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News : Grand Bahama Last Updated: Sep 24, 2020 - 4:44:16 PM

The Grand Bahama Port Authority’s Statement on Grand Bahama Power Company Storm Restoration and Stabilization Charge
By Grand Bahama Port Authority
Sep 24, 2020 - 4:40:46 PM

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Freeport, Grand Bahama:  With the evolving global pandemic COVID-19, these are unprecedented times and the Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA), in our role as regulator, must balance the need for a healthy electric utility with upgraded technology and infrastructure, against the needs of the consumer and the island’s economy.

As such, the GBPA has worked together with the Grand Bahama Power Company (GBPC) to further delay the implementation of its Storm Recovery and Stabilization (SRS) charge to 2021.

“The SRS charge, which allows the utility to recoup costs associated with storm restoration deemed reasonable by the GBPA, was initially approved for implementation on April 1, 2020,” said Karla McIntosh, GBPA General Legal Counsel. “However, with the onset of COVID-19 and two subsequent country-wide lockdowns, the SRS charge was initially delayed to August 1, and then further to October 1, to help support residents during this challenging period.”

As outlined in the Regulatory Framework between the GBPA and the utility, GBPC is permitted to recoup non-insured, prudent costs associated with recovery from a natural disaster amortized over a five-year period.

“We understand that GBPC is allowed to recover reasonable restoration costs associated with significant weather events,” continued Ms. McIntosh. “Since the onset of COVID-19, we have been in consultation with the utility over the proposed timing for implementation of the storm charge, resulting in successive deferrals. Given the present state of the economy and the unexpected second wave and restrictive lockdowns, it is our regulatory obligation to consider the best interests of customers.  We have worked with GBPC to further delay recovery of the $15.6 million costs for Hurricane Dorian until January 1, 2021.”

The GBPA understands that it is a challenging time for many Grand Bahamians, and reminds GBPC’s customers that the SRS charge is not a flat fee but based on consumption, and that judicious use of electricity will result in a lower monthly charge and a lower overall power bill.

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