Tuesday 20 October, 2020

CUC defers 6.6% rate increase; rates to go up in January

President and CEO of CUC, Mr Richard Hew

President and CEO of CUC, Mr Richard Hew

Caribbean Utilities Company Ltd. (CUC) announced last night that it would be deferring its 6.6 per cent base rate Increase to 2021 due to COVID-19.*

In accordance with the Rate Cap Adjustment Mechanism (“RCAM”) contained in Caribbean Utilities Company, Ltd.(CUC’s) Transmission & Distribution (“T&D”) Licence issued in April 2008, CUC had the opportunity to increase its base rates by 6.6 per cent effective June 1 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Company and the Utility Regulation and Competition Office (“OfReg”) agreed to defer the rate increase and recovery of related lost revenues until January 2021.

As a result, there will be no rate increase through 2020, with a slight increase in the energy charge component of their bills for January 2021 electricity consumption, which will be billed in early February 2021.

July billings (distributed in early August), reflected a 37 per cent reduction in the Fuel Cost Charge since the beginning of the year, representing a $48.60 or 20 per cent monthly bill reduction on the average residential consumption of 1,000 kiloWatt hours(kWh).

President and CEO of CUC, Mr Richard Hew, stated that, “We are pleased to reach an agreement with OfReg to defer any customer rate increase until 2021. CUC is well aware that if effected in accordance with our Licences, an increase of base rates in June may have been difficult for many of our customers to bear, thus the submission to OfReg to delay the implementation date. CUC’s ability to absorb lost revenues while facing increasing costs speaks to the financial stability of the Company at the outset of this pandemic. The ability to recover revenues in the future is necessary to maintain that financial stability and to meet the Company’s ongoing obligations to invest in infrastructure and provide a safe, reliable and sustainable electricity service.”

CUC will continue to assist customers with reducing their bills through energy conservation and by offering extended payment plan options to those in need until the end of next month.

*As per Condition 25 of the T&D Licence, the RCAM is based on a formula, which incorporates readily available external data to determine a relevant Inflation Factor or Price Level Index. This consists of a weighted average of 60 per cent of the change in the Cayman Islands Consumer Price Index (“CI CPI”) and 40 per cent of the change in the United States of America Consumer Price Index (“US CPI”), (with both indices adjusted to remove the effects of prices of food and fuel) as reported by independent authorities for the 2019 calendar year. For more information about the terms of the CUC T&D Licence, the Rate Cap Adjustment Mechanism, the Energy Smart programme or the Utility Regulation and Competition Office (OfReg), please visit the CUC or the OfReg websites at www.cuc-cayman.com or www.ofreg.ky

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