Grand Bahama Power Company (GBPC) will again delay the implementation of its Storm Restoration and Stabilization (SRS) charge, this time until January 2021, the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) announced yesterday.
In February the GBPA announced that the charge would be implemented as the company attempts to recoup $15 million in restoration costs
associated with Hurricane Dorian. At that time, it stated that the charge will represent less than $7 for residential customers and less than $24 for business customers.
However, in a statement yesterday, the GBPA stated it understands that because of the COVID-19 pandemic it is a challenging time for many Grand Bahamians.
“We understand that GBPC is allowed to recover reasonable restoration costs associated with significant weather events. Since the onset of COVID-19, we have been in consultation with the utility over the proposed timing for implementation of the storm charge, resulting in successive deferrals,” GBPA General Legal Counsel Karla McIntosh said.
“Given the present state of the economy and the unexpected second wave and restrictive lockdowns, it is our regulatory obligation to consider the best interests of customers. We have worked with GBPC to further delay recovery of the $15.6 million costs for Hurricane Dorian until January 1, 2021.”
The charge is not a flat fee, but is based on consumption for each category of customer, set at $0.013/kWh for residential customers, $0.008/kWh for commercial customers and $0.010/kWh for GSL (industrial) customers.
The SRS charge was initially approved for implementation on April 1, 2020. However, with the onset of COVID-19 and two subsequent country-wide lockdowns, the SRS charge was initially delayed to August 1, and then further to October 1, to help support residents during this challenging period, the release noted.
“With the evolving global pandemic COVID-19, these are unprecedented times and the Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited in our role as regulator, must balance the need for a healthy electric utility with upgraded technology and infrastructure, against the needs of the consumer and the island’s economy,” the GBPA stated.