Inquiry Into Proposed BELCO Metering Change

September 1, 2016

The Minister of Economic Development, Dr. Grant Gibbons, has sought an inquiry into BELCO’s proposal to adjust the specific rate for net metering and change the Commercial Renewable System Excess Energy Rate [CSEER] Programme.

“The Minister’s request for an inquiry comes under Section 5 [1] of the Energy Act 2009, and results from regulatory filings from BELCO two weeks ago,” a government spokesperson said.

“The inquiry by the Energy Commission is intended to examine BELCO’s proposal to change the current Residential Net Metering Programme, and assess the fairness of their proposed alternative transitional rate structures for both residential and commercial customers.

“BELCO has also proposed, in their August 15th filing with the Commission, a transitional rate treatment for any new residential or commercial solar PV customer.”

“The Minister asked that the results of the inquiry be submitted to him in writing by the end of September, although he allowed for an extension, if required by the Commission.

“The Minister also appointed Dr. Raj Burua as a special advisor to the Energy Commission under Section 3 [3] of the Energy Act 2009 for the duration of this Inquiry, to help the Energy Commission in their work and provide some continuity with the Regulatory Authority, once the Electricity Act 2016 is brought into operation.

“The transfer of responsibility for the regulation of electricity from the Energy Commission to the Regulatory Authority of Bermuda is one of the planned consequences of the Electricity Act 2016.”

Dr. Gibbons said, “I have asked the Energy Commission to carry out the Inquiry in consultation with relevant stakeholders, including BELCO and the renewable energy service providers, to ensure that various perspectives are properly considered by the Commission in the proposed changes to the existing Programme.”

The full text of the Minister’s letter to the Commission can be found on the Government portal.

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Comments (11)

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  1. Thinker says:

    Please do a thorough job and find all the faults/wrongs with BELCOS proposal to stop halt their greed and abuse of customers by prices gouging!!!!

  2. Patricia says:

    Indeed!!

  3. Think big picture. says:

    As a planet we should be encouraged to save our land. Solar is our only option in Bermuda. It is the only way to contribute to sustainability. The Govt is the only body that can regulate for fairness and put in an effort help the people to be encouraged to do this. Please help and be fair.

  4. Jus' Wonderin' says:

    Thanks Grant Gibbons!

  5. legalgal says:

    In the absence of a free market and in the the face of a monopoly controlling an essential service an INDEPENDENT investigation is required. the government has a conflict of interest as any increase in tariff will likely translate in an increase in tax revenue for them. Paid for by an increasingly over charged taxpayers. It’s just not sustainable. Solar should be the way forward but Belco are trying to strangle it to ensure they do not lose any revenue.

    • bermyluv says:

      An increase in tariff won’t affect gov revenue because Belco is not taxed on revenue or profits. Belco’s production is taxed based on the amount of fuel imported by the barrel, and that tax is already passed through to consumers as part of the fuel adjustment rate.

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

    It’s alright to have an enquiry but it better be transparent and not clouded in secrecy and backdoor dealings with BELCO. Bermuda taxpayers deserve better than that! And I’m talking to both political parties. Not just the ones in power at the moment.

  7. Guy Smiley says:

    Guess what, the original net metering didn’t make sense anyway. Why would a company take your electricity and sell it back to you at the same rate? To smooth their demand and oil burn during the day? Because they want to save the planet? Get real! They are there for a profit. The program isn’t sustainable for Belco. They make more money burning oil. Sucks, but it’s true.

    • sage says:

      The question is why will they continue to pay the same full rate to the first people to get solar, the 1%, and were certain people made aware of this prior to its introduction?

  8. Guy Smiley says:

    On gov.bm
    “How long will this rate be offered?

    The ‘net-metering’ rate is subject to change in the future, but any changes must be approved by the Energy Commission/Regulatory Authority, and the government is committed to ensuring a fair rate is paid to those producing electricity from renewable energy resources.”

  9. Y-Gurl says:

    Please expose these lot for what they are, we have one of the most expensive and unreliable power sources on the planet, no investment into the aging plant and yet they spend lavishly on buying up local companies and rewarding directors, they have a free hand and that hand needs to be tied, don’t be fooled by the technical nonsense rhetoric, please look at the facts as YOU find them