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Emera: GBPC consumers benefitting from fuel hedging strategies

Grand Bahama Power Company (GBPC) consumers are still benefitting from the company’s fuel hedging strategies, which have provided customers with consistent fuel and electricity rates, according to Emera Inc.’s Management’s Discussion & Analysis (MD&A) report.

The MD&A was released on the Bahamas International Securities Exchange’s (BISX) website yesterday, where the company also credited increased sales volumes at GBPC to the company’s continued recovery from Hurricane Matthew. Emera is the parent company of GBPC.

GBPC also continues to collect from its consumers costs associated with continued restoration through a planned retention of a fuel and base rate, held at 2016 levels, which allows the company to continue to recover costs even as fuel costs decrease.

“As a result of Hurricane Matthew in 2016, a regulatory asset was established to recover associated restoration costs,” the MD&A states. 

“In addition, in December 2016, the Grand Bahama Port Authority approved that over a five-year period, 2017 to 2021, the all-in rate for electricity (fuel and base rates) will be held at 2016 levels. This is achievable as the company’s fuel costs over this period are forecasted to decrease. Fuel costs are managed through a fuel hedging program which allows predictability of these costs.

“Any over-recovery of fuel costs during this period will be applied to the Hurricane Matthew regulatory asset, until such time as the asset is recovered. Should GBPC recover funds in excess of the Hurricane Matthew regulatory asset, the excess will be placed in a new storm reserve. If the Hurricane Matthew deferral is not fully recovered at the end of five years, GBPC will have the opportunity to request recovery from customers in future rates.”

The GBPC is regulated by the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA), and it is licensed to produce electricity on Grand Bahama until 2054.

GBPC has plans to begin retiring fossil fuel burning engines and incrementally move toward total reliance on renewable energy.

The company has plans to soon build its first solar park, and gradually scale up its solar infrastructure until the entirety of Grand Bahama can be powered by solar. In order not to burden Grand Bahamians by advancing the solar project too quickly, GBPC plans to slowly phase out its dependence on fossil fuels.

Chester Robards

Senior Business Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian.
Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism
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