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GBPC Gets Approval for Rate Application

Press Release

January 26, 2016 Freeport, Grand Bahama-The Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA), late yesterday evening approved the Grand Bahama Power Company’s (GBPC) rate application that establishes electricity rates for 2016 to 2018. GBPC is extremely pleased that all customers, regardless of their grouping (Residential, Commercial or General Service Large), will see a decrease in the amount of money they are paying for their total power bill. GBPC has been diligently working to stabilize power rates, while working on introducing renewables to the energy mix. This approval lays the groundwork for GBPC to successfully lessen our dependence on fossil fuels with approval for the use of Solar PV and other renewable sources by GBPC and customers. With future environmental stability built in to the approved plan, GBPC is aligned with the Government’s Energy Policy which mandates an energy mix of 30% renewables by 2030.

Following our initial application in August, 2015, GBPC received feedback from various stakeholders and customers across the island and based on that input, revised its original rate filing to better align with the needs of customers on November 24th, 2015. Subsequent to the 1 December, 2015 deadline for approval, the GBPA extended the public consultation period an additional 45 days to allow all customers the opportunity to review and provide feedback.

With the reduction and stabilization of the fuel charge, the all-in price of electricity that customers pay is returning close to 2008 levels. Operating efficiencies, combined with the lower price of oil, will lead to a reduction of the fuel charge by 40% compared to 2014; which is forecast to be maintained over the next three year rate period due to GBPC’s fuel hedging program.

The results of the approved rate application are as follows:

Residential

•100% of customers see their total (All-in) bill amounts decrease between $150 to $500 annually, depending on consumption, representing a savings of 7% to 12%

•90% of customers see a base rate decrease

Commercial

•100% of customers see their total (All-in) bill amount decrease by a minimum of $1500 annually, representing a savings of approximately 8%, depending on size and consumption

•Included in this All-in decrease is a Base Rate increase of 1.5%

General Service and Large Customers

•100% of customers see their total (All-in) bill amount decrease by approximately 9%

•Included in this All-in decrease is a Base Rate increase of 1.5%

GBPC has been encouraged by the support it has received in working with its stakeholders to develop a new large industrial rate. This rate is critical to deferring future GBPC generation investment and we know that it will promote future expansion plans, economic growth and job creation, while avoiding an additional increase on the base rate for the customers.

GBPC remains committed to meeting the energy needs of customers and deferring future oil based generation investment. With the introduction of renewable and alternative forms of energy such as bio-fuel and storage technology to GBPC’s energy mix, this approval allows for innovative initiatives that will aid in GBPC successfully attaining this goal.

The initiatives outlined include the:

•Change-out of all streetlight and Night Guard lighting to LED technology in 2016;

•Introduction and continued evaluation of solar/storage technology;

•Opportunity for customers to sell energy they produce to the utility, with the development of GBPC’s new Renewable Energy Rider rate in 2016. This rate allows customers to supply energy generated from energy sources such as Solar PV, wind turbines or other forms of renewable energy to the grid;

•Use of locally produced biofuel as a source of energy utilized in the company’s diesel vehicles in 2015 and diesel generation equipment at lower concentrations as the volume of biodiesel produced permits in 2016;

•Continuation of the Economic Development Rate, the goal of which is to attract new investment and encourage expansion of existing industrial and commercial business on Grand Bahama;

•Introduction of a new Large Industrial Rate which is aimed at attracting customers who meet applicable criteria, which helps GBPC avoid future investment in generation equipment; and,

•Implementation of Advanced Metering Technology or AMI/SmartGrid completed over the next 3 years with a pilot program starting in 2016

GBPC recognizes that we play an important role in assisting customers to better understand how to manage their power cost. In the coming weeks we will launch an education plan that focuses on helping our customers to better understand how they can use energy more efficiently, which helps them to save on electricity costs.

These initiatives show GBPC’s commitment to diversify their energy mix and stabilize future electricity costs, all for the benefit of Grand Bahama’s energy future. GBPC has made clear improvements in customer service, reliability and operational efficiencies over the past years. GBPC is proud of the approved rate application and is optimistic about the energy future and long term benefits to be created for our customers.

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