Electricity Rates To Rise
An increase in electricity rates was not unexpected.
But the token decision to approve a 10 per cent rather than 10.48 per cent and shave just 3.1 million dollars from the proposed revenue requirement was surprising.
Prior to the decision on January 28th, 2010 small businesses an householders ahd expressed concern tha their bills had increased without any substantial change in their usage. The rate increase effective March 1st. hs already been criticised by the Small Business Association and the ordinary consumer.
Interestingly one commissioner, chartered accountant Andrew Brathwaite has expressed reservation in part about the extent of the increases for some categories of consumers, namely Large Power and Secondary Voltage Power (SVP). He said there would be significant instantaneous increases for these customers of BL&P and his preference was to avoid this by moving more gradually towards cost.
My concern all along is that the application would have led to a rate shock for ordinary consumers as the company moved top rebalance rates by requiring them to pay substantially more than large power customers.
Although BL&P now has to return to the FTC with amended rates as a result of the decision my position remains that ordinary consumers have not been dealt a fair hand in this decision.
The FTC has attempted to soften the inpact at the lowest usage level, but this is expected to prove quite inadequate as there already exists a povert gap between those who can afford a reasonable lifestyle and those who cannot. This decision and increased telephone rates can only worsen the situation for the working poor and unemployed.
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