BELCO Monopoly “Requires Close Attention”

February 22, 2014

Government is in discussions with BELCO and the Regulatory Authority will be “brought to bear to ascertain fair and equitable interconnect rates” for alternative energy producers, Finance Minister Bob Richards said in yesterday’s 2014/15 Budget statement.

The Minister said that while there is now the possibility of alternate sources of power like wind, solar and wave, they will have to access the BELCO distribution network, and the cost of that is “crucial to their economic success or failure.”

In response, BELCO noted that the cost of fuel and taxes amounts to 57.5% of their total cost of doing business, and said they recognize the impact the overall price of electricity and are committed to getting the price of electricity to be lower

They also noted that  they have had a proposal before Government since May 2013 that will allow for the interconnection of larger renewable energy generating systems, however no decision has been made by Government on the proposal to date.

Comments in the Budget

Minister Richards said, “The supply and cost of energy is the foundation of the entire cost structure of any modern society. It is even more crucial for an isolated island that lacks its own energy resources. One of the reasons that Bermuda’s recession has lasted five years is due to its loss of competitiveness. A significant part of our uncompetitiveness is high cost, a big component of which is the high cost of electricity.

The Minister continued, “Islands as small as Bermuda often do not have enough size to justify competitive markets, making electrical power a so-called ‘natural monopoly.’ While BELCO has had a generally good record for reliability, Bermudians have paid dearly for the lack of competition in electrical power.

“Over the long history of BELCO’s tenure as the monopoly electricity provider, the company has more in common with Government in terms of accountability and innovation than it does with private enterprises that operate in a competitive environment — an environment in which if you don’t innovate, minimize your costs and provide the best value to your customers, your competition will bury you. For BELCO and Government, being buried is not an issue.

“Ironically, while BELCO and the Bermuda Government have no local competition, their inefficiency is eroding Bermuda’s competitive position as a jurisdiction that provides value to customers in what is obviously a very competitive world. The time has come to address this issue in both these institutions.

Minister Richards added, “The jewel in the crown for BELCO is the distribution grid itself, and while there is now the possibility of alternate sources of power like wind, solar and wave, they will all have to access the BELCO distribution network. The price that they will have to pay BELCO to access that network is crucial to their economic success or failure.

“Former governments have not exerted much regulatory control over BELCO and while this OBA Government is a great believer in the power of private enterprise to provide best value to customers, the monopoly power of BELCO requires close attention and regulation. Government is in discussions with BELCO about these and other matters and the Regulatory Authority will be brought to bear to ascertain fair and equitable interconnect rates for alternative energy producers”

BELCO Response

In response a BELCO spokesperson said, “A major component of the cost of electricity in Bermuda is the cost of fuel and taxes, which amounts to 57.5% of BELCO’s total cost of doing business.

“Efficiency is very important to Bermuda Electric Light Company Limited (BELCO), and it is a topic always under review within the company, looking at alternatives and options. Last year, BELCO was recognized by CARILEC, the leading association of Caribbean-based utility companies, as the ‘Best Utility in the Caribbean’ based on efficiency, reliability and cost effectiveness.

“BELCO recognizes the impact the overall price of electricity has on the cost of living and the cost of doing business. BELCO is committed to getting the price of electricity to be lower. BELCO will soon submit an ‘Integrated Resource Plan’ to Government with alternative fuel options, generation resources and energy efficiency initiatives that are now economic, and reliably feasible.

“BELCO meets regularly with Government and welcomes constructive, realistic recommendations regarding improved efficiency. In terms of access to the grid for alternative energy producers, since November 1, 2010, BELCO has enabled 156 homeowners with small-scale renewable energy generating systems to connect to the grid.

“BELCO has had a proposal before Government since May 16, 2013 that will allow for the interconnection of larger renewable energy generating systems; however, to date, no decision has been made by Government on the proposal.”

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  1. Triangle Drifter says:

    What does this mean? A second company? Another set of utility poles? Another set of wires? Underground? Roads dug up EVERYWHERE? A second utility company for such a small population? Who wants the machinery next door? Where? who is going to invest in such a small market base?

    Questions, questions, questioms. All need to be answered before the first $ is invested.

    JMO. A complete non starter. No, I am not a BELCO shareholder.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Look at that. 7 dislikes. An oh so typical Bermudian response when faced with unpleasant facts. A good thing there is no audio to go with the dislikes I guess.

  2. Jus' Askin' says:

    BELCO show OBA who has the power ;-)
    And people think BIU shuts down the island ;-D

  3. Truth is killin' me... says:

    Damn straight it deserves attention. I want to see action and not words though!! Prices are too freakin’ high!!!

  4. Know it all says:

    Sounds like we moving to a socialist country…targetting Belco, Banks, increasing Financial Assistance…this is capitalism…goal is to maximise shareholder value.

    • Just Wondering says:

      and if you’re not a shareholder??

    • Wake up Bermuda says:

      Socialism is closer to what we already have now in Bda. One electrical company void of competition, with a govt. sanctioned monopoly over the ppl. One govt. sanctioned And funded hospital, with a monopoly so they can charge you upwards of $1500 per night. One govt. funded and sanctioned college that has a monopoly in the post sec. Education arena leaving no competition to improve its standards and offerings. One major grocery store (foreign owned) that has no real competition ( at its price point) that offers us crappy food ( often near the end of its shelf life) . Due to the lack of real competition (at their price point), they have no real incentive to improve the quality of their product offerings or upgrade their facilities in order to provide their consumers with a more pleasant and user friendly shopping experience. And to finally add insult to injury, they are becoming more brazen with their influx of foreign workers to do those grocer jobs that Bermudians can absolutely fill, with the majority of those jobs only requiring on the job training.

      • Unearthed says:

        It’s only because the island is small. Economies of scale don’t apply here.

  5. Toodle-oo says:

    So CARILEC recognized BELCO as the ‘Best Utility in the Caribbean’ based on efficiency, reliability and cost effectiveness.

    I’d be very interested if anyone has figures for power usage bills for identically sized and equipped houses in the Caribbean compared with same here in Bermuda.

    I’m pretty sure that most of them , with the exception of Venezuela , are paying similar rates for fuel oil and they would have taxes also.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Considering the literacy level of people who participate and read this forum it’s hardly surprising that it seems my post has been totally misunderstood.
      I am NOT supporting BELCO’s outrageous rates and charges . I’m asking what the similar rates are for like for like residences to our south so we can justify our b1tching or not.

      Still , it seems that way too many people around here use their energy wastefully and then want to blame BELCO for for the high cost of living when in fact for the average person a reduction of $30 to $50 per month might seem something to get excited about that in itself only translates into a yearly savings of $360 to $600 . All the while the rent they’re paying (seeing approx 65% of all residents are renters) are paying somewhere between $1000 to $3000 per month MORE than what their units are really worth .
      Translation – You’re paying possibly between $12,000 to $36000 more a year than what your place is worth .
      Bur for some reason we still think our struggle is all BELCO’s fault .

  6. nuffin but the truth says:

    BELCO is the Greediest,Most Expensive Power Company in the World.
    The Share Holders are on a Power trip,hopefully their ride will soon be over.

    Can I live without BELCO in my house…YES!

    • Evie says:

      Belco n its shareholder have been living off Bermudians for years n will continue too so keep talking Bob it will never happen but it sounds good you know it gives us hope this is old money their shares r passed down generation to generations come hell or high water that will not change do you really think they care please

      • Herb Adderley says:

        Ummm Evie, I hate to inform you but Belco shares are held by thousands of ordinary B,dians, many who worked there purchased shares when they could. Are there some old money families who still own shares, of course there are, but they are in the minority. The ordinary shareholders care very much and are trying to keep rates as low as possible, but it is a big company which takes care of its workers in retirement and with good working conditions, all which is paid for by the consumer.

        Tell me this, what other large company here is trying to inform its customers on how to use less of their product, and you make a statement that we dont care……….talk to some of the workers and ask them who paid for their schooling and training…..take a look at how much belco gives back to the community in donations etc, and we dont care………i think you should rethink that statement as it is simply just not true.

        • Just Wondering says:

          How far did Belco’s stocks drop during the recession? When was the last purchase of large equipment made?

          Nice how they train their staff, kinda have to if they want competent staff working for them. As for the telling people how to use less power that is in response to every time some one calls for Belco’s control on the market to be broken, it is similar in a way to how after every school shooting in the USA there is a NRA rally right afterwards it is all damage control.

          And the donations are nice but all they really are is PR so that when discussions are made about Belco and cost some one can come dashing out and go “Look we give to the community, we aren’t a big bad company see” it can also be used as a why to show the public how ‘stable’ the company is. Butterfield bank took money from the Government, issued large amounts of share after clearing it’s debt to try and keep it’s head afloat. But guess what they still give to the community on a monthly bases.

          • Herb Adderley says:

            four years ago Belco stock was $21.00 per share today its is $10.00.

            does that answer your question, but i doubt anything will as you are just as prejudiced against Belco as the Finance Minister is by your post.

    • Um Um Like says:

      Do you already live without power in your house? How are you able to remain online, constantly monitoring Bernews?

      • Really says:

        Cellphone DUH

      • Whistling Frog says:

        We can all live without BELCO if people take on solar or wind energy… Soon come, we will have no choice but to use those sources of energy because we’re not going to be able to afford BELCO any longer.
        I bet you if BELCO had to pay for their own fuel they’d find cheaper fuel to burn..
        Now the bill is becoming somewhat complicated I guess to confuse customers.
        It used to be just a fuel adjustment and the amount of energy one used.
        Now its First 250 KWHS then the Next 250-700 KWHS and now the last year or so there’s a Facilities Charge… Get the Hustle Truck to come mow your lawns, This is getting outrageous how BELCO is allowed to go on with their monopoly. Something has to give..

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Got anything to back that claim up with or do you think it just looks good & will get lots of likes?

      If BELCO, or any other company that you buy services from, is so profitable start your own company & show them how to do it.

      • Herb Adderley says:

        anyone can buy BELCO shares and they are at a good price right now, you can take $100.00 and buy 10 shares. Do that once a month and see how fast it adds up.

        There are multiple power companies in the UK for instance, and a few months ago they raised their prices between 14 and 18%. BELCO are a REGULATED industry, unlike the INSURANCE Co’s who can raise their prices every year at least 10 percent. The Minister didnt even mention them in his rant to Belco.

    • YADON says:

      250 Bermudians currently employed, most of them had there educations and training fully funded. The current COO and many senior managers started as apprentices. Last I check Bermuda has no natural resource for fuel, find a way to get cheap fuel and you will have cheap power- simple. Belco also hands out many scholarships and donates time and money to most charities and Bermudian organizations.NAME ME ONE COMPANY THAT HELPS BERMUDIANS AS MUCH AS BELCO.

  7. Jodi says:

    So if Govt lowers taxes will rates come down?

  8. Dr. the Hon. Ewart F. Brown says:

    This attention is appropriate and overdue. Can you imagine the screams from those who do not use their real names if a PLP Government had even whispered such intentions? Under the current circumstances, you will hear that this is “a wise and prudent strategy” which will be discussed by “intelligent leaders across the table” as opposed to “communist takeover”, “Zimbabwe style Government”, etc. Remember the Corporation of Hamilton exercise. What was a “crude dictatorial takeover” by the PLP in 2010 became “a necessary step to protect the Corporation from itself” in 2013.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Another one with a selective memory. The PLP did advocate the nationalising of BELCO. You must have missed it while cruising the Intracoastal, or golfing Marthas, or enjoying the lights of NY or the sun in Turks & Caicos.

      There was an uproar then too. Maybe the PLP was just phishing. Looks like the OBA did not take note of the noise.

      • Kangoocar says:

        @triangle, not only is Drebs memory selective, it is also convenient!!! The COH team had been selected by his plp, and that is what the OBA had to protect from ITSELF, funny how he didn’t mention that ???

      • Dr. the Hon. Ewart F. Brown says:

        To all those are afraid to reveal themselves:

        1.You are correct. I might have been in any one of those beautiful places. Is there something wrong with that? The places you named are all wonderful locations which remind me of my homeland……lovely beaches, great golf and excellent restaurants! And all the hooded haters on the planet will not spoil it for me!

        2. Just because many members of the COH this time around are Black, it doesn’t mean that the PLP selected them. Black people sometimes think for themselves.

        3. What prevents you from understanding,once and for all,that the Race Card is ALWAYS in play. There is no need to re-introduce it!

    • James Herald says:

      Ah but then the PLP would simply pull the race card and that would be the end of it.

      • JUNK YARD DOG says:

        What next ! why do I have to have a race card ? is it to keep score for bikes; or boats, down the at reach.

    • Common Sense says:

      I tend to agree with Dr. Brown on the issue of the outcry that would have followed if the PLP had remotely suggested any competition against BELCO, but totally disagree about the catastrophic takeover of the Corproation of Hamilton in 2010 by denying the tax payers ANY say in how their tax dollars were spent. This was one of the worst decisions ever made by either political party – and that’s exactly what it was – a grab for power with disastrous results.

      Can Dr. Brown, or anyone else provide an example of when the present Corporation has gone out to the taxpayers of the City to seek their input or opinion on ANYTHING. It was a clear case of “we’ll take your taxes and you keep your mouths shut”!

  9. Jenn U. Flex says:

    Anyone who thinks that BELCO charges too much, should simply form a company that makes electricity for less.

    What happened? Cat got your tongue?

    I am waiting.

    Well there you go. You got nuthin. So pay your bill or simply stop using lack-o-light.

    JUF

  10. VB says:

    So BELCO could improve on a few things but BELCO hires and trains Bermudians. Has one of the best training programs in Bermuda. It would be interesting to see Government drop the duty on the fuel and see how that would help bring down the KW cost to the user. As said above wonder what the islands to the south pay per KW. What I think needs looking at is why a 18 oz bottle of Bai drink is $1.90 in Florida and $4.85 in Bda. Why cereal is 3 to 4 times the price that it is in the US. 10% on one day is a joke, food is way too high compared to other countries.

  11. Paradise Reclaimed says:

    Belco provides substandard power quality-wise. Boards rarely malfunction in the US, but in Bermuda board failures are common occurances. The regulatory authority should insist upon modernizing and better controlling power quality. Poor quality power costs us all a fortune, but we’re blind to it.

    As for breaking up monopolies, that’s easy. One company, or more, can generate the power. Another can own and maintain the distribution grid . Another can get into the propane business. Finito!

    • YADON says:

      What a bunch of non-sense. We have an extremely stable electrical consistently delivering high quality current. There are no more electrical failures here than ant where else.

      • Toodle-oo says:

        ‘High quality current ‘ Are you sure ?
        Next chance you get , have a talk with some of the really good IT professionals out there and see what they say about our ‘ high quality current supply’

        I have some friends who not too long ago almost burnt out everything in their house when the current supply went below 198v on the 220 outlets and under 102 on the 110v outlets. It was a miracle they discovered it in time.

        Some years back , after line repairs in the Dockyard area , when the current was switched back on it burnt out everything in about a dozen homes , and BELCO did not assume responsibility for it ! ( I wonder who’s fault it really was ?)

        And further back when the US Navy operated the NOB and Tudor Hill tracking labs they generated all of their own power .
        Surely they could have gotten a decent bulk/military rate from BELCO ?
        It was because the power supply was so dirty it would destroy their sensitive electronic equipment.

        That same equipment was probably no more sensitive than all of our microchip operated stuff we have now .

        I bet that if you were able to monitor the stuff coming out of you wall outlets you’d be shocked.

  12. Y-Gurl says:

    BELCO feeds the parent company (Accendant) who are partnering with overseas groups like IFM, buying up local companies like Bermuda gas, Air Care, this demands more from the sub companies and hiGh BELCO rates so really the people paying energy bills have funded the buyout of these companies, BELCO has Been in business for over 100 years, surely during that period they had the foresight to save for capital equipment re investment, why in 2014 do we hear the crying about money. They sure have invented rather innovative ways of squeezing money out of us like “fuel surcharge” and “demand limit” and they charge commercial companies for the supply and installation of transformers etc, only in Bermuda

  13. MegaWatt says:

    whatever happened to the wind turbine, or tidal power or wave generation or natural gas, or mini nuclear, all ideas floated by them but NOTHING progresses from them Whats the deal BELCo

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Have you ever seen the size of those wind turbines? A single blade is over 100′ long. Imagine looking off N Shore & seeing 50 of those things standing over 200′ tall. We don’t have the consistant wind to make them viable anyway.

      I remember that tidal thinghy too. Nice concept if only the tide flowed constantly & at a significant speed.

      Wave generation: Had a look off S Shore the past few days. Flat enough to waterski.

      Nuclear: I can hear the howls now about all of the foreign expertise needed to run such a plant never mind the perceived danger expecting the thing to turn into a 3 Mile Island at any moment.

      Next.

      • MegaWatt says:

        well run an extension cord from Niagra Falls, or try thermal. Something has to give and Bermuda needs to STEP INTO the 21st century Mr Negative Anything may help, So we have a 200foot tower, when you have 21square miles you have to go up.

      • Keep hope alive says:

        The tide does flow constantly. Haven’t you ever watched it flow in Flatts? Obviously, any wave generated power would gave to be built on the south shore of the island. And ppl would justifiably object to nuclear plants in Bermuda when you still have modern day disasters that occur like they did in Japan recently. As a matter of fact, there was another leak during this last week. If someone started to bring in AFFORDABLE solar panels, then I think we would all have a readily available shot in reducing our electrical cost.

    • James Herald says:

      The answer is obvious MegaWatt. None of the above ideas has yet proven to be more economical than the current method of generation. People can moan about ‘being green’ and ‘saving the planet’ all they want but until technology advances sufficiently it simply does not make business sense to change anything.

      Prove me wrong by starting a company in direct competition with BELCO, generate power using wind, solar, or whatever you want – and put BELCO under.

      Over to you MW.

    • Herb Adderley says:

      Belco have and are investigating all these ideas that you mention, and so far natural gas is the only one that would be possible, all the other ideas just dont work at this time, but believe me they are working on them.

      Take wind power for instance, if the relative Govts where wind power is being used didnt subsidize it heaviliy it wouldnt exist. Solar and wind power is just far too expensive for Bermuda and unreliable.

      Would you like to wake up and its a rainy windless day have no power in your home because of a rolling blackout in progress from the solar plant. I doubt very much if Bermudians would settle for that and i doubt if Bermudians are willing to pay extra for power just because its greener.

      • MegaWatt says:

        I agree to an extent, not saying stop fossil fuel 100%. I am pretty sure the wind farms that I have seen only supplement or feed into a grid and as such reduce some of the coal or fossil fuel generation. By the way do you have any idea as to how much Natural gas would be required and the storage and distribution side of that?

  14. Coffee says:

    It should go the way of the cement silos .

    • Kangoocar says:

      @coffee, so you have no problem with the OBA taking Belco and giving it to their friends and family??? Interesting thoughts from you???? I didn’t know that you support that type of thinking??

      • Coffee says:

        The OBA spelled out in the budget what they’ll be giving away to friends and family , but of course it is all just fine with you as it will ‘save the taxpayers money’.

  15. me says:

    Belco , have you heard of Tesla? or sun to sundown…belco always has an excuse and has been making promises and saying they are working on improvements for at least twenty years noe i knoe because i pay my bill on time and after a storm or hurricane or outages always looking to see what “LINDA”had to say re:belco..–what happened to updrade years ago and underground cable talks and such,….we do need some competition in this area, and not people going around estimating what someone has spent based on year before, sometimes people go away cant be speculating…come up with a better way oba lets hear it.

    • YADON says:

      belcos entire transmission network is underground. If you were to underground the entire distribution network( a billion dollar project) this would NOT stop outages. It also takes a lot longer to locate , dig up and fix underground compared to overhead when a fault occurs.

      • Just Wondering says:

        How would it not stop outages? Please explain this.

        • YADON says:

          It would help with wind storms but like anything man made will evenentualy fault. A cable is built to contain massive amounts of electrical power but that electricity is always trying to find its way out to ground. It slowly breaks down the insulation until it finally flashes over. Something as small as a pebble resting against the cable will speed up this process. At the end of the day the electricity will win any fight to contain it.

  16. Truth is killin' me... says:

    Belco is a dinosaur. They need to get with the future if they wish to survive. That’s a fact…Jack!

  17. Sara says:

    This government needs to focus on solar energy. This island gets way too much sun to not be utilizing more. It is too expensive for the lower and middle class but any person building a house or office building should be utilizing some minimal amount of solar period. If you can build a house or office building you can utilize solar no excuses please. And yes I know the waste involved in making solar panels and batteries but the end result is a mostly self sustaining form of power without utilizing as much as fossil fuels. They both have their place in the market and together could create a more stable energy market for all people to be able to afford. Its too bad when government had billions of dollars they didn’t give solar subsidies to low income to middle income families. Again it boils down to a power struggle between two markets that clash. Renewable energy and fossil fuel can become friends and work in harmony with the goal of 50/50.

    • Y-Gurl says:

      Solar energy is still cost prohibitive

    • YADON says:

      Google how much just a 1MW solar system with batteries for night cost and you will change your tune.

    • YADON says:

      Also google how much space just a 1MW system requires and then multiply that by 150 which is what we would need to replace belcos diesel generation.

    • Sara says:

      As I stated above, solar is too costly for low income and middle income Bermudians. The rich people and developers building new condos, houses, and office buildings should have been forced by legislation to put solar on all new spaces

      • Sara says:

        And going forward, the government shou8ld mandate through legislation that all developers put a minimal amount of solar on their properties. No excuses. With all the money that the PLP blew through, they could have given nice grants to lower and middle income families to put solar on their houses.

  18. YADON says:

    Every one bashing belco needs to stop and think about how high their costs are compared to profits. firstly belcos generation plant and grid cost BILLIONS of dollars to build, the operating costs are over a hundred million a year. Their profit was only 12 million last year. WHO THE F IS GOING TO INVEST THAT TYPE OF MONEY FOR SUCH A SMALL RETURN. IF YOU WANT TO LOOK AT WHO IS REALLY MAKING A KILLING GO AND BASH THE BANKS AND INSURANCE COMPANYS.

    • Just Wondering says:

      Okay first off, Belco’s grid has been built over years not days so stop acting like they just started operating last week. Where are you getting you numbers from? Where is the proof ? Also you said profit how many years has Belco been posting a profit? As I recall during the recession Belco was one, if not the only one, that never posted major losses.

  19. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    We have come along way, Bermuda is smaller than some cities but has to function in the same way as a large country.

    (((((((((( Bermuda is a service industry.)))))))))

    The Government of the day has a mammoth task to keep this ship afloat.

    B.E.L.C.o has a mammoth task to supply this country with energy , you want landing light at the airport……… thank B.E.L.Co .

    Any Utility pole worker that comes to my neighborhood gets refreshments.

    We have fallen into hard times awarding blame does not fix the problem.
    Hard working people fix problems, don’t they k………car.

    For you to sleep at night the staff at B.E.L.Co must to be awake.

    This Recession, is not the first, neither will it be the last. To effectively manage the business of this island is a balancing act requiring expertise and good judgement and the support of all the people.

    I pray for both parties to succeed, if either one of them fail we all will go down with the ship.

    We have only to look at the overseas news to see where things go wrong and admire there successes and learn by their mistakes.

    B.E.L.Co has done that.

    About the Balancing act.

    Just now we have to manage with less or conserve and make things last
    when I was a kid during WW11 I had no shoes, we made do, and so can you.

    What would come in handy just for now is tax relief.

    Mr.Premier would you consider TEMPORALLY lowering the import duty on B.E.L.C.o fuel, we will all benefit right across the board.

    • Just Wondering says:

      Did you walk to school in five feet of snow while going up hill both ways as well??? (sorry thats me being rude for a moment)

      You can’t ask the Premier to lower duty and say Belco would drop its rates you have no proof they would in fact I doubt it every much. And god help me but I’m going to make a point i probably shouldn’t but your whole “We need to work harder..We need to thank Belco for giving us power..” it sounds a little like some one telling a slave “You should thank your master he works so hard to feed, cloth you, gives you a roof over your head…. other slaves don’t have it as good in some places you know”

  20. Why we have to pay for fuel & rent the meters. $30:00 a meter per month . Wow you can purchase your own box. FOR those who had meters for more the 5 years should be free . The new comers can purchase them. We have paid for them over & over.
    I just hope this is not sweeting the ears talk . This is gotten to far. That dirty oil or cheap oil they purchase.

  21. Herb Adderley says:

    Lets take a look at solar power and the costs involved.

    Solar panels last 25ys, or so they say, that means your investment of say $30,000.00 is gone in that time, it will have to be replaced with another large investment. The panels have to be manufactured from some source of power, they contain a lot of glass which needs a lot of power to produce.

    If you go with battery storage system, the batteries will have to be replaced every 3 yrs maybe even less depends on the cycles that they make in their lifetime. just as a matter of interest, how GREEN is that, we all know the problems with disposing of batteries and do you think its GREEN when they are made.

    At this time Belco have no choice but Diesel engines, the new ones are far more effecient, burn less fuel and are clean burning, as i have said in an earlier post they are working and looking at many other methods of producing power and if and when they become available/ reliable and cost efficient we will see it.

    • Just Wondering says:

      How long and how much do the generators that Belco use now cost and last? How current are these engines compared to companies in the States or else where?

  22. neturini says:

    I would like BELCO to answer the follow with an honest and clear answer.
    1) why was the $30 charge put in place?
    2) why as the price of oil goes up and down does the fuel adjustment continue to go only up? If this is not he case how/where can we the public see when it goes down as the bill changes only with usage as I see it.
    3) BELCO has been in operation for many years and as such a business plan should provide for the replacement of its equipment in an efficient/cost effective way. One million every year over 20 years covers a 20 million dollar upgrade or replacement. Why do we hear about the cost as if they (BELCO) do not have the funds?

  23. Lu Xun says:

    When Bob Richards sat on ‘Let’s Talk’ and said “I don’t understand the fuel adjustment” then went went on to criticise something he did not understand you should have stopped trusting him. As finance Minister he knew exactly where Government got millions of dollars in fuel tax from! He will say what the people want to hear. Period.

    Fact: The cost of your energy is determined by the Energy Commission, NOT BELCO.

    Fact: The charges you see on your bill were always there but The Energy Commission forced BELCO to change the bills to make them itemized.

    Fact: BELCO applied to build a plant that they estimated would save $7 million yearly in fuel. A cost savings in fuel that the Energy Commission would have seen and adjusted on your bill. The government turned them down.

    FACT: The Energy Commission ruled that BELCO could not give unauthorised discounts to ANYONE. Including their employees. BELCO appealed to keep your 5% discount.
    http://www.gov.bm/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_2_18689_728_231826_43/http%3B/ptpublisher.gov.bm%3B7087/publishedcontent/publish/ministry_of_energy__telecommunications_and_e_commerce/dept___energy/energy_commission/tariff_filings__new_/732.pdf

    FACT: BELCO applied to defer an already approved increase in 2011.
    http://www.gov.bm/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_2_18689_728_231826_43/http%3B/ptpublisher.gov.bm%3B7087/publishedcontent/publish/ministry_of_energy__telecommunications_and_e_commerce/dept___energy/energy_commission/tariff_filings__new_/509.pdf

    FACT: Green power is NOT cheaper, it’s just green. Anyone starting a company will charge you more for the power.

    FACT: The government is keeping your bill high by levying a tax that is so lucrative, they will NEVER give it up or even lower it. We are blaming the wrong organisation here.

    Please follow the links. They are all on the Energy Commission’s website.

    • Herb Adderley says:

      Thanks Lu Xun, those are the accurate facts, and how posters dont understand that BELCO is a REGULATED INDUSTRY is beyond me, and the monthly fuel surcharge rate is posted in the daily every time it changes, and lately it has gone DOWN for the past 3 months.

      If you are unhappy with Belco there is an easy fix, go out to your meter and shut it off, better still call Belco so they can come and get it. Buy Solar panels, its as simple as that.

      Next time the fuel for your vehicles go up I want to hear all lthe same BS from posters.
      April is coming too, and then your Insurance rates will rise AGAIN as they do every year.

      I will finish with this, my life insurance premium was $249.00 per month, I went 65 recently, It went up to $454.00 a month, as I was considered more of a risk to them. I had that policy for 35 yrs and was forced to cancel it as i couldnt afford it anymore. NO-ONE says anything about them, not even the “hon” finance minister.