A slight increase in electricity bill will be seen shortly due to an interim rate increase has been granted to the Barbados Light and Power (BLPC) by the Fair Trading Commission (FTC).
Speaking during a news conference on Saturday, Chief Executive Officer of the FTC Dr Marsha Atherley-Ikechi said that the interim rate had been granted to the utility provider, while the substantive application for a rate increase will be discussed during a series of hearings planned for this Wednesday.
Atherley-Ikechi said even though the interim rate increase and the final determination on the substantive rate matter are separate and distinct, as the information used to determine the substantive rate is more in-depth and greater in volume than the data used for the interim, the commission had decided to grant it.
'The commission therefore grants interim rate relief [to the company] but caps it at 50 per cent of the requested rate for all consumer classes, except the employee class … when I say the employee class I am referring to employees of the Barbados Light and Power Company limited. They are in a separate category, and specific rates apply to them.'
She also said that the rates are not retroactive and in the initial application, the utility sought the institution of interim rate relief effective October 1st, 2021.
'These rates as we have established them will be effective from the date of this decision, September 16th 2022 and will remain in place until the substantive decision is issued.'
The CEO noted that there was a condition to the judgment, saying that if the substantive rate increase hearing shows that the rates sought were excessive, The Barbados Light and Power Company would be required to reimburse customers with interest.