Bim comes on board

Barbados has joined the more than 30 other member countries of the Caribbean Electric Services Corporation, in seeking to bring about a greater understanding about good and modern utility regulations and how they are best implemented.

Managing Director of the Barbados Light & Power Holdings and Chairman of CARILEC, Peter Williams, said this morning that the regional agency was also trying to ensure greater transparency and best practices.

“The intent is to bring confidence to the investors and long term benefits to customers. We are all aware that in this current environment energy costs are very high; and so what we are also seeking to do is bring understanding of how we all can move forward in terms of introducing renewable energy into the mix and do so in a way that ensures that there is still confidence in investment, confidence in the way that utilities are run, and try to stabilise and help with security of energy prices,” Williams explained.

He insisted that the forum was not discussing specific energy prices for any country, but was essentially putting in place, the principles by which good regulations took place.

“Certainly I am confident that we have an independent regulator here in Barbados. We have a transparent process by which the public is able to take part in terms of being intervenors in our process for rate reviews. We have a rate review in 2009 as you know and the decision in 2010 for Barbados,” added the CARILEC head.

Prior to that, he continued, our last rate review was 1983. So, essentially what we are talking about here is a process to achieve that process, the best rates for the consumer, quality and supply service standards that are acceptable.

Williams noted that the forum was drawing on the expertise of the Caribbean Development Bank and the World Bank, with presentations on the Barbadian experience. (EJ)

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