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FortisTCI announces bid to hike electricity bills, cites record $42m response to hurricanes as destabilizing

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#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – Wednesday July 11, 2018 – Lingering adversity caused by the catastrophic 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season will likely result in an increase in electricity bills for Turks and Caicos consumers; FortisTCI CEO and President today announced that an application requesting the rise has been filed with Government.

Approval will result in an immediate change in power bills.

“Today FortisTCI filed a rate variation application under Section 34 of the Electricity Ordinance.  The application proposes an average rate of 6.8 percent increase.  Residential customers with an average monthly consumption of 500 k/w hours would see an increase of approximately $8 per month on their electricity bills,” said Eddinton Powell, FortisTCI CEO.  

Ten months following the double whammy of Hurricanes Irma and Maria – two of the costliest and deadliest storms of 2017 – the Turks and Caicos is still reeling from the effects of the major hurricanes and it may mean a 6.8% hike in power bills.  The request has to first be approved.

“The application seeks to restore the company’s financial position which was weakened by the cost of restoration of electricity following Hurricanes Irma and Maria.  The total impact directly attributable to the hurricanes is $42 million.”

Record response to the nationwide loss of electricity in Category 5 hurricane Irma alone was expensive explained Powell when media quizzed him about the need for the hike and how long the increase would be imposed upon consumers.  Mr. Powell assured, FortisTCI was not trying to recapture earnings lost during the recovery period.

“…It’s not just to recover per say the cost of electricity which we expect to recover over a long period of time, we don’t want to increase the rate to a certain extent where we percent to our customers a rate shock that would be too expensive, we want to gradually increase… to restore the company to a sound financial position.”

Eddinton Powell, CEO & President, FortisTCI

Mr. Powell said the company has made a case for the increase request, permitted by law and expects incremental recuperation.  Mr. Powell corrected public assumption that FortisInc paid for the restoration; explaining that FortisTCI covered the cost in full.

“We had to pay and we had to borrow the money, finance that restoration and the restoration is paid for – past tense – paid for in full.  Now, what we are trying to do with this application is to restore the company to strong financial health,” explained Mr. Powell in that media debriefing today.  The CEO agreed that the hurricanes weakened the company’s financial soundness, “…the cost of the restoration, the loss revenues, the write off of assets all of those things contributed to the weakening of the company’s financial position.”

The CEO, flanked by company executives at FortisTCI Leeward Highway headquarters added that there is going to be opportunity for residents to learn more and vocalise their thoughts about the application for the increase.  Mr. Powell shared that initiatives of FortisTCI will eventually result in lower power bills.

“Through more solar penetration in the system, through the possibility, the very good possibility of liquefied natural gas (LNG), that is the increase of fuel mix on the system away from diesel more towards LNG, more towards solar energy.  I am convinced that all of those things if managed properly and executed properly by the Government and the company can result in the future in lower energy costs to the Turks and Caicos which we have an interest in doing.”

The goal of FortisTCI, shared the CEO, is to return to a stable financial position.  Mr. Powell characterized their request as both ‘reasonable and warranted’.

Once approved, the electricity rate increase  will take immediate effect.

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FLOW CUSTOMERS BENEFIT FROM INCREASED SPEEDS

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New upload speeds to improve online gaming, video conferencing & Online Voice Calls

 

PROVIDENCIALES, TURKS AND CAICOS, JUNE 24, 2022 – Flow TCI wishes to remind customers of a broadband speed increase to our existing broadband plans, which took effect on April 25th, 2022. An incremental rate increase for the new higher speed plans has taken effect.

The rates were increased by US$4 for the following plans and the download and upload speeds will increase by the following allotments:

All customers will be migrated from all previous fixed broadband plans to the new broadband Fibre to the Home plans. The new speeds will improve the overall broadband experience for all customers for online gaming, voice over IP calling, video conferencing, and social media usage.

For more information on our new Fibre to the Home plans, visit https://discoverflow.co/turks-and-caicos/broadband-overview for more details.

 

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2022 Hurricane Preparedness Exposition

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“Mission Ready – Pledge to Prepare; Be Smart Take Part”

 

#TurksandCaicos, June 23, 2022 – The Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies (DDME) will be hosting its 3rd Hurricane Preparedness Exposition on 1st July 2022 from 10:00 am at the Town Centre Mall, Parking Lot, Downtown, Providenciales.

The Hurricane Preparedness Expo will feature booths from over twenty-five different agencies, partners and public safety officials this year. The event provides critical stakeholders with roles in disaster management an opportunity to interact with the public, demonstrate their services, and guide individuals and businesses on how they can prepare for this hurricane season.

The goal is to ensure residents are ready should a hurricane impact our region by offering a one-stop shop for the general public to gather helpful information and ask their hurricane and storm-related questions.

We ask all residents to come out and participate in this preparedness event. The event is free, fun and educational with tons of giveaways, including the chance to win a Graceway Smart Supermarket Hurricane Supplies Shopping Spree on 1st July 2022.

This venture also encompasses the principles of Public-Private Partnership, as it demonstrates the Disaster Risk Reduction commitment of the private sector in the Turks and Caicos Islands. It also highlight’s the Public Sector Department’s determination to ensure all major entities are involved in its goal of building a resilient country.

The Hurricane Preparedness Expo will be on Friday, 1st July 2022, at the Town Centre Mall, Parking Lot, Downtown, Providenciales, from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm. We look forward to your participation.

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PDM Slams Gov’t over Airport Shut Down

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, June 24, 2022 – The People’s Democratic Movement criticised the government for the recent shutdown at the Providenciales International Airport, maintaining that the strike was a repeat of “past actions that have not been addressed by the government of the day.”

There have been firefighter strikes under both the PDM (August 2019) and PNP (May 2021, June 2022) Administrations.

National Chairman of the PDM Ezra Taylor maintained that the strike was “indicative that their issues are not being addressed sufficiently. He expressed that if the issue was economic they should go to the House of Assembly and resolve it.

“While the government continues to brag about an economic boom in this country the citizens continue to feel economic pressure… compensation to our people is still marginal.”

Describing the firefighters as professionals Deputy Leader Robert Been said, “just like any other department, they deserve proper wages and proper working environments. It appears that the 15% salary increase wasn’t equal across the board. I am sure the firefighters communicated this before making their decision to strike. These kinds of situations can and could have been avoided by proper communication and mutual agreements by parties involved.”

The Turks and Caicos Islands Airport Authority has maintained there was no communication of the strike beforehand. Been said another group, the security officers, might soon be striking as well.  The TCIAA has confirmed this. Been lambasted the Deputy Premier.

“It makes me question the Deputy Premier when he makes statements about us living our best lives in Turks and Caicos.  I’m of the view that he’s just fascinated with the lyrics of the song because nothing has change to approve the lives of our people.” He further called on the government to, “Please take care of your people, please visit your department and find out issues, challenges, and concerns they may have to avoid repeats of today’s event.”

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