Source: THE MINISTRY FOR GRAND BAHAMA
Recently, the Grand Bahama Power Company (GBPC) officially made an application to The Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) for a rate adjustment. In response, the Government of The Bahamas has made immediate inquiries, expressed our deep concern, and taken swift action. The Government, pursuant to the Electricity Act, 2015, has the statutory mandate to set the national energy policy, with the goal and objective of which “shall be the creation of a regime for the supply of safe, least cost, reliable and environmentally sustainable electricity throughout The Bahamas.” This statutory mandate includes “aspects of social policy, including the scope of universal services and the protection of vulnerable customers.” The devastating effects of Hurricane Dorian and the COVID 19 pandemic on residents of Grand Bahama, is a matter of deep concern to the Government.
Accordingly, the Government has constituted a Cabinet Committee, comprising Attorney General Ryan Pinder, Ministers Obie Wilchcombe, Alfred Sears, Dr. Michael Darville and Ginger Moxey, to review and address the matter; and to ensure that the rights and interests of the residents of Grand Bahama are protected, consistent with the national energy policy. As a result of our strong response to this application, we have since received further correspondence from GBPA, which explained the process and offered assurance that the application is just that; an application, which is required to be filed every three years, and is a component of an established Regulatory Framework Agreement between the two entities.
We can confirm that GBPA has not given any approvals to GBPC to proceed with any adjustments to the power rates for Grand Bahama residents; and will follow the established process which dictates that before any approvals can be given, the rate plan must be published
and GBPA will hold a public 45-day consultative process, so that the voice of every Grand Bahamian resident can be heard. The Government will ensure that the objectives of the national energy policy are observed.
However, I categorically state, that while we understand that the filing is part of an established process, the Government of The Bahamas will not support any rate increase on any portion of the customer base on Grand Bahama Island at this time; as it is our firm position that the people of Grand Bahama should not be further burdened on the heels of the economic stagnation caused by Hurricanes Matthew and Dorian, which was compounded by the global pandemic.
We have scheduled a meeting with GBPA and the Cabinet Committee in the next two weeks regarding this application; and will be very clear and direct with our message. The people and businesses of Grand Bahama have suffered enough, and are looking for compassionate leadership in governance and in corporate Bahamas. As Minister for Grand Bahama, I remain resolute in my commitment to the growth and development of our island, and our people.
Hon. Ginger Moxey
Minister for Grand Bahama
Ministry for Grand Bahama
Commonwealth of The Bahamas