With the approval of the Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA), the Grand Bahama Power Company (GBPC) will enact the Storm Recovery and Stabilization (SRS) charge effective April 1, 2020.
The total cost of Hurricane Dorian restoration, including the costs for those areas in East Grand Bahama that will be restored by May 2020, is $15.6 million. In keeping with the Regulatory Framework established between the utility and its regulator, Dorian recovery costs will be recouped over five years.
“We have received the go-ahead from the GBPA to recover the costs of Hurricane Dorian restoration through the Storm Recovery and Stabilization charge,” said Dave McGregor, President and Chief Operating Officer at GBPC. “On average, the impact of the SRS charge is one cent per kilowatt-hour. For residential customers, the rate is 1.3 cents per kilowatt-hour. For commercials, it’s point eight of a cent and, for industrials, the rate is one cent per kilowatt-hour. It’s important to understand that, because the SRS charge is tied to consumption and not a flat rate, customers can impact the charge – and their overall bill – through prudent energy use.”
The Storm Recovery and Stabilization charge will appear on customers’ bills as a separate line item to enable full transparency of their electricity costs, from the base rate to fuel, to storm recovery. As with fuel, hurricane costs are a pass-through and GBPC makes no profit on amounts for storm recovery.
“In most regions, including the Caribbean, insurance is not available for transmission and distribution networks so costs to repair hurricane damage cannot be recouped in that way,” explained Mr. McGregor. “We know we’re not the only ones rebuilding. It’s a challenging time for so many, and we continue to work with customers to help them manage their electricity costs. Building back quickly and efficiently after an event like Dorian is critical to the health of the Island’s economy and important to our customers, and we remain fully committed to Grand Bahama’s recovery.”
Initially introduced to customers as the Self Insurance Fund (SIF) in 2016, the SRS charge was approved by the GBPA following Hurricane Matthew as a mechanism to recoup costs for recovery following significant storm events. At that time, the Insurance Fund was to become effective on January 1, 2017 but was deferred, pending other significant storm events, until costs of Matthew restoration were fully recouped. Due to Dorian, the SRS charge is being introduced in April 2020.
“We know that we still have work ahead of us to complete restoration to all Grand Bahama communities,” said Nikita Mullings, Director of Customer Operations at the utility. “With the help of contract crews and equipment, our hard-working team is rebuilding 35 miles of transmission line to East Grand Bahama and restoring service to East End communities. We are working efficiently and safely, and estimate that full restoration of Grand Bahama will be achieved by May 2020.”
Takia Taylor, Communications (242) 350-8916 / (242) 821-4108 firstname.lastname@example.org
About GBPC: Grand Bahama Power Company Ltd. is a totally integrated utility company serving the island’s 50,000 residents and commercial establishments from east to west. The company employs over 200 Bahamians and has one of the lowest electricity rates in the Caribbean. For more information about Grand Bahama Power, please visit: www.gb-power.com.