As global fuel prices continue to decline, electricity customers across Grand Cayman are finally feeling some relief as Caribbean Utilities Company (CUC) has passed the savings on to them.
CUC notes that fuel costs are passed through to customers on a two-month lag basis with no mark-up. The average price per Imperial Gallon of fuel decreased 32 per cent to $2.15 at the end of December when compared to $3.16 for the same period in 2014.
“For the three months ended December 2015 (“Fourth Quarter 2015”), the reduced fuel costs translated to an average Fuel Cost Charge rate of $0.15 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for residential consumers, compared to an average Fuel Cost Charge rate of $0.23 per kWh for the same period in 2014,” a CUC release stated.
It said this mean a residential consumer who consistently uses 1,000 kWh per month would have seen their monthly bills decline by about $85.00 during the fourth quarter of 2015 when compared with the same period in 2014.
“We are pleased that customers are benefitting from the current lower fuel prices,” said CUC’s President and CEO Richard Hew. “However, we also continue to push towards getting alternative energy sources to be connected to the grid and with improving our overall plant fuel efficiency.”
Mr Hew said this includes the five megawatt (MW) Solar Project in Bodden Town, which is on schedule to start operations in October, the Customer Renewable Energy (CORE) programme, which is nearing 4 MW and the installation of a 39.7 MW diesel plant in June, which he added comprises the most fuel efficient diesel generators in the Caribbean.”
On a monthly basis, CUC submits information regarding its fuel costs and its calculation of the per kWh rate used to recover those fuel costs to the Electricity Regulatory Authority (“ERA”) to be reviewed in advance of billing customers. “The fuel costs are recovered from electricity consumers two months in arrears in order to allow for a thorough review process by the ERA. For example, fuel costs incurred in October are billed to consumers in December,” the electricity provided stated.
The fuel cost charge that will appear on customer’s January 2016 bills is $0.13 per kwh. CUC added that customer bills will be further reduced when the 25 cents government reduction in fuel duty is passed through in March.