The Utilities Regulations and Competition Authority (URCA) is working to ensure New Providence does not have another summer like the summer of 2019, which was fraught with power outages as a result of Bahamas Power and Light’s (BPL) numerous generation issues, URCA’s Director of Utilities and Energy Shevonn Cambridge said on Friday.
Speaking during a media breakfast at URCA’s headquarters, Cambridge said BPL is currently making its case at the Utilities Appeal Tribunal, fighting URCA’s decision to issue it a fine due to service quality issues.
Cambridge added that URCA has several other
investigations into BPL service quality issues currently open.
“We have some investigation procedures that we do whenever there are issues in the sector and we would have issued one document already, which had to do with requests for information,” Cambridge said.
“We have other investigations going on into service quality.”
“Yes, we are doing something about what occurred last summer and are trying to ensure that we don’t have a repeat this summer. But also this year, we have a number of projects that are part of the larger scope of our mandate, which is basically to regulate all of the public electricity suppliers.”
He added that URCA is also completing procurement procedures that it will issue for the energy sector, to ensure that consumers are receiving the best equipment from their public utility.
“We are setting the rules by which public electricity suppliers will be able to procure the goods and services that impact the consumers’ bills at the end of the day,” he said.
“So it’s just ensuring that they are getting the best value for money and staying current and abreast of all of the latest technology in the industry.”
Cambridge added that URCA is producing a framework to bolster its overseeing capabilities on the performance and monitoring of BPL. He said a document on this framework should be released before the end of this quarter.
Outgoing URCA Chief Executive Officer Stephen Bereaux said it has not been easy for URCA to enter an already established energy sector to regulate it, but he contended that the regulator will continue to grow in that space.
“It is not an easy thing to break into an established sector to regulate. I have high hopes for where URCA will be as a regulator in the electricity sector moving forward,” said Bereaux.