EMERA Wants Increase!

It harrows the blogmaster with fear and wonder (thanks Artax) that the Barbados Light and Power company (EMERA) sees it fit and proper to apply for a rate increase. The company in its PR communication to deflect the decision assures low income households the increase to billing will be negligible IF approved by the Fair Trading Commission (FTC). The assumption is that the middleclass and others will have the capacity to absorb what is estimated to be upwards to a 20% increase in monthly billing.

The question from a lowly blogmaster is why does Barbados find itself in a position where EMERA feels justified to request a rate increase. Under the previous Democratic Labour Party government there was a push to aggressively implement a vibrant renewable sector with the objective of weaning our dependence on Barbados Light & Power as the controlling power source. Several years later the question we are justified to ask is – are we there yet?

The country is currently consumed with Covid 19 narratives but walking and chewing gum still apply. An affordable energy cost is critical to managing the cost of living in Barbados.

Source: CBC

91 thoughts on “EMERA Wants Increase!

  1. “It harrows the blogmaster with fear and wonder (thanks Artax)…….”

    @ David

    No sir. The phrase is found in act 1, scene 1 of Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet.

    So, it’s him you have to thank.


  2. Wunna want an increase no surprise. Now you see if we had done as many here said at the start of covid 2 years ago and started a massive alternative energy push wunna know where you would stand today!

    What ever the FTC give wunna I want the same percentage of the grid opened up for private alternative energy producers. So if the FTC give you 10% well tell them we want 10% of the total production of emera given to local solar producers large and small, for resale to the grid. I got some room up here for more panels so believe me I will be first in line! Bizzy clear off the rest of that pasture up there we planting post!

  3. We hope these People have “Clear Title Deeds” , We shall be coming for our money also if it found out that they cant prove clear title , We also need to build another power supply company in Barbados to bypass these overseas crooks looking to Milk Bajans like a C.O.W : BFP

  4. Also the question must be asked if it is the tax payers job to ensure Emera a hefty ROI who will protect the tax payers?

    Let’s look at it in practical terms. Every time the public expand solar and resells to the grid, the revenue base of emera shrinks. So if they are to maintain that ROI on lower sales then they come to the same public for a rate increase. It is a broken formula the FTC are using. So as their sales shrink are we going to have to continue to prop up your ROI? At what point then will government set in and say no enough?

    Then again them can’t even make a decision on the vaxx thing so clipping emera wings will hardly happen.

    • @John A

      Interesting that EMERA is looking to recoup investment in the St. Lucy renewable installation? One would have thought that setup would have been positioned as a profit centre re: opportunity cost.

  5. @ Et al
    We had twenty five years to look toward renewable energy but we were more interested in empty phrases about “punching above our weight” and “excellent economic management” and the gem of all gems: the possibility of fine tuning how “quickly we can borrow millions” and exporting that “skill ” to other countries.
    innovation takes revenue and at this time, we are bragging about millions or billions in forex sitting some where, while the noose tightens every hour around the necks of the masses both lower and upper. No sense having a fridge full of goodies and the door is locked; your children can’t even get a piece of cheese or a glass of ice water.
    The ball is over, Mary’s wooden legs were accidentally left by the fireside………..crocodile tears.

  6. @ William

    Yes we are late to the party for sure. However if government removes the roadblocks on alternative energy production and stops limiting its size, the private producers will expand.

  7. We preferedr to guaranty an acceptable ROI to foreign private speculators than to a company owned by the NIS and other local investors.That was some peculiar ” fine ants”.

  8. Let’s look at it in simple terms and remove all the fancy talk.

    So let’s say instead of electricity emera produced blotting paper and fountain pens. Should government then restrict the importation of disposable pens and other new writing instruments to keep Emera In business selling blotting paper and fountain pens? My point is technology has surpassed the Emera formula and for them to get the return now on their investment using an outdated approach, does not fair well for us the consumers.

  9. @David

    An increase based on St Lucy must be rejected. It is their expense to refit their grid not ours. If you have outdated technology then it is for you to replace it. So wait what they saying then is we must finance that and then they turn around and depreciate the same blasted item off their bottom line. No sir!

  10. @ John A
    You and other continue to have faith in a private sector that has not delivered in times of national need. A progressive government , and we don’t have any from within any of the parties, would have earmarked this sector for small lean efficient businesses. There are Bajans local and overseas , who are versed in this industry. The governments want the same lazy players to developed this “new” industry and I don’t have that confidence in them. I hope , on this occasion, I am proven wrong.

    • @William

      Can you tell the blog what barriers are in place to prevent Bajans in the diaspora from investing in the RE sector ?

  11. @David

    So wait who guarantees evey other business on this island an ROI?

    How the ass any company can be guaranteed an ROI today.

    Listen tell them move aside then and let local producers have free rein and sell to their grid no problem. Good thing I ain’t the FTC

    • @John A

      If you go back to when Darcy Boyce was in charge he was very clear the government had to tread carefully so as to not to destabilize our power supply.

  12. @ David
    I never said there were barriers , I only stated that there were some Bajans who would be competent in the area. Furthermore, I specifically said both local and overseas Bajans. Not looking for nay argument. Peace.

  13. @David

    Yes I heard that sad story many times. So tell Darcy answer this.

    What is the difference with emera producing solar to the grid and John Smith producing solar to the grid? The technology is there to maintain a stable grid today regardless of input source. Problem is emera got millions of dollars in outdated technology we must provide an ROI on.

    This thing really vexxifies me!

    • @John A

      Do not disagree with you but you will need to persuade the FTC energy from RE should not be classified as intermittent.

  14. David
    You will always be caught in wonder and fear.

    Emera has always been a rent-seeker. What else would you have expected of the rentier class?

    Why should there have been an expectation that a publicly owned entity, traded on a major market and engaged in the most gangsterism there is in business, the energy business, would do anything less. They only care about share price appreciation.

    Thirty years ago we, under an asshole LES, we had a chance to forever change the fundamental nature of our economy with The Mutual Affair and the spake of privatisations which could have been turned into cooperative corporations. So even if higher rates were to be paid we would in effect be paying it to ourselves.

    We warned you to expect all kinds of extortionist, distortionist, corporate edicts not unlike the similar, about Covid for example, coming from a politicians near you. Which you jubilantly applauded.

    Cheerlead this because there are no differences between the two.

    Can you see any other way out but a Global Rebellion against elite forces. Or are you still minded that some fanciful election somewhere could resolve these myriad of intractable problems engulfing poor people.

    A rebellion not for marching and singing shiiite but like France 1789. This is were we are.

  15. @ David BU
    As usual this is a consequence of mixed signals sent to the public and to foreign investors. We need to have a serious conversation with and among ourselves as to what our economic system should aim for.The bottom line should be the Economic Well-being of all our citizens. The strategies ,if there are any, are not internally consistent.

  16. @Vincent

    Yes I.must agree with you 100%. One minute we are saying one thing then we say another. There is no documented schedule for anything in this sector that investors can plan by.

    • @Pacha

      See Vincents comment. As a country and people we have to prioritize what we want – to be relativistic is not a practical approach.

  17. David

    His comment at 0938 though more subtle does not appear inconsistent to ours.

    Still don’t understand your original question.

    • @Pacha

      What is the decision making process that sees the gifting of our strategic and important national assets to non Barbadians? How should we measure the ROI in education in the circumstances? What is the plan to design a model that can sustain a way of life given available resources?

  18. Dis discussion to high fuh me, so I cud only ask a foolish question.
    What prevents de Government from subsidizing or even underwriting the cost of this RE thing to the average man with a little 4 x 4 board shingle castle in de Turnin?
    We gaw wait pon another Elsa or move to Rock Hall first?
    Wuh we ain’t people too?
    China cud only donate vaccines?

    Anyhow, we really ain’t care bout selling back to nuh grid nor nutton so, causing dah looking like too much red tape. We just want a little system to run de fridge, freezer, fan, few lights and maybe the washing machine. Dah should ease de pressure on de pocket and de postman, cause I duz be asking he every time I see he, “post, yuh ain’t got nutton fuh me?”
    He duz laugh and seh, not today dads, az I get it, I gine bring it, hang in dere” I duz smile in me heart to know dat at least, somebody still cares and I know he still looking out fuh me. Wuh I wuz sehhing now…

    Oh right, effing de powers dat be cud come up wid a system that enable communities to benefit from de RE that doan require permission from EMERA. A photovoltaic system on every property, one housetop at a time. Dat would be great and truly appreciated. Legacy worthy even.

    Now when I seh communities, I doan mean de gated ones, not dat I got anything against dem, I mean people dat doan have de wherewithal to invest $5 in a half bottle or a case of Corona.

  19. @Enuff,

    In case you missed this on the other post:
    What has happened to the plan to let householders sell energy on the grid? There has been no mention of it for moths but almost every major plantation is equipped for the industry. It looks like the memo left out the households. Is this the latest heist while everyone is distracted by Covid-19?

  20. @ david.

    I heard on the news today that Emera is asking for the increase based on the fact that the ROI has fallen as a result of suppliers of AE.

    Which is the same dam thing i said earlier this morning would happen. So everytime they lose market share they will argue they need an increase in base rate to make it up.

    Imagine if you had 100 customers each buuing $10 a month from you. You then lose 50 of them, do you now expect to charge the 50 that are left $20 for the same item? If the FTC grant permission based on this they deserved to get chase way!

  21. The increase will be granted but not at the rate BL&P is asking. It will then be sold as a “win win” solution.

  22. This requested rate increase has nothing to do with any renewable energy plant but everything to do with the money MAM forced them to spend in 2019/2020 to upgrade their old, outdated equipment. They would have continued on their merry way putting handsome profits in the pockets of the Canadian masters were it not for the damage caused to the BWA’s equipment in 2019 and MAM’s strong reprimand.

  23. So, ask for more than you deserve, let the FTC stage a hard negotiation show and settle on what you want, then declare a victory for FTC and Emera. Loser is the consumer.

  24. The point that we must drive home to the FTC is that it is unfair to give Emera a guaranteed ROI when no other company in Barbados is that lucky at this time and ALL are suffering from falling rates of ROI. Also that is being passed on to the shareholders in the form of reduced annul dividends, so they too are feeling it.

    Secondly once we start this nonesence, then when ever Emera loses market share to AE, they will expect to have their profit pumped up to where it was by its customers. What incentive therefore does Emera have to be efficient or lean when their ROI is guaranteed anyway? Nonesence.

    Thirdly Emera will capitalise that project and deduct all the interest cost off their taxes as an allowed expense every year. They will claim an annual deprecition on the plant until such time that it has no book value. That depreciation expense will also be deductible from the pretax revenue of Emera every year.

    So based on all of the above now they want a rate hike as well as all the tax savings they will get from deducting the interest and depreciation cost of this project! What de ass I hearing at all.

  25. @ Pacha

    That is what we were made to understand was a condition of the Emera purchase. I have heard no one deny it so I can only assume it is true. Dont know if Artax has heard different but I haven’t.

  26. Based on Emera’s model, Chefette should be able to charge more for their fare every time they open another branch. I mean to say, building a new outlet cost the company big numbers and it’s not for their convenience, it’s for the consumers convenience. And realize that they are taking away their own customers from other branches, so they should get a ROI that’s commensurate with their expectation, right? What a load of BS!

  27. I usually have difficulty remembering when to say “excuse me” and when to say “please for a pass”, but I seem to recall that the guarantee is because BL&P, being the sole purveyor, is obligated to maintain the highest standards possible so dat de rest uh we cud rest assured that we equipment in gine blow up az we plug um into the socket, or dat de power ain’t gine go off every time de rain fall, de lightning flash or a monkey decide to swing pon one of de lines. Plus I think dem duz collect a lil berry to maintain them 50hz motorcycle or something so, but don’t quote me cause like I said before, I duz caan remember certain things.

  28. Time for me to get moving on my solar panels. In the meantime energy efficient equipment and reduced usage works for me.

  29. Quick question: Are they going to apply for an increased rate at which they purchase energy from the grid also?

    Bajans warned hike could see up to 20% rise in prices

    By Colville Mounsey
    Barbadians are being warned to brace for a 15 to 20 per cent increase in the cost of goods and services if the Barbados Light & Power (BL& P) is successful in its application for a rate increase.
    On Monday, the utility company filed an application with the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) for a review of electricity rates which could range from five per cent to 20 per cent.
    In a virtual press conference yesterday, the management of BL& P said that the utility had been hard-hit by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and that fiscal space was needed for crucial infrastructural investments, such as renewable energy, which were in sync with Government’s goal of 100 per cent green energy by 2030.
    However, economist Jeremy Stephen put Barbadians on notice that this proposed increase could hit the pockets of consumers even harder, as he noted that the logistical challenges and heightened global shipping costs due to the global importation of Christmas stock were likely to deliver a huge blow to an already shell-shocked transportation system.
    “At the very least, if this application is successful, we can expect 15 to 20 per cent increase in the cost of services and goods
    in Barbados,” Stephen said.
    Brewing economic storm
    Making it clear that he fully understood the rationale for BL& P’s decision, Stephen said the timing was helping the atmospheric conditions for a brewing economic storm.
    “If such an increase were to come at a time when tourists were coming and spending at the levels they were in 2007, in an environment where we had a few commercial projects, nobody would be complaining because most people would have been able to afford it. If the economy continues the way it is, it will mean a further degradation of confidence, which would mean even more unemployment down the line,” said Stephen.
    He further explained: “So it is a two-pronged issue – it is not just the cost increase, but it is compounded by the fact that we have COVID and the fact that the tourists are not spending. On top of this 15 to 20 per cent increase across the board, I anticipate a further jump in inflation coming on in November to December because of logistical issues that we see worldwide as it relates to massive imports for Christmas.”
    Director of customer solutions at the BL& P, Kim Griffith-Tang How, said yesterday the company understood what the move meant for the cost of living but it was a case of not being able to hold strain any longer.
    She argued that the company had not received a rate hike in 11 years, noting that several attempts were made over time to stabilise the fuel charge to the customer.
    “We recognise that the fuel component of the bill accounts for more than 60 per cent depending on the price. This has been our focus for the last few years, because on three occasions our company attempted to put in place a fuel hedging programme.
    “There were a few times during the last few years that we saw the cost of fuel fall significantly and with a view to stabilising the prices to customers, we attempted to lock in the low fuel prices and have that stabilisation,” Griffith-Tang How said.
    Managing director of BL& P, Roger Blackman, said the decision to request the rate increase was by no means a sudden one, but one which had been held back by the company for the last two years, despite significant financial strain on the country’s lone electricity service provider.
    We have been working on this for some time – in fact, back in 2019, based on our financial situation at that point. After discussions with Government and with stakeholders, we took the decision to try to defer and instead assist customers as best as we can, notwithstanding the challenges that we are facing.
    “However, we have delayed for as long as we can as a team that is responsible for an essential service to the economy,” he said.
    BL& P, which has about 130 000 customers, pointed out in a statement released on Thursday that 35 per cent of them, who it “assumed to consist mostly of low-income customers” and used less than 150 kilowatt hours each month, would pay
    no more than a $6 increase.
    That is based on the rates that the company has proposed to the FTC. It added, however, that for other customers, “the typical bill increase resulting from the proposed rates is estimated to range from five per cent to 20 per cent depending on the tariff on which customers receive their service”.

    Source: Nation

  31. David

    Are you in a position to confirm what our friend John A stated relative to a guaranteed ROI.

    Better yet, are the full terms of this deal ever been made available anywhere?

  32. I saw that Hants was the only person who looked at the stock price.

    46.47 USD +10.95 (30.83%) past 5 years
    Not bad

  33. We are experiencing the perfect winter storm for Christmas:

    skyrocketing energy prices and as a consequence rising food prices for the masses, radical Muslims rioting with the Chief Labour Officer and and a UWI professor against businessmen who care about the health of their employees, rising Corona case numbers because our indigenous population in their superstition do not want to get vaccinated and scared tourists cancelling their hotels.

    The situation is very similar to the 1980s, when parts of our elite wanted to cure HIV with garlic. We are still feeling the fallout today, with HIV rates among native men 10 times higher than in North America and Western Europe.

    Our Supreme Leader must now crack down on the aforementioned minorities! We also need a scapegoat for the Corona disaster. How about the opposition opposeing compulsory vaccination?

  34. I don’t have time to get too deep into this. And I have no “insider” knowledge of any kind. Dropped in because David asked me something earlier.

    When modeling this situation, I think it is important to keep in mind that BL&P is now going to have to depreciate its legacy carbon-based generation plant faster than originally programmed. This is because of an “ask” from the GoB.

    The “ask” for a Rate of Return on Rate Base (importantly, this is the maximum allowed; it’s not guaranteed) will have to go through the FTC. And, properly, involve another hearing. Based on heuristics, they will probably get what they ask for (or very near) after the process.

    BTW… Hearings can be very long, expensive, and tiring. Great fun, though! 😎

  35. Seems reasonable to me to ask for an increase, if it is there first increase in eleven years. Also, we are a net importer of oil, and the price have skyrockted over 50% since January of this year. I only consumed 210kwh per month. Conservation and unecessary electric appliances is the way to go.

  36. Solar energy is a good back up, however, as a base load it is too intermittent. Jamaica made great strides in using more renewables in their energy mix over the past 10 years ( 18% of installed capacity), even then, their electricity rate is over 4 times than USA households.

  37. So “forty”, I thought that the fuel adjustment charge was implemented for the purpose of dealing with price fluctuations. Secondly, if it is reasonable to seek an increase, having not done so for eleven years, then it will also be reasonable for workers who have not received a raise during that period to seek a 20% increase as well, right?

  38. David

    Yes a formula or heuristic has always been used to arrive at a rate increase, never a decrease. But a reverse logic is equally as arguable.

    We are sure the company will have a range of well-based arguments, seemingly favouring it, to convince the liked minded commissioners.

    We recall well the one-man army of the late Wendell McClean giving them a boat load of agony.

    However, such a formula cannot be entirely based on the internals of the company as presented or audited.

    We have dropped a long way as a country. That at a time like this with Covid running amuck, that a rentier institution, which we self-inflicted could exhibit the worst tendencies of disaster capitalism on an under-employed population is truly sad.

  39. With the exception of T&T subsidised electricity, Caricom countries pay some of the highest tariff in the world for electricity. Yet, still some people refused to change life style. They feel as if electricity access and affordability is their god given right. I have friends whose homes are fully ‘electrified’. Every gadgets, furnitures, and appliances run on electricity. Sun blazing outside and these people have dryer running. Go figure.

  40. Power generation, transmission, and distribution is a huge capital intensive business. Not to mention technical loss and theft. Double digit ROI in developing countries are the norm, but not guaranteed.

    Some high-risk countries in Africa have ROIs in this sector up to 25% or more. That’s one of the reason why africa has the lowest level of electrification in the world. Even Nigeria, with all it’s hydrocarbon resources, still struggle to not only provide universal access to the grid, but to maintain a reliable output. Most Nigerians resort to personal generators.

  41. David

    Indeed! Indeed.

    And yet some are still to make contact with the idea that “these days are funny nights”.

  42. $ 938 million and $ 663 million. Remember those 2 numbers. Why? Because those are the net profit figures of Emera for 2019 and 2020 compared.

    So in a year riddled with closures and Covid losses Emera as an entity net profit grew by nearly 50%!

    Yes I feel real sorry for you for true. Why you don’t RH well tell people that wunna been mandated by Emera to get your profits in line with their average corporate profit as a percentage of production? Why you don’t tell the people that Emera dividends to shareholders in 2020 increase by a massive amount as well?

    Don’t feel cause I here pun de rock that I don’t know what going on in the world.

  43. Wait i forget a a question.

    Why you don’t tell we what Emera average production cost is a kW and what wunna does sell the same KW for?

    You see Canada ain’t here nuff information is available for all to read.

    • @John A

      The issue with public companies is always satisfying the ROI/market analysts to maintain share price. For these comoanies and the market there is a lot riding. It is the model of the capitalist world we serve and worship to satisfy the consumption model.

  44. Yes David
    Return on investment is a key metric once you’ve gotten funding from public markets.

    The primary job, daily occupation, of the corporate CEO, at HQ, is to manage share price. All roads lead to share price, for her.

    Even when benchmarked such could continue getting more and more relatively more competitive.

    If a company has to deal with such forces internationally it may find that it has to increase prices at each business unit.

    And increases in the prices for primary inputs have implications for everything in Barbados, maybe by a multiplier.

    This is another reason why it was a bad idea to turn the only power company to foreigners. It was hard enough dealing with an industry as a value added proprosition. Now that not only all the inputs but the financialization is outsourced we can continue to expect a too high energy cost for a country now not punching at all above it’s weight.

    • @Pacha

      Do not forget the mutual and pension funds that depend on same metric. I is all interconnected isn’t it.

  45. As I see the situation…

    Companies exist to make money for their shareholders. It’s just how things work (generally).

    1.1. Everyone jumps up and down about BL&P (a “natural monopoly” in T&D, not Generation), but seem to forget about the RoR enjoyed by the telecom duopoly.

    1.2. It is the Regulator’s reponsibility to ensure the market place is fair. PARTICULARILY for the consumers.

    Rate Hearings are a great opportunity for consumers to formally put together their “asks”, for the FTC to consider (on the record) for the next “Order”.

    2.1. Things like ensuring the Pole plant is fit-for-purpose.

    2.2. That requests for maintaince reported by the public (for example, vines) are actually actioned.

    These “asks” should be presented by a small team (or, even better, small teams collaborating), in cleanly written language.

    With the passing of Roosevelt King (ROK), I don’t know who will have the time and energy to organize this. I hope someone does.

    This discussion has brought back so many memories… I really miss ROK. He was just an amazing man!

  46. @ David.

    Although they may not have a agreed Roi as such as Chris pointed out above, the formula they are using is basically as good as having one.

    What is going to be hard here and it will come to the point of where the PM will have to step in Down the road is this.

    The wealthy and companies will move to RE as Emeras prices increase, hence reducing their grid usage. So that means based on Emeras argument, those that are left will be asked to pick up the slack under Emeras formula. So those that can least afford it and the struggling middle class will be the whipping horses yet again, as those who can afford it will move more to filling their roof with panels.

    It that ain’t a guaranteed formula for protecting their ROI I don’t know what is.

  47. If granted, that 20% increase that is being sought by Emera will be the least of our problems. Supermarkets, departments stores, restaurants, hotels, malls, cinemas, gas stations, auto-marts, manufacturing and just about everywhere that uses electricity will see and immediate increase in operating cost and you don’t have be a Harvard or UWI grad to work out how this will influence the cost of good and services.

  48. @FearPlay: “…immediate increase in operating cost and you don’t have be a Harvard or UWI grad to work out how this will influence the cost of good and services.

    “Going Green” is going to take some effort. Carbon-based energy empirically doesn’t scale, and has been subsidized for hundreds of years. We’re suddenly realizing this, and are trying to pivot.

    I hear both you and John A with regards to the concerns about how the costs of this will be fairly distributed. At the end of the day, the costs of duing business are always incurred by the consumers. Otherwise, the businesses don’t exist for very long.

    This is a non-trivial problem space.

  49. One point here to note.
    Emera, is enjoying upwards of 50% of all power used in peak daylight hours, coming from Solar Farms and home owners rooftops across the island.
    Better yet, what they pay for solar generated electricity is less than what they pay for that power is it were generated by fossil fuels.
    So, they are paying less for their generation( which is not really theirs so it has no capital expense associated with it) and it costs the same.
    Net result, increased profit on the PV generated power.
    They don’t need any increase.
    Stupid ass, dumpsy honkeys again.
    Cant get a frigging linear thought put together but whenever you want more money, the salve ship should come down packed tighter.
    Give them any blasted increase and see what we do bout here!
    This blasted BLP administration of despots and sexual deviants seems to be hell bent on selling this country out to their own aggrandizement and at any costs!
    Actions have dire consequences when you attempt to surreptitiously sell the souls of the people to your own upliftment!

  50. BL&P under scrutiny

    IN BARBADOS, the prices of basic everyday consumer essential items, whether food, petrol, or the purchase of services, seem to be constantly increasing.
    Invariably, the blame is always being placed on external forces, ranging from the supply chain to increasing costs at the source, to constantly shifting international shipping costs, plus the various taxes and duties imposed by our Government.
    This is why last week’s announcement by the Barbados Light & Power Co. Ltd (BL& P) that it is seeking a rate increase would have been greeted with dismay by consumers.
    The Canadian-owned power company wants the price hike to cover its rising costs and investments to guarantee consumers a high-quality service.
    Even the BL& P’s proactive communications and transparent approach in outlining its rationale for the proposed price hike would not have been sufficient to pacify consumers’ anger.
    No choice
    The reality is that the majority of the BL& P’s customers have no choice but to sit and await, even if anxiously, the outcome of the application that will go before the Fair Trading Commission (FTC).
    While consumers can consider alternative energy off-grid power systems, the reality is that this approach is beyond the financial reach of most of BL& P’s 130 000 customers. Therefore, this rate increase application, and the constant hike in prices for goods and services, leave the vulnerable in society exposed and also widens the gap of those in financial distress.
    The proposed increase in energy bills will be a turn-off for most consumers at this time, given the economic reality many of them are facing. It will also have a ripple effect.
    There is no denying that many households are facing financial difficulties because of the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. To face increased light bills in the near future may only push
    some of them into more debt, making their desperate situations even worse. While officials of BL& P pinpoint the potentially low level of increase being sought from the majority of its customers, what it considers a fair price for energy may still be painful for many.
    So, even before the rate hearings begin, the BL& P should publicly state what level of cash it is missing because of unpaid customers’ bills before and since the pandemic.
    Must be held accountable
    Barbadians boast of a good education system and being sophisticated, but we are timid and accept whatever the business community imposes. To boot, we do not have an effective consumer advocacy group. It is unlikely, therefore, that consumers can feel comforted that their interests will be well represented to address specific technical requirements before the FTC.
    The BL& P needs to be held accountable on issues ranging from performance benchmarking to management audits and prudence reviews as well as depreciation matters.
    We understand the company’s responsibility to its customers, investors and the community, but it must never lose sight of affordability.
    The proposed increase in energy bills will be a turn-off for most consumers at this time, given the economic reality many of them are facing.

    Nation Newspaper Editorial

  51. Good article plus the increased rate if implemented will compound the blow to consumers that they will face in the last quarter of this year from massive freight increases into the region, especially from supplies out of China where rates have more than doubled. The hard thing is the cheaper items which many buy, will show the largest increases. The reason being the value per cubic metre of the goods is lower hence the freight increase as a percentage of the value will be greater. So the increased cost say to freight a cubic metre of toilet paper based on the value of toilet paper will be way higher than a cubic metre say of hair. The cost of living will show a major increase when all these forces collide.

  52. I am glad that BL&P is in private hands. Could you imagine the cost to the budget if government was running this entity ? Because as sure as night follow day, electricity rate would have been subsidized by the government. 40% of Puerto Rico debt crisis is due to the state own electricity provider. The Dominica Republic spend over a billion us$ annually on electricity subsidy.

  53. David

    Again, you have missed the elephant in the room.

    The United Stated of America and the People’s Republic of China, increasing in recent months, have been at “daggers drawn” in the South China Sea over the renegade province of Taiwan.

    America has soldiers, on what China sees as its territory, training the fighters of this breakaway province. It has been arming it to the teeth. Sailing its submarines into what China considers to be its territorial waters or sphere of influence and much more

    China has been conducting military aerial drills near Taiwan and when one reads The Global Times, which many analysts consider to be the mouthpiece of the ruling party, all kinds of counter claims preparatory for war are being issued daily.. The Americans have been threatening as well.

    Tensions have been so high that the world could easily elevate from a low level conflict to nuclear war. All it takes is Taiwan declaring independence, the sinking of an American ship, aircraft or submarine and the invasion of Taiwan should it make that announcement.

    The Chinese are insistent that Taiwan is part of China, like has been accepted by the American leaderships since Nixon’s visited China. The One China Policy.

    The United States however sees Taiwan as a possible forward base in its encirclement of China. In keeping with such a policy which empires have always embarked upon as a condition precedent for war.

    For China Taiwan is a red-line not to be crossed, its existential. And it is prepared by any means necessary to prevent the Americans from more overtly taking over Taipei. They have stated this many times and in the clearest of terms.

    For the Americans, as protectors of international Whiteness, global hegemony must never be so ceded to the Chinese. But they can’t do one damn thing about it except to posture as if for a hot war.

    But there’s a problem. All the war games conducted by the Pentagon show conclusively that in no set of scenarios could America defeat the People’s Liberation Army. Such is the addiction to power they still won’t relent.

    And this leaves only one military option – the use of nuclear weapons. The problem here is that if such a discharge happens China will retaliate directly against the USA and Russia will come to her side because they are strategic allies. And we’ll have a doomsday scenario, the unthinkable!

    We are minded that with all other types of warfarisms against China having failed or failing, that the collective madness in Washington, drunken by an unquenchable thirst to remain global hegemon, that sooner or later a causus beli will be erected by the neocons in Washington enabling just that.

    So the thinking that some set transportation costs could return to pre-Covid levels soon is not borne out by this singular consideration within the global strategic environment.

    This is a much longer story. A journey to this point which is truly enthralling. A subject about which libraries are being written but few here would want to know, until zero hour we fear.

    • @Pacha

      Thanks for this intervention but you must be aware tension between the two have been ramping up since Trump? Rising freight cost we thought was linked to destruction due to demand and supply to the supply chains caused by the pandemic.

  54. David

    Trump is and was an idiot but the military industrial complex pro-war stances change not regardless to the figurehead in the WH.

    David, the deepest truth is that the Americans just made nice with China during the 1970s, or maybe before, because they wanted their interests met.

    First, they wanted China to be the enemy of the USSR, aid in its destruction. Secondly, they wanted to make slaves of Chinese cheap labour in the interests of corporate elites.

    But China flip the switch and moved towards high technology and high end goods. Making it a competitor to America and its European vassals.

    And because America’s economy is in China’s pocket America cannot now use economic sanctions as weapons in ways they have against others. They are in effect checkmated, in strategic terms.

    Yes, tensions were heightened during Trump. But remember that it was Obama who talked about the pivot to China. That meant war and the preparations for war. No American president can be truly antiwar otherwise she’ll be Kennedyed.

    Whoever comes after Biden will be just another war hawk willing to fight until all the children of the poor die to exert a notion of exceptionalism.

  55. @ Pachamama October 11, 2021 5:38 PM
    For the Americans, as protectors of international Whiteness, global hegemony must never be so ceded to the Chinese. But they can’t do one damn thing about it except to posture as if for a hot war. (Unquote).

    Pacha, a very sound piece of geopolitical analysis to expose the ‘real’ reason behind the Americans’ ‘hasty’ withdrawal from Afghanistan.

    It certainly addresses the query previously raised about the pending invasion of Taiwan by a more emboldened China in the post-Afghanistan world of geopolitics.

    Since Uncle Sam cannot be No.1 without a large military presence overseas we should not be surprised if- in very short order- there is a large reallocation of military resources in the direction of South/S.E. Asia reminiscent of the days of McArthur in order to up the ante; on this occasion not against Japan but against the only country capable today of telling the Americans to piss off.

    Unlike the M.E. -where Uncle Sam has an attack dog in the form of Israel to keep Iran in check- there is none in Southern Asia to do the American bidding.
    Not even the Constitutionally-disarmed Japan or nuclear-armed starving India with its rubber-teeth can ‘have pins and needle’ with China.

  56. The Miller
    True on all counts, except.

    Even Iarael is in trouble as well. Recall, that over the last 30 to 40 years Israel too has lost, like America, all the wars and proxy wars against the Resistence Front on the region.

    The Resistence Front is of course comprised of Iran, Yemen, Syria, Hamas et al, Hezbollah, some cadres in Iraq, and sometimes Russia has deafeat the US, Israel and their allies every time, over 30 or 40 years. We can adumbrate if necessary.

    We are projecting, others are as well, that within 10 to 20 years it shall be no longer possible for the Zionist regime to exist. It shall be invaded and run out of the region. We see Jewish boat people looking for homes like the 1940s, circa.

    If Israel cannot defeat Hezbollah in the July War, over about 30 days with global support, and even Israel accepts this defeat, how can they look into the face of a real military power like Iran. Not even America, and they have acknowledge this too, throught their war gaming, can confront Iran and win in conventional warfare. It is Iran, principally, running America out of the socalled Middle East.

    In toto empire’s fall is moving like a snowball downhill.

  57. Bajans spend millions on tobacco, alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, prostitutes ( male/ female/ binary), false hair , nails , hair products, gambling, etc.

    Some of the money burnt up by Bush Hill can be diverted to solar energy.


    Mon, 10/25/2021 – 5:02am


    PRESIDENT of the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Dr. Gene Leon says the price of electricity in the region is among the highest in the world.

    Speaking at an Energy Forum in the Turks and Caicos Islands, the CDB President said that the cost of electricity in the region averaged US$0.28 per kilowatt hour in 2019.

    Against this background, he called for encouraging and incentivising the private sector to support the transition to sustainable energy.

    His comments come at a time when Barbadians are voicing concerns that electricity rates in the island could go up, following an application by the Barbados Light and Power Company Limited to the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) for a rate increase.

    “The high cost of electricity generation has a negative impact on the region’s economic and social development as it increases import bills, worsens terms of trade, erodes competitiveness, and stymies investment by the business community,” the CDB official told the function in the Turks and Caicos islands.

    He remarked further that high electricity costs also affect economically disadvantaged people who spend a greater share of their disposal income on energy.

    Barbados and other Caribbean governments have been pushing to make atransformation to renewable energy to lower electricity costs while making economic sectors more competitive.

    The CDB President highlighted that although alternative forms of energy – especially solar, wind, and ocean resources – are in unlimited supply in the region, the Caribbean is one of the most energy import-dependent regions in the world, with CDB’s 19 Borrowing Member States deriving more than 90 per cent of their commercial energy supply from imported petroleum.

    To make the transition to sustainable energy a reality, the CDB President laid out five priorities for the way forward, which are: improving energy efficiency, diversifying energy sources, incentivising the private sector, investing in strategic partnerships, and using innovative, flexible, and affordable financing instruments.

    Citing a study by the CDB and the Inter-American Development Bank, which established that renewable energy could generate 50 to 100 times peak domestic electricity demand, Dr. Leon emphasised that the region needs to diversify its energy sources.

    “In the Eastern Caribbean, the geothermal energy resource potential far exceeds domestic demand. There are also emerging opportunities for using renewable energy to produce ammonia and green hydrogen, which could be a key fuel of the future,” he added.

    Source: Barbados Advocate

  59. Power plan
    BL&P: New plant will see savings to customers, fewer outages
    by SHAWN CUMBERBATCH shawncumberbatch@nationnews.com
    BARBADOS LIGHT & POWER COMPANY LIMITED (BL& P) is getting ready to press a new 33 megawatt (MW) plant into service, and it is telling customers to expect fewer outages as a result.
    Once the new plant called the Clean Energy Bridge (CEB) is fully commissioned by the end of March, the utility says the cost of producing power will also decline, with the savings to be passed on to its more than 130 000 customers.
    Dave Skeete, project manager of the medium-speed diesel facility located at Trents, St Lucy, the same location as BL& P’s ten-megawatt solar farm, provided the update during a recent tour of the plant.
    The new plant, which the company says will provide 27.1 per cent of the annual energy requirement for Barbados, is called the CEB because it will be a bridge between BL& P’s existing fossil fuel burning plants and the country’s transition to 100 per cent renewable energy.
    More fuel efficient
    Skeete said the plant was expected to be fully commissioned between the middle and end of March and “should go into commercial operation immediately after”.
    “In the short term this plant, once it goes into service, will keep the production cost of electricity down by being more fuel efficient and these savings will be passed to the consumer,” he told the DAILY NATION.
    “[It] will also be a more reliable plant so our customers can expect fewer outages. In the longer term it will serve as a back-up plant to cater for those periods when renewable sources have lower output.”
    BL& P information submitted in one of its matters before the Fair Trading Commission detailed that the company had an installed capacity of 256.1 MW of generating plant at the end of December 2020, with a peak demand of 141 MW serving 131 522 customers.
    The electricity infrastructure includes 18 substations and Skeete said the CEB will be connected via underground cables to the substation near St Thomas Parish Church.
    Barbados was hit by two days of islandwide power outages on November 18 and 19, 2019, and after an investigation the public utility was ordered to compensate customers.
    Skeete said the new St Lucy plant would be more efficient than the older generating facilities, “so the production cost of electricity will be less for an equivalent size older plant.
    “So it should be more reliable being a newer plant. It has been designed with quite a bit of redundancy so this will contribute to us improving our service for the customer,” he added.
    Residents in the area near the plant previously voiced concerns about the four smoke stacks attached to the four modular blocks housing Wartsila engines that comprise the CEB.
    However, the engineer said a number of environmental safeguards related to fire prevention, noise reduction, smoke emissions and fuel were built into the new plant.
    “The design of the stacks was informed by dispersion modelling which is using several years of wind and weather data to determine worst-case conditions with respect to wind speed, wind direction, to ensure that the plant has minimal impact on air quality on the surrounding environs,” he explained.
    Monitoring programmes
    “There are monitoring programmes for noise and emissions and during commissioning, tests are done to ensure compliance with the limits which are stipulated for the site for both noise and emissions,” Skeete said.
    “Barbados Light & Power has proposed an air quality programme which is currently under consideration by the [Environmental Protection Department]. Once approved, it will see us monitoring air quality at various locations upstream and downstream of the site once the plant goes into service.
    “The same for noise monitoring during commissioning to ensure we meet the requirements and then periodically to ensure compliance once the plant goes into service,” he added.

    Source: Nation

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