you……

  36. @Anonymous…


    @Anonymous: “You are a taxi owner and your passengers pay your fuel bill.

    A fundamental truth: a Company’s Consumers pay *all* the bills. Otherwise the Company isn’t sustainable.


    This statement is true for BL&P. It is not true for the Taximan. Or for any other business in Barbados.

    @Anonymous: “What kind of taxis will you run? modern $200,000 units that give 50 MPG? or old beat up scrap that cost $5000 and average 1 MPG?

    Well, since for Taximen the cost-per-trip is regulated by the Government (enforced at the Airport; not so enforced at the Port (as documented by Loveridge)), the Taximan will find an optimal solution with regards to the cost of the vehicle (and the attractiveness of said vehicle to the clients) and the MPG. (Economics 101.)

    Coming back to this *claim* that BL&P’s use of expensive fuel somehow benefits them…

    Please note that:

    1. BL&P invested a great deal of money in “low speed diesel plant”, which is what is nominally used to generate most power, and which consumes the lowest cost fuel.

    2. BL&P do not derive *any* benefit from consuming more expensive fuel. (A fact agreed to by “Baje Engineer”.)

    My last points for this evening…

    @Anonymous: “And how much would you invest in fuel free (alternative fuel) vehicles?

    1. BL&P have been asking for permission to invest in alternative energy solutions from this and the previous Government for *years*.

    2. The wind farm has been tied up by “Planning” because of objections by *Bajans*.

    3. The other alternative energy solution projects are awaiting the approval of the FTC.

    3.1. Anyone else yet see a common problem for Consumers here?

    4. It is to the *benefit* of BL&P to seek distributed (read: alternative; read: feed-in; read: self-generation) power because it means they don’t need to invest in (read: pay for; read: take a loan out for) additional power generation capability.

    5. Please forgive me for this, but you’re all focusing your anger at the wrong fundamental issues, because you don’t actually understand what you’re talking about!

  37. Pardon my little interruption, I do not have the detailed knowledge that some of you have.

    But strictly from a commonsense viewpoint, Baje’s suggestion indicates that the company uses the gas turbines more than it would be expected.

    Assuming ‘hah’ that they are reasonable, why would they do this?

    It would point to need i.e. the must because their other ‘cheaper’ alternatives cannot now provide the needed capacity.

    I.e. Baje’s point seems to strengthen the BL&P case that they urgently need more funds for redevelopment of cheaper capacity.

    That is what I am getting from these exchanges.

    Unless of course, he is suggesting that they are using the gas turbines when there is no need?


    For the consumer, it still comes do ..conserve, conserve, conserve.

  38. @ David

    You are correct. They will only start to conserve and “cut corners” when they start losing more income or get laid off.

    Barbados is heading for a crisis. There will be no traditional economic boom in the rest of the world economies.

    It appears there will be long recovery lasting a few years and Barbados will suffer.

    To be honest, I have become “energy conscious” because it is shoved down our throats in Canada.
    The electricty bills come with energy conservation tips and we get cheaper rates on weekends.

    I have also lost about 75% of my income
    the last 2 years and I have had to dramatically change my spending habits.

    When this happens to some Bajans they will start to save Electricity and water.

    Then again Barbados is a magic kingdom and is not affected by what happens in the rest of the world.

  39. @Chris

    A little advice if we may, you need to understand that some people commenting on this subject may know more than you give them credit. If you want to encourage those people to come forward now and in the future you need to be more accommodating in tone.

    With respect.

    • @Crusoe

      Thanks for the intervention. There are many examples we can cite other than victimization which would validate those who want to be anonymous. Chris is smart fellow and frankly we are surprised he has not figured that out yet.

    • BU has been receiving emails on this matter and with respect to BANGO and the other NGOs who participated in the exercise, some feel the Intervenors were out paced by BL&P and the system. One email was very specific to say the Intervenors should have focused more on:

      The manner in which the company spent money i.e. by way of use of consultants, types of maintenance contracts

      Appropriateness of use of technologies to reduce costs

      The number of managers for an organisation of this size

      Was there a comparative study within the region to which BL&P was benchmarked? Would be interesting for ROK and Chris to feedback if this is constructive criticism.

  40. @BU.David…

    It would be valuable if those who “may know more” would have the testicular fortitude to put their real names forward.

    Read: Stand behind what they say and claim.

    This then would be submissible and useful…

    Otherwise it is just masturbation….

  41. @David…

    If Barbados exists within an environment where people have to (or decide to) hide behind aliases because they fear retribution for what they say, then we’re all screwed…

    Friendly advise…

    Take it or leave it….

  42. David / Chris,

    Really, with an island of between 25o k and 300k people, it is unrealistic to expect that we all can speak freely without fear of retribution.

    As witnessed by both the lip service and the venom spouted politically and the clearly exhibited partisanship, how can you expect everyone to open themselves and their careers to attack?

    Even in USA, remember the case of the spy lady who was exposed because she offended the relevant authority?

    Then again, in a larger country, the opportunities to work in various other organisations and companies are wider, even if not limitless.

    But, in our little island, when even the main construction companies are owned by buddies, do you really expect it to be easy to find another job in the same field, if one has the ‘guns out’ for you?

    Let us be realistic.

    And yes, politcally, we ARE all screwed, I would have thought that you realised that by now.

  43. Mrs. Vivian-Anne Gittens (Top Gun at the Nation Publishing and the Nation Group of Companies which includes Starcom) was Deputy Chairman of the Fair Trading Commission six years ago and resigned… along with Michelle Goddard CEO, Justice Frank King Chairman, the Financial Controller and the Ronald Toppin Minister of Industry and Trade. Should this person not be an easy “go to” for information involving the scrutinising of the operation of the FTC after all of this time? Does anyone get the impressions that this institution is beyond scrutiny?

  44. @David, Crusoe et al…

    Only those who allow themselves to be victims are…

    Sadly, most Bajans are not yet ready to “stand up” and put their real names behind what they say.

    And so they will be screwed until the cows come home….

  45. @BU.David: “There are many examples we can cite other than victimization which would validate those who want to be anonymous.

    I’m really rather slow David.

    Can you please bring forward the examples you claim you can cite?

    • @ROK

      BU knows you and Chris along with the other Intervenors would have done your best. Barbados owes a debt of gratitude to you guys who do public service. We can’t help but feel the fact that the Intervenors are resource poor relative to the utilities this makes your job herculean. It is a system which is stacked against the PEOPLE.

  46. Chris
    I for one, am growing a bit tired of your continued childish calls for contributors to disclose their names. What names what?!! …. mine is BUSH TEA. What more do you want?

    If you had the intelligence to focus on the IDEAS expressed how would the name of the person be of import? … except so you could somehow get personal?

    Not everyone needs to have their ego stroked by flaunting their name AND photo to boot… every time they post.

    Some of us actually live very public lives otherwise and make our contributions in ways that you could never match.

    I for one, have absolutely no fear of you or anyone like you…. I just happen to prefer to focus on IDEAS expressed, rather than the personalities. Indeed you would do well to remove that pathetic photo and to adopt a decent nom de plume on BU.
    Maybe then you would be inclined to spend more effort on developing ideas rather than harping on who is behind the actual posts.

  47. @ Anonymous // January 30, 2010 at 11:33 PM

    … you said that you were dyslexic right?!!!

    Annonymous you have made the most serious and acurate statement ever made on BU. The childish chatter of this (only the Lord knows what to call him) is most irritating and nauseating. He is definitely a pain in the ahhhhhhhh!

  48. David wrote

    BU has been receiving emails on this matter and with respect to BANGO and the other NGOs who participated in the exercise, some feel the Intervenors were out paced by BL&P and the system.

    David is a charitable man. But does he really expect that the so called intervenors that he named- going from the balderdash and stupid childish comments that they write on BU- could actually produce agruments that were sane, sensible and of substance to the FTC or any other persons with reasonable common sense in Barbados?

  49. Chris, you a definitely small and petty minded. Instead of being so mouthy, full of self try dedicating yourself fully to the task. Applying painstaking attention to detail. Industriousness and the efficient completion of tasks. Stick with the project long enough to see it through.

    It’s results that count btw so get YOUR act together

  50. @David

    1. The manner in which the company spent money i.e. by way of use of consultants, types of maintenance contracts
    2. Appropriateness of use of technologies to reduce costs
    3. The number of managers for an organisation of this size

    I have to wonder how much people really followed the rate hearing when these points were raised and dealt with. I think that people are looking for somebody to blame for the rate increase but I think the only blame could be the fact that the FTC wanted to give BL&P a raise.

    The use of consultants is a necessary requirement for presenting utility evidence. They are the so-called experts.

    Those who would write about BANGO and that we were out-paced, then so were the lawyers, Douglas Trotman and Errol Niles, who argued and cross examined at length in terms of how the company spent their money, investments, etc.

    Also out of this league was Dr. Roland Clarke, an energy expert with international experience. Of course he went to town on some of the more intricate matters. Mr Toft, put in his piece as it related to the economics of running the equipment.

    Clyde Mascoll was also out of his league too. Yet he not only did some damage, he put in a googalee that broadside their wicket.

    If you look at the decision, you will see that with all the arguments, the area where the company gained concession was where the money was. The other points of principle and facts seemed to have been of no persuasion to the Panel for a decrease in the rates.

    It became clear that we had to put in a sterling contribution in order to sway the FTC. On our part, by an extensive dissertation on the impact on the poor, we got them to take into consideration at least 50% of the marginal group rather than the 25% contemplated; which is 100% increase in households.

    Not to mention BANGO’s Douglas Skeete, obviously with less of a clue, but advised the FTC on several occasions not to place any weight on the studies done in the USA and demanded that the FTC instruct the BL&P to commission Caribbean studies.

    So for all those with sour grapes in their mouths, one thing I know is that 5 intervenors represent a formidable opposition, because they bring diversity. The strategy of an intervenor is to hold onto to one topic, study it and do all the research on it. i.e. have a focus on one thing.

    Collectively, they represent a powerful force that leaves no stone unturned. To question the competence of the intervenors is a mere red herring.

    There is not an intervenor that did not pull their weight; even Malcolm Taitt.

  51. not to mention that we have won more battles than we have lost over the last 5-6 years.

    not to mention that we have contributed to utility regulation in Barbados by the precedent of the Appeal Court decision in the C&W Confidentiality hearing and subsequently persuading the FTC to order the company to produce annual regulatory records for public consumption. Now we can monitor them from year to year and not wait for a hearing.

    When will we stop crying down one another? What is the real purpose of it? Some people go about it so diligently.

  52. ac you still livin’?

    Bushman, yah mus’ fagive Chris… He lacks human appeal… The man is a logic based entity… genetically programmed to “drill down”! It is a mild form of autism…!

    ROK when you think ’bout it, there should theoretically be no need for intervenors. The commissioners are there for the purpose of defending the interest of the consumers as well, and those commissioners were eminently qualified… So what the f#ck went wrong?

    Again, does the Barbados Light and Power Holding Co contribute to the polical campaigns of either/both parties, and if so, HOW MUCH…?

  53. @David

    While we may be under-resourced and that resources may allow us to better challenge the company, that is not what I am getting coming across with one fella talking about morons.

    I say it again, each intervenor only had to get in one telling blow and a good look at the decision will show where Intervenors contributed to eroding a piece of the company’s case.

    What I will say is that this must be viewed against the backdrop that it was the sentiment of the Panel coming through, that the company asked for little and it should get it. Even some of the less experienced said it. Mascoll and BARP representative both said that we have to give them something.

    In order to counter the situation, the best strategy was to target the impact of rates on the marginalised and advocate a widening the net for those at the bottom. All the other points were merely academic and did nothing for reducing the rates or lessening the impact.

    The truth is that further consumer research was needed if we were to put up a stronger argument. In particular, a study of the usage profiles of the marginalised to establish a more realistic minimum usage in the block structure.

    The other two things I would have done with the resources and the time. First, a study to establish that electricity usage is inelastic for low income consumers; and second, present two witnesses; one consumer from the marginalised group and one from the group that could pay.

    I did put out a call for consumers to come forward but none came forward. This would have called for consumers that had collected bills over the years.

  54. @BU.David: “What if Baje Engineer is an employee at the FTC?


    But then they would have known that the report “Baje Engineer” (anonymously and indirectly) referenced recommended a *much* greater Rate of Return than BL&P ended up getting…

    …and there was no “smoking gun” about the turbines which wasn’t dealt with during the hearing.

    Please note that I asked above (twice) for “Baje Engineer” to define “what was the “interesting conclusion” drawn” in the report.

    The answer to this question has not been provided.

    Please forgive me for being pedantic (and possibly autistic), but we need something we can actually work with.

    We can’t work with innuendo….

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