Video: Minister On Fuel Adjustment Rate

October 6, 2023 | 11 Comments

[Updated] Minister of Home Affairs Walter Roban held a press conference about the recent Fuel Adjustment Rate.

Update 5.39pm: Minister Walter Roban’s remarks:

Good afternoon members of the public and the media I am very happy that you are here today to witness this press conference.

I am here today to speak about the recently announced Fuel Adjustment Rate or FAR increase.

Hearing about the increase earlier this week, on October 4th, I was given an official appraisal of the FAR increase and the decrease in the Feed-In Tariff, or FIT. Later that day, I responded to the press expressing my concern and now take this opportunity to share what the Ministry of Home Affairs is actively pursuing.

As transparency is vital to this process, I am happy to share the questions posed to the Regulatory Authority or RA with the public. The chief goal of those questions is to understand more fully the methodology used to determine the various rates. We need to be sure that the RA has considered all relevant parts of the act and exercised due diligence.

Though my observations and experience with the RA, they have consistently shown that it operates with the utmost integrity, we want to ensure that integrity and thoroughness of approach have continued with these recent decisions to dispel any doubt. To that end, we are also looking at both the requirements of the Regulatory Authority Act 2011 and those of the Electricity Act 2016. The goal is to ensure the RA is living up to its responsibilities according to the law.

We are also exploring what legal options are available for us to pursue should there have been any error of law discovered through our inquiry. I note that this process of discovery will take some time, and we look forward to updating the public in due course.

With this said, this is no mere rattling of a sabre. If there are errors in law, the RA will be held accountable and the mistakes rectified. Bermuda’s people, economy, and environment deserve no less.

Thank you.

Letter to  the Regulatory Authority of Bermuda

5 October 2023
Regulatory Authority of Bermuda
1st Floor Craig Appin House
8 Wesley Street
Hamilton HM11

Attn: Chairman of the Board of Commissioners

Dear Mark,

Re: Questions on the Feed-In Tariff [FIT] and the Fuel Adjustment Rate [FAR]

While we are in receipt of responses given to the Department of Energy’s questions of Friday, September 29th, I note that they are not quite addressing our concerns. In accordance with Section 6 of the Regulatory Authority Act 2011, I take this opportunity to clarify the specific questions for which we need precise responses, and to pose some additional questions about the Fuel Adjustment Rate.

In respect to the FIT, the questions are as follows:

1.What was the actual kWh impact of the previous FIT?
2.Please give us the methodology used for the previous FIT, the analysis, and the report.
3.Please give us the methodology used for the current FIT, the analysis, and the report.
4.Do the two methodologies differ, and if so, please provide narrative on those differences.
5.We are not understanding how an increase in FAR supports the assertion of greater efficiency in generation. If this is true, why is the FAR so dramatically increased for the same period? By the RA’s logic, should not the FAR be reflected in the FIT?
6.Where is the consideration of Section 36 [b] of the Electricity Act 2016? Can you show us precisely how that was taken into account with the pricing?
7.In respect to transparency with the public, it is imperative that all information is disclosed, in redacted form if need be, but it is not the RA’s decision what and how much to disclose, apart from ensuring that any trade secrets or sensitive business information is kept confidential. The summary is not sufficient information for the public. While the ‘more digestible’ report is appreciated, there are those who will benefit from the full report, and they should not be denied that information.
8.Please explain how the purposes of the Electricity Act 2016 under section 6 are served by the recent FIT decision. I take this moment to note that there can be no ‘prioritization’ of purposes unless set out by the Minister. In the event that there are any trade-offs, the RA is obliged to address those to the Minister for resolution.
9.In your response of 5th October, received by email, you note that the FIT remains above the LCOE [Levelized Cost of Energy] for solar PV systems. Can you provide that LCOE, and how it was derived?

To be clear, precise responses are required.

In respect to the FAR, I pose similar questions:

1.What does the RA understand to be the purpose of the FAR?
2.How does it take into account Sections XYZ of the RAA 2011, which stat [economic interest, etc]
3.What was the methodology used for this FAR? Does it differ from the methodology of the past FARs?
4.Please explain how the FAR fulfils the purposes of the Act under section 6.
5.Please provide the supporting documentation of the RA’s verification of the submissions from BELCO. We presume that all submissions are verified, and so we are seeking that assurance.

Again, precise responses are required, and I look forward to complete responses no later than Friday, October 13th, 2023, at the close of the business day.

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Comments (11)

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  1. Ringmaster says:

    Government can absolutely stop this increase by reducing their taxes on Belco’s fuel, but they won’t. The reduction in tax can be covered by a reduction in waste, such as the Bermuda Gaming Commission, and Bermuda Tourism Authority. If Burt can hold the price of gasoline for cars, he can wave his magic wand and do the same here.

    • Hey says:

      More PLP nonsense, they caused this, if they do get it reduced, then it’s a staged magic show…tricks. The video clearly is a staged script not written by Roban.

      PLP got the finger going with all the profits and benefits going to overseas investors. No savings or investment opportunity for us Bermudians from OUR LAND. PLP

  2. Ringmaster says:

    Hilarious. Government demanding clear and precise answers from the RA. Surprised he knows what those words mean when Burt consistently refuses to provide answers to simple questions. Odd that in his meeting with the OECD it is reported he said he provides information to people who vote for him. Becoming so much like Trump.

  3. Clear View says:

    Mr. Minister, I see all these things you’re asking for on the RA website? Are you not aware of this information?

  4. Ringmaster says:

    Since the PLP love to have slogans about the “combined opposition”, clearly Belco is now part of Government. What happened to the PLP election promise that “we’ll reduce the cost of living”?

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      What happened to the PLP election promise that “we’ll reduce the cost of living”?

      It fell to the economic reality that no government can control costs in a capitalistic world like ours.

  5. Vortex says:

    All those words and saying absolutely nothing.

    Government, can you change this or can’t you? Are we as a nation more important than Accelerants profits?

  6. Hilarious! says:

    I guess this rate increase puts a hiccup in the Government’s bogus Return on Investment calculation (spreadsheet never released) for electric buses. Somehow the increased EV electricity cost was overlooked by the Government.

  7. Roses says:

    This was clearly a photo op. And who wrote his speech as he obviously did not read it beforehand. A lot of mumbo jumbo but, no clear answers. Government sticks it’s fingers in every thing that goes on in Bermuda, that’s why some situations are not run as they should be. So, to that effect why can’t Government step in and sort this problem out. What I am getting from this is that the RA rules and we cannot do anything about it. These high prices are no longer sustainable. We cannot continue to pay high rents and mortgages. High prices in the grocery stores and at the gas pumps and for goods and services. Grocery prices are through the roof, it is unbelievable what we are paying for groceries. Something needs to give. In some cases Mr. & Mrs. Joe public have more than one job and still cannot manage. The PLP are doing nothing for the wider population. Now they even want to control vacation rental hosts and force them to pay an annual tax for the privilege of renting out portions of their homes. So, don’t tell me Government cannot step in and cut these BELCO increases. I don’t care if the increase is on the FAR, we are billed for it, so it’s a BRLCO charge.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      “As transparency is vital to this process …”

      Very true words.

  8. THILLY RABBIT. says:

    He said absolutely nothing and sounded like a fool saying it. These guys are a joke. So sad that the majority of Bermudians actually want this leadership in place. Posturing to the sheeple who are being led to an early grave. RIP Bermuda.

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