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Days to Gov’t Decision on Electricity Rate Increase 

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Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 

 

#TurksandCaicos, March 20, 2024 – Residents will hear in a little over a week whether their electricity bills will be permanently increased. The Turks and Caicos Islands Government has until March 30th to decide whether they will grant the requested six percent hike in electricity fees requested by FortisTCI, the country’s electricity provider.

Currently all residents who consume less than 301 KiloWatts per month pay a range of prices according to information provided.  Those in Providenciales, North Caicos & Middle Caicos pay ¢ 26 per kWh. South Caicos pays ¢ 25 and Grand Turk and Salt Cay pay ¢ 27.3 per kWh.

The most recent increase FortisTCI says it has sought in its 20-year history is 6.8 percent which was in 2020 applied to electricity bills and it affected only consumers with usage over 301 kWh.

The electricity company says the increase is necessary.

“The increase is related to the electric rate on customer bills. Over the past few years, the Turks and Caicos economy has experienced robust economic growth. This has led to increased demand for electricity. The rising demand requires expansion to the electricity system to ensure continued reliable service to our customers. This, together with high inflation and rising interest costs, are the primary reasons for the electricity rates review,” the company said.

The Government released notice of the application for increase on March 13, four weeks after the application.

They said the Energy and Utilities Department had been ‘analyzing the information provided, seeking further details that may aid in the justification of an increase and evaluating the responses.

In the midst of that application, they maintained that the six week timeline was quite tight and they would begin consultations on a policy to increase regulatory oversight of all utilities.

Days later a Cabinet approved draft policy for public sector utility regulatory reform was approved and shared with the public. That draft policy will see enhanced regulatory oversight for telecommunications, energy, sewage, water and similar utilities.

FortisTCI says the company has done what it could over the years to avoid an increase.

“FortisTCI understands the difficulties that customers can face with electricity bills. Rate increases are a concern for everyone. For this reason, the Company works hard to ensure that electric rates remain as stable as possible. Over the past 20 years, the Company has only sought a general increase in electric rates on one occasion.”

Kyle Knowles, newly appointed Minister of Public Safety and Utilities, explained the ongoing process.

“The Government will continue to press the utility company for as much information and justifications as it can before the deadline” he said; after which the Energy and Utilities Department will make a submission to the Government and TCIG will announce its decision.

Residents have remained relatively silent with many saying there needs to be a move toward renewable energy like solar power.

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Traffic Death again, a woman dies and two others hospitalised

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#TurksandCaicos, June 23, 2024 – Magnetic Media can inform that, yes there has been another traffic death in Providenciales and reports say it’s a woman who didn’t make it out of a three car smash up.

Almost, exactly 24 hours after a deadly collision was recorded in wee hours of Saturday morning came news, this morning, of a second death by motor vehicle accident.

“I can confirm the Police Control Room received a call during the early hours of this morning involving a serious accident on Leeward Highway. One person (female) died while others were rushed for medical treatment,” said Denyse Renne, media officer for the Royal TCI Police.

The Cheshire Hall Medical Center, which had already suspended visitation due to security concerns in the wake of four murders between Friday and Saturday in Provo, has restricted its Emergency Room to emergencies only.

TCI hospitals citing the unusually high demand for urgent medical care to multiple patients as the reason for the restriction.

While it is widely reported that the person who died in the traffic accident on Leeward Highway near Pratt’s Road is a female tourist, police say they’re investigating.

It’s been a total of six lives lost in startling incidents in the past day in Providenciales.  The tragic circumstances of the car accidents and sheer violence of the shootings have sent shockwaves throughout the country leaving residents utterly bewildered.

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Crime

Five Cays Shooting Death

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***MEDIA RELEASE***

June 22nd, 2024.

Homicide detectives of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force are actively investigating a murder in Five Cays, Providenciales.

Initial reports indicate that shortly after midday, the Police Control Room received several calls stating that gunshots were being heard in the area of the Community Center.

RT&CIPF officers responded to the given location and found the lifeless body of a male with what appeared to be gunshot wounds about the body.

The RT&CIPF is asking anyone with information that may help in this investigation to contact the closest police station, 911, the Serious Crime Unit at 231-1842, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477 to provide any information anonymously.

Additionally, individuals are encouraged to download the Crime Stoppers P3 app to share information.

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Rescued

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Media Release

June 22nd, 2024.

 

Two occupants of an aircraft were rescued around 3:28 p.m. today (June 22) following an intensive sea search around Providenciales.

The occupants –two males- are currently receiving medical attention.

The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force can confirm that shortly after midday, the Air Tower received a report regarding an aircraft landing on water (ditching) approximately 11 miles from Northwest Point, Providenciales.

The aircraft had departed from the United States and experienced engine failure.

Having received reports of the incident, a Strategic Coordinating Group with representation from the RT&CIPF, the TCI Civil Aviation Authority, the Airport Authority, the Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies, and the Ministry of Health was activated to coordinate the search and rescue.

The group worked closely with partners from OpBat and received confirmation that a United States Coast Guard helicopter had successfully rescued the two persons after three hours.

The victims were brought ashore.

Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police Mat Newton said, “I wish to express my profound gratitude and acknowledge the invaluable support of our national and international partners.

“This successful rescue operation is a testament to our collective strength and coordination. With the full support from our US partners and the local marine community, I extend my heartfelt thanks to our OpBat partners and the crew of the US Coastguard helicopter, as well as the Marine Branch of the RT&CIPF, the staff of the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR), the Department of Fisheries and Resources Management, Caribbean Cruisin, and vessels from the TCI Search and Rescue Association.

“We are now in the process of initiating an investigation into the accident in close liaison with the Civil Aviation Authority.”

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