Fair Trading Commission Clarification unclear

In the Friday 13 January edition of Barbados Today (pg 7), the FTC has sought to clarify an ‘alleged suggestion made earlier’, that the new tariff rates will be ‘across the board’. This FTC clarification needs some clarification as outlined in the attachedTrevor Browne (BAPE)

4 thoughts on “Fair Trading Commission Clarification unclear

  1. Hold ’em Joe, hold ’em Joe, hold ’em Joe and don’t let ’em go.
    One day coming soon… ask Gabby for the rest because I can’t remember anymore 😔

  2. The FTC clearly thinks that most Bajans are either not interested or clueless about this matter. So too is the Government.

    What about the all important storage?
    Where is the Government policy that helps the average small man who wants to come off the grid?
    Are we to be forever slaves generating profits for BLPC shareholders?

    • Rate hike delay
      FTC’s decision on BL&P increase to take a little longer
      by SHAWN CUMBERBATCH shawncumberbatch@nationnews.com
      BARBADIAN HOUSEHOLDS and businesses, which have been paying an interim electricity rate hike since September, will have to wait longer to find out if their bills will be higher permanently.
      Fair Trading Commission (FTC) chief executive officer Dr Marsha Atherley-Ikechi said yesterday work was ongoing to reach a decision on the matter, but it was unlikely to be concluded by the end of this month as previously hoped.
      This comes three months after the conclusion of the FTC oral hearing into the Barbados Light & Power Company Limited’s (BL& P) application for an increased tariff, and with intervenors still concerned about the utility company’s dividend policy, its self-insurance fund (SIF) and depreciation of the generation plant.
      “We are working on getting a decision to the public of Barbados as soon as possible. We were initially working with the end of the month, [but] that does not appear to be possible, given a meeting that we had only late last week,” Atherley-Ikechi said.
      “But I don’t want to put a date on it . . . . We are working to be able to deliver it in the shortest possible time. A number of things impact when we deliver a decision; it is not only the Commission’s staff [involved].”
      Last November 17, the FTC said in a public notice on the rate review: “With the conclusion of the . . . oral hearing on Friday, October 14, the Commission fixed a deadline of Friday, October 28, 2022, for the parties to file final written submissions. The filing deadline was thereafter extended by the Commission to Tuesday, November 8, 2022.
      “The electricity hearing panel, with the assistance of [FTC] staff, is reviewing all the arguments and evidence presented during the process, including over 1 300 pages of the application, over 1 000 pages of submissions, [and] over 1 900 pages of transcripts. On completion of the full assessment, the Commission will render its decision,” the regulator said then.
      Yesterday, when contacted about the pending FTC decision, BL& P representatives said they would not be issuing a statement on the matter at this time.
      However, as the public awaits the ruling that could see BL& P guaranteed a $46.5 million increase in its revenue, intervenor Ricky Went said there were still concerns “about some key issues even after the public hearing concluded in October 2022”.
      “Intervenors are worried that whether or not an increase is granted, BL& P will pay dividends and then seek rate hikes in order to maintain the public network, if the FTC does not insist on a clear dividend policy in its impending ruling,” he said.
      Regarding the SIF, Went stated: “Intervenors feel strongly that the SIF, which was built from rates charged to customers to address catastrophes, should be used to insure BL& P’s plant and equipment as the scheme allows.
      “We are firmly of the view that BL& P should be made to recapitalise the SIF by approximately $100 million, which could then be used to cover generation units in addition to transmission and distribution plant. Any excess should be returned to the rate payers and not paid as dividends.”
      Went said intervenors believed that after the FTC “disallowed the depreciation rate for generating plant in March 2022, then the previously established rate should apply and BL& P should be required to file a new application to vary the life of its generation plant”.
      In September, the FTC granted BL& P an interim rate increase equivalent to half of what the company applied for in relation to all customer classes except its employees, who have been paying the full rate until the substantive decision is issued.
      BL& P said in October that the interim rates would be in effect until there was a decision of the full application and that the increase would allow the company to maintain the electricity network, and continue to provide a safe and reliable service.
      The FTC said that if the full review found the interim rates to be excessive, BL& P “shall refund all customers the difference between these rates and the final approved rates, with an interest rate equivalent to the return on equity to be approved in the substantive rate review hearing”.

      Source: Nation

    • Guidelines revamp for BL&P
      FTC outlines updated standards for utility company
      BARBADIANS ARE NOW entitled to automatic compensation from the Barbados Light & Power Company Limited (BL& P) if they are among multiple customers affected by lengthy power outages.
      Effective January 1, the utility company is mandated to do so under revamped service standards introduced by the Fair Trading Commission (FTC). The FTC defined multiple customers as “after a fault occurs on any part of the network that manifests itself on the distribution system”.
      BL& P said yesterday that it was reviewing the updated service standards, as well as the recently-revised Feed-in-Tariff rates for renewable energy systems, and would seek clarification from the FTC as needed.
      There are nine categories under which Barbadian households and businesses are eligible to receive compensation from the electricity company if it falls short of service standards within stipulated time periods.
      Compensation is a credit to the customers’ account, ranging from $45 for domestic customers and $90 for those with general service, to $215 for secondary voltage power and large power customers.
      However, this year marks the first time that BL& P will have to pay automatic compensation for power outages that last longer than eight hours and affect multiple customers.
      ‘Major change’
      “The major change to this standard was the compensation adjustment from customer-initiated
      claim to automatic compensation,” the FTC explained in its Commission Standards of Service For The Barbados Light & Power Company Limited 2023 – 2025 provisions.
      “The Commission’s analysis revealed that many customers eligible for compensation under this standard were not coming forward. One possible reason was the administrative burden on customers to complete the requisite claims form.”
      The FTC also said that based on discussion with BL& P, it was aware that the 97 per cent roll-out of the company’s Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) meter, which is an integrated system of meters, networks and data that enables “twoway” communication between the utility and its customers, “should result in an enhanced ability to remotely monitor aspects of the electricity network”.
      The FTC elaborated: “This enhanced remote monitoring capability should better allow BL& P to respond to outage events,thus minimising the number of persons who experience prolonged outages.”
      In its submission to the Commission, BL& P argued that it was “difficult to efficiently and accurately identify specific customers affected by the fault whose supply restoration extended beyond target level [and] automatic compensation is possible when a failure occurs for those customers who contact BL& P’s Call Centre to report an outage”.
      However, the FTC said it believed “that with the significant AMI meter coverage, there will be no need for customers to contact BL& P to report a fault as BL& P should be capable of identifying faults and the affected customers”.
      “The expectation is that eliminating the need to process a claims form would also result in greater administrative efficiencies on BL& P’s end. BL& P submitted that they are not opposed to this adjustment,” it added.

      Source: Nation

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