The Grand Bahama Port Authority has approved a rate increase proposal by the Grand Bahama Utility Company. The increase is set to affect 60% of its customers by approximately $8.

Explaining the rationale for the approval President of the Grand Bahama Port Authority Ian Rolle said, “what stood out to us is that without the necessary implementation of certain infrastructure such as a new RO facility and some other extensive work to the infrastructure that was devastated by Hurricane Dorian. Without these particular expenditures we run the risk of not having a healthy utility company and it would bring about substandard service to the citizens and residents of Grand Bahama.”

As part the of the rate increase agreement the utility company will be held to customer service standards that could result in customers receiving credit to their accounts if they are breached. “The reason why we want to do that is to keep them alert and challenge the utility company to do better and to give the consistent service that the citizens deserves. I think its the first of its kind and it’ll be, I think, a good first step for other utilities to follow the same type of framework,” Rolle said.

Responding to critics of the rate hike Rolle said, “no time is right to increase any utility bill, no time is the right time. I think the overarching objective is to ensure that all citizens get a healthy utility company and the quality and sustainable service that they deserve. So therefore the decision to approve the rate increase was done for the good of the entire island.”