BELCO Withdraws Request For Judicial Review

October 2, 2012

BELCO today [Oct 2] announced that the company has discontinued its Supreme Court legal action seeking judicial review of Government’s final decision, which denied most of a rate increase intended to support the construction of a North Power Station.

The Energy Commission had earlier approved only a portion of BELCO’s rate increase application that was intended to implement a plan to replace aging engines with a new power station development that would also provide some additional capacity for growth in demand.

The application submitted to the Energy Commission in October 2011 asked for average increases of 4.3%, 3.9% and 4.1%, respectively, over a three-year period. Instead, the Commission ordered a one-time 1.25% increase.

President and CEO of BELCO’s parent company Ascendant Group Limited, who is also President and CEO of BELCO, Walter Higgins said, “Since filing the rate increase application in October 2011 important changes have occurred. Bermuda has continued to see an erosion of its economy and a decrease in population.

“The high price of oil used to fuel BELCO’s generating plant has resulted in high overall electricity prices. Consequently, BELCO’s electricity sales have fallen off for two years in a row. This all comes at a time when, despite decreased consumption of electricity, aging equipment needs to be replaced to ensure on-going reliable supply.

“However, with the reduction in electricity consumption and overall demand, we believe there is an opportunity to review and reconsider both the how, and the timing of plant replacement. We recognize the country’s desire for alternatives. We will examine those in the light of the new economic landscape that has seen fuel oil prices rise, a reduction in some renewable energy pricing and possible opportunities to deploy some alternative fuels, such as liquefied natural gas (LNG).

“We will be working with Government and our customers to find the best solutions for Bermuda to provide reliable, sustainable and affordable electricity. This includes looking at alternative sources of financing for replacement plant and alternative fuel supplies.

“Prior to today’s announcement we have met with the Minister, the Hon. Marc Bean, and the Permanent Secretary, and made sure they are aware of the urgency of BELCO moving ahead with replacement equipment. We need to get all the right people around the table to develop a short-term plan that will meet the immediate needs, and begin working toward a long-term plan that will provide new opportunities for ongoing sustainability.” Mr. Higgins said.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Y-Gurl says:

    Surprise surprise

  2. Tommy Chong says:

    I wonder what the alternative energy naysayers have to say about this one. Funny how belco’s elite have changed their tune after being let in on an alternative money maker.

    This is how standing firm against the bourgeoisie ensues change. Too bad the laid off to be replaced haven’t realized how this works yet & come together to topple the system. I guess the walls of their stomachs have to be touching for them wake up. This day may soon come.

    “Men who have changed the world never achieved their success by winning the chief citizens to their side, but always by stirring the masses.” – Napoleon Bonaparte