Sunday, July 3, 2022


Dear Bajans

You’ve probably read the Sunday Sun article about the electricity rate review case by now. I am the Tricia Watson named in the article as an intervenor. 

I am here again to tell you some truths:

1. The Barbados Light and Power, the island’s monopoly electricity utility, is asking the FTC to give it an immediate retroactive rate increase because according to them, they are ‘in dire straits’. 

2. In 2022 (that's right, just a few months ago) knowing that they are ‘in dire straits’ (because that’s what they said when they filed their application in September 2021 and that’s what they are still saying to the FTC and to Barbadians), that same Barbados Light and Power DECLARED AND PAID OUT DIVIDENDS TO ITS SHAREHOLDERS OF $25 MILLION - that is more than their net income according to their own financial statements. 

3. That same BL&P is telling the FTC that Bajans must pay higher rates RIGHT NOW, even before they provide full information to intervenors, and before a thorough public rate hearing is held, and before they justify a rate increase. 

4. That same Barbados Light and Power still hasn’t said what it did with the hundreds of millions of dollars that it earned on the promise of buying new generation equipment THAT IT NEVER BOUGHT, a decision that is costing Barbados’ electricity consumers today in unbearable fuel clause adjustment charges. 

That decision not to replace old obsolete inefficient generation plant with new high efficiency generation plant, was deemed to be “reasonable” by the FTC in a decision published on March 25 2022. BL&P’s decision is currently costing us the rate payers millions of dollars in fuel clause adjustment charges, and has cost us hundreds of millions of dollars in fuel clause adjustment charges over the last 12 years. 

Since the FTC’s decision was published, the BL&P is repeatedly using the FTC’s statement to try to excuse not buying that new generation plant as it said it would in the 2009 rate case. By the way, the BL&P is now asking for $130+ Million for new high efficiency generation plant of the same kind as the plant they said in 2009 they would buy. Today, instead of just referring to the plant as the medium speed diesels as they did in 2009, they are calling it “The Clean Energy Bridge”. A rose by any other name.

5. I am working hard to make sure that Barbados’ consumers are properly represented in this application. And I will continue to inform and educate you during this rate case.

6. I will not give you the platitude “Rest assured”. This is serious business. 

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