Interim rates stay

Barbadians will have to continue paying higher interim electricity rates until further notice.

This is because the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) has granted Barbados Light & Power Company Limited (BL& P) a stay on some key aspects of its February 15, 2023 rate application ruling as it reviews the utility company’s motion to review and vary the decision.

“The commission in rendering its decision has determined that Paragraphs 400, 401, 404, 405 and 407 of its decision are stayed until the determination of the applicant’s notice of motion to review and vary the aforementioned decision, or until further order of the commission,” the FTC said in a notice issued last Friday.

“The commission has also determined that the interim rates granted by the order of the commission made on September 16, 2022, will remain in effect until the final determination of BLPC’s application or until further order of the commission,” it added.

The first part of the decision now stayed relates to the FTC ordering BL& P to use “base revenue, customer count, usage and demand values from the period ended June 30, 2022, for purposes of making an adjustment to test year revenues and within the cost-of-service study”.

The second one relates to the FTC order that “in the development of the revenue requirement, [BL& P] is directed to modify its as-filed test year expenses in respect of the following items: utilise the 2020 reported insurance expense of $8 198 082; remove the $252 000 of charitable donations and sponsorship; and remove the affiliate expenses of staff secondments, board fees and other”.

The regulator has also directed BL& P to “record 50 per cent of its 2019 income tax gain as a regulatory liability and amortise the liability over a 15-year period”, but that too is now on hold.

Another ruling in relation to BL& P’s Self Insurance Fund (SIF) has also been stayed.

The FTC had ruled that “in respect of the SIF, BLPC is directed to establish a record of $99.5 million in a regulatory liability account. In the event of a catastrophic event that is eligible to be covered by the SIF, the BLPC is directed to first deploy the monies recorded in the regulatory liability account.(SC)

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