The Grand Bahama Power Company remains committed to stabilizing rates for customers, improving the reliability of our service, and lessening our dependence on fossil fuels.
In response to the false allegations made recently by Eddie Victor and his coalition, The Grand Bahama Power Company would like to take this opportunity to respond.
Grand Bahama Power Company wishes to clarify some misinformation that has recently appeared in the media as it relates to our rates and customers. GBPC seeks to foster an open relationship with all customers and we welcome the opportunity to share our plans and strategic objectives.
The Grand Bahama Power Company (“GBPC”) announced today its new tariff structure that is the result of the implementation of a new regulatory rate structure by its regulator Grand Bahama Port Authority (“GBPA”). The new regulatory framework for GBPC documents how electricity rates will be set for Grand Bahama.
On November 16, 2011, Grand Bahama Power Company (GBPC) received a complaint in writing from Troy Garvey and Osman Johnson on behalf of Operation Justice Bahamas related to the operations of GBPC. In their complaint, they raised a number of concerns. These concerns have been shared not only with us, but with a number of public bodies. In this response, we have tried to address the concerns raised, and provide a detailed response for Messrs. Garvey and Johnson, and for our customers. This more detailed response follows an initial statement issued by GBPC immediately following the receipt of the complaint.
Earlier today we were provided with a complaint prepared by Mr. Troy Garvey on behalf of Operation Justice. We welcome the information provided by Mr. Garvey and we appreciate that he has articulated his concerns to us in writing.
We understand that customers have been challenged with a higher than expected fuel surcharge. The changes that GBPC has been making over the last number of months, with Emera’s support, have been done with the best interests of our customers in mind
Sarah MacDonald, President & CEO of Grand Bahama Power Company (GBPC), discussed plans to develop a fuel hedging policy at the ICD Utilities AGM last evening. According to MacDonald, fuel hedging can be used to either partially or fully “lock in” the price of the fuel supply which will help stabilize the fuel surcharge for GBPC customers. This will mean GBPC’s fuel purchases will be based on an average of prices over time instead of one price in a given month.
Grand Bahama Power Company understands the decision of our regulators, GBPA, to conduct an audit of our billing procedures and fuel surcharge costs. We recognize that recent fuel costs have been higher than usual. This is attributed to the increased cost in world market oil prices and our increased fuel usage due to our higher than normal use of the rental units. However, if we did not have the rental generation in place we would have been experiencing island wide black outs during these high demand peak months because of generation short fall.
As part of an ongoing customer education initiative, the Grand Bahama Power Company is clarifying the fuel surcharge portion of the bill to customers. Remarked Whitney Heastie, GBPC VP of Generation, “With the unpredictability of world oil market prices, customers have seen fluctuations in the fuel surcharge component of the bill that has left many confused. We thought it would be beneficial to customers if we took some time to really explain the surcharge and the implications for them.”
Grand Bahama Power Company (GBPC) announced today that approval was granted for a change to GBPC’s rate structure. “We have had extremely productive meetings with our regulator, the Grand Bahama Port Authority,” stated Ray Robinson, Executive Chairman of GBPC. “With the approval of this new structure, we now have the necessary mechanism in place to make the substantial capital investments necessary to provide our customers with reliable and cost effective generation.”
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