TCI News

Governor agrees to independent expert in FortisTCI rate increase application

#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – Wednesday October 3, 2018 – The Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands has agreed to appoint an independent expert to hold an inquiry into the reasonableness of the Rate Variation Application by power company, FortisTCI.

Just as Magnetic Media was reporting that an independent inquiry was requested by FortisTCI as it continues to push for a rate hike on electricity bills, the Government was informing by media release, that the FortisTCI rate increase application was refused by the governor on two points.  

The first was explained as “…a lack of impartial and neutral information and assessments regarding the efficiency of investments as well as bench-marking with comparators regarding the real costs of providing electricity services in the Turks and Caicos Islands, as well as the allocation of those costs to customer groups to ensure fair and equitable pricing.”

And secondly, the refusal came because: “A cost of service study and prudency assessment will need to be conducted to enable an informed and reasonable decision to be made on the request for rate variation.”

The media release from TCIG follows a Turks and Caicos Weekly News article which broke the news that an independent inquiry was requested.

Now, FortisTCI is exercising its legal right to have the rate increase application reviewed by someone other than the TCI Cabinet.  Premier Sharlene Robinson on September 13, during a town hall meeting shared that more information was required before a rate increase could be granted to the electricity company.  

The nation’s power supplier cited section 34(4) of the Electricity Ordinance which basically says if they are not satisfied with what the Governor has decided, they can request, within 21-days of the governor’s decision for him to “appoint a person to hold an inquiry into the reasonableness of the proposals…” 

Governor Dr. John Freeman, since last week Tuesday September 25, agreed to the appointment of the independent expert.

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