Bermuda Electric Light Company Limited (BELCO) has advised that the Retail Tariff for customers will be reduced effective June 1st, 2021 as announced May 16, 2021 by the Regulatory Authority.
BELCO President Wayne Caines said: “BELCO is sensitive to the needs of the Bermudian population – both residents and businesses alike. We have been mindful of the economic impact of COVID-19 as we implemented a Bill Deferment programme to assist customers who were financially impacted by COVID-19 and initiated the suspension of customer disconnections for non-payment during the Shelter in Place and Stay at Home orders.”
Mr. Caines added: “BELCO is committed to reducing the cost of electricity, especially during these challenging economic times. With increased infrastructure investment, rising fuel prices, as well as declining customer volumes brought on by the pandemic, rates would have naturally risen had unique measures not been taken to hold rates at current levels or even bring them down slightly.”
In an effort to reduce rates, BELCO proposed a revenue deferral to the Regulatory Authority to ease the impact on customers for the balance of 2021 as the country begins to rebound from the economic impacts of COVID-19.
While these deferrals are helpful in the short-term, they will create rate pressure in the coming years so BELCO continues to work on increasing efficiency and reducing operating costs while supporting initiatives such as the adoption and expansion of electric vehicles on the island along with increasing Bermuda’s appeal as a preferred international business and tourist destination.
While revenues are being deferred, BELCO is not deferring investment to ensure the island’s electric generation and distribution infrastructure is resilient, reliable and ready for the addition of renewables. BELCO, alongside its parent company Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp., is committed to ensuring Bermuda residents have a dependable system that will deliver a more sustainable energy future.
Mr. Caines said: “BELCO worked with the Regulatory Authority to implement the current Retail Tariff reduction for our customers. While the next couple of rate cycles will likely be challenging, we remain committed to working with the Regulatory Authority to achieve outcomes that are sensitive to customer impact and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our electric system.”
The new retail tariffs (base electricity rates) will be implemented 1 June 2021. Further information will be provided in due course.