Barbados Light and Power Company is applying for a rate increase.
In a statement this afternoon, the now Canadian-owned BL&P disclosed that on Monday October 4 it filed an application with the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) for a Review of Electricity Rates.
The statement makes the point that the application is only the second one filed by the company in nearly forty years requesting an adjustment to its electricity base rates.
It notes that the last increase in base rates occurred in 2010, over eleven years ago.
Light & Power states that it has been able to defer a request for general rate review through careful cost management and process innovations but says that the significant increase in costs and necessary investments, like the new 33 megawatt Clean Energy Bridge plant at Trents, St. Lucy, compels it to seek an adjustment in electricity prices.
Light & Power proposed that increases should be no more than $6 for those customers using less than 150 kWh in a month. These customers account for 35% of the Domestic Service tariff group, assumed to consist mostly of low-income customers. The typical bill increase resulting from the proposed rates is estimated to range from 5% to 20% depending on the tariff on which customers receive their service.
An estimated 10% reduction in fuel costs anticipated from the commissioning of the new 33MW Clean Energy Bridge by the end of 2021, is expected to substantially mitigate the impact of the proposed increase in rates even further.
Light & Power adds that it welcomes the engagement of its customers and other stakeholders on the proposals contained in its application.
The company says there is no ideal time for a rate adjustment and Light & Power acknowledges that with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, customers are experiencing economic challenges at this time.