Government says CUC has agreed to cut fees

| 04/02/2010

(CNS):  The Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) Managing Director Philip Thomas has said that the board has managed to negotiate a reduction in the license fee charges that appear on Caribbean Utilities Company (CUC) customer’s electricity bills. Thomas said the results of those negotiations would be apparent on February’s bills which would show a 25 percent reduction in licence fees.  He explained that the fees were set in 2008 when new licenses were issued to CUC at a rate of CI 0.0083 cents per kWh (with the first 1,000 kWhs of monthly residential kWhs being exempt).  From now on the charges will be lowered to CI 0.0062 cents.

He said the new rate would kick in after the first 1,000 of monthly residential kWhs as previously but it would result in a reduction for a residential monthly billing of 2,300 kWhs of $ 2.73, moving from $10.79 to $8.06

"The ERA Board is pleased to announce that we had discussions with CUC. And effective in this month’s billing, licence fees charged per kilowatt hour (kWh) appearing on customers’ accounts will be reduced by approximately 25 percent,” Thomas said on Wednesday.

After the end of the first quarter this year, the ERA will review the rate again; it is possible that there may be an additional reduction in the fee rate thereafter, he added.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Business

About the Author ()

Comments (31)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. For Cheaper Power says:


    CUC had lost its monopoly but regained it overnight with the SHAMEFUL CORE agreement that makes it UNECONOMICAL to compete with CUC  using RENEWABLE source of energy – which should be the ultimate goal for all utility companies…

    Without the competition of solar power producers, what incentive does CUC have to implement new GREENER technologies to lower the cost of electricity?…

    NONE!… and that was the very purpose of the CORE agreement, thanks to Mr. Thomas…

    In the worst case scenario, CUC should only charge for the cost of distribution, or around 20% of total charges. Instead, it also charges for the generation costs, limits the amount of kWh one can produce, which is totally anti-competitve and charges and 10 cents for every kWh produced by the owners of solar installations…

    It’s so unfair, that those who produce more than their total monthly consumption find it cheaper to DUMP their excess production into the GROUND than pay CUC 10 cents per kWh to take it!…

    With the cost of solar power falling 15 to 20% yearly and the cost of oil soon to reach $150/$200.00 per barrel, green energy and competition against CUC should be encouraged by instituting NET Metering, as is done all around the world and by the time 10 to 15% of consumers in Cayman produce their own energy far cheaper than CUC, it would be FORCED to look for cheaper energy production, thereby benefiting all the population!…

    So, the lame excuse given by CUC that NET metering will make it more expensive for all non-solar consumers is just a load of BUNK!…

    All they want is to protect their DE FACTO MONOPOLY with unfair and anti-competitive measures: don’t fall for it andtell your elected members to move along with the new Energy policy we have all been waiting for!…

  2. Anonymous says:

    I have just booked a world cruise on the money I will save on my CUC bill. Only problem is it will take me approximately 1000 years just to pay the deposit…..Oh thank you thank you Mr. no Thomas…..

    No doubt you run your you A/C none stop?

    • Sally Vation says:

      I run my AC non-stop at 73 degrees.  Mmm. Cool.  I like it that way.

  3. For Cheaper Power says:

    Net Metering is FAIR!

    The cost per Watt of certain solar panels is now below $1.00 and falling and you could produce your own electricity for less than 1/2 what CUC is charging…

    Consumers going solar and producing electricity far cheaper than CUC is what will force CUC to seek cheaper and greener ways of producing power to REMAIN COMPETITIVE, that will benefit all consumers in the end…

    But the potential competition that was going to keep CUC honest and efficient has had its legs cut off by the likes of Phil Thomas when it was agreed that CUC could charge solar producers 10 cents per kWh for making their own electricity with their own equipment…

    Anyone calling that "FAIR", is either dumb or totally misinformed!…

    To promote GREEN ENERGY, every country in the world is offering Net Metering – utilities even pay a premium above retail price in some countries like Germany – except in Cayman, of course, where shortsightedness and inability to see the bigger picture always seem to  prevail…

    • Nonnie Mouse says:

      They are being charged for using CUC electricity when there is no solar generation such as at night or during heavy cloud cover and for the ability to tap into an expensive grid when there are service issues with their own supplies.  That reflects the true cost of the provision of constant electricity to the affected consumers.  Otherwise everyone else would be paying more to subsidise these people.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Is there really a reduction or CUC was so surprise to see that everyone bill drop becasue of the cold weather?????? 

  5. Anonymous says:

    The average 2 bed condo is unlikely to see any benefit from this. My bill of $315 would go down 26 cents. Their example is based on a bill that would likely cost around $635 which to be fair is too high anyway and shows a big wastage. It’s almost like encouraging those who waste energy by saying it’s cheaper to use more.

    Why are CNS even reporting something this minor? It’s like giving them free advertising and goodwill despite them not really making any significant changes.


  6. Anonymous says:

    21:50 please correct me if i’m wrong but do you guys on the brac have Pay as you go meters honestly i wish we had that option here in cayman. I know how you feel every month i have to fork out 7-8 hundred dollars to CUC and while in the line there is other  people standing there complaing about the same thing and the hurtful part when you go and pay your bill on a saturday God Help yah. because if you need to loose weight you will while standing in the line for some reason theres never no  a/c on . why are they trying to cut on there bill also???? I honestly hope this Government will do something with cuc but for some reason they dont same like they can why becasue they have shares in the company or they can afford to pay there bill with no worries. Because from the time they get elected the up grade from a Ford to a Mercedes but i would like each and every one to remember we are the people to elect you and we can be the same ones not to do so in the next elections but by them there will be too much damage done.

    CNS: I can answer your first question. CB Power & Light Co does supply pay-as-you-go meters but there is a waiting list to get one.

  7. Turtle Meat says:

    Sparky looks like he just stopped by his mail box and picked up his latest bill!

  8. Anonymous Negotiator says:

    Well a great big Whoopty Do to Phil Thomas for his negotiating skills.

    The poor man must be embarrased to death to have his name associated with this. Is our government really that desperate to be releasing something like this as news?

    The Licence Fee is a fee that is tacked on to the bill by CUC. They collect the money, but by law they remit the entire amount to government. You can read it here for yourself:

    All government is doing is reducing the amount of money they would normally have taken from us, the consumers. No negotiations were required! I suppose we should be thankful for small mercies, but remember they had already jacked it up by removing the duty concessions on fuel that had been in place previously.

    I suppose there is some success for the government in seeing how so many people were fooled into thinking that it is something other than what it is. I just wish they would get on with some real work.


  9. Anonymous says:

    PITTANCE: $1.00/month for the average consumer who uses 1000 kWh per month…

    Nothing to be proud of after smashing Caymanians’ hope of being one day energy independent using renewable energy…

    As the price of oil continues to go up, many Caymanians will no longer be able to pay their electrical bills…

    If a war starts against Iran and the Strait of Hormuz is blocked, expect to pay $300.00 a barrel for oil and $1.25 per kWh, instead of 30 cents+ at present…



    • Anonymous says:

      The increase of $2.40 per month last year was also a pittance but it didn’t stop you from complaining.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Big deal!!!!   From my $295.00 bill $1.16 will be deducted!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Last year when only $2.40 was added to your bill you went through the roof. The sky was falling. Now that you are getting half of it back it’s "(no) big deal". Tsk tsk.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Phil Thomas sold out Caymanians right to NET METERING – the ability to sell CUC surplus kWh at par retail price – thus encouraging them to install solar and wind system producing GREEN ENERGY…

    Instead, he committed all Caymanians to the SHAMEFUL "CORE" agreement, where we get a pittance for the electricity we produce and sell back to CUC, are limited to the number of kWH we can produce per day and must even pay CUC 10 cents for every kwh we produce at our own cost!…

    So, those who produce more electricity than they consume, MUST PAY 10 cents per kWh to CUC for their surplus power: no wonder they’d rather dump it in the ground!…

    The UDP promised to renegotiate a fairer agreement as part of a new energy policy, but so far nothing has happened…


    • Meter Maid says:

      Net Metering means than other consumers end up paying more for subsidising the electricity supply of those who generate their own electricity (by paying for the grid and other costs).  The fairest decision was made by the ERA.

      • Anonymous Electrician says:

        Horse p**p. Incentives are necessary to encourage production of energy from renewable sources. This is about saving the environment and doing what’s right, not maximizing return on investment.

        Why has net metering been adopted in every civilized country in the rest of the world?

        Why has the CUC model not worked here nor in any other country where it was introduced?

        Grid costs and other costs amounts to mere pennies. Not pennies per customer, but pennies in total costs.

        It would take a million years for it to amount to what customers have already paid to repurchase assets that were not insured.

        I would like to see things from your perspective, but its going to take a lot more beer than I can afford to get my head that far up my you know where.

  12. Anonymous says:


    • Anon says:

      I second that!

    • anonymous says:

       Better check how much will actually come off your bill before you get too excited. The "license fee" does not amount to a large percentage of what you are charged…..


  13. A Concerned Caymanian says:

    Small move but in the right direction!

  14. Anonymous says:

    This is good news, but my question is when will we ever get lower electric bills on the Sister Islands?  The cost of electricity is so high that businesses cannot operate at  profitable levels and most home owners are forced to live month to month, in fear, praying that the bills get paid.  We are suffering. Most basic living costs on the Brac and Little Cayman are much higher than on Grand Cayman. Fuel prices and higher, and to the best of my knowledge gov does not charge a tax at the pump on the sister islands.  Sister islands MLA’s need to start studying on getting the price of living down, and the tourism back. These 2 islands and in dire times!

  15. Civil Servant says:

    Bout effin time

  16. Anonymous says:

    Thank God that Philip Thomas seems to have achieved something for his huge statutory authority salary. He was not a successful Chief Financial Officer in Government-they were desperate to get rid of him and increased his salary to do so-but he must have found his niche now.People talk about the civil service but they need to also look at the statutory authorities where people are getting HUGE salaries.

    Ah so it go.

  17. Live Free... says:

    It was PPM that fought for this and now UDP wants to get the praise, I hope the people of Cayman can see that PPM always had them at heart and it was really a sad day when they were voted out of power.

    • Get real says:

      Are you kidding me? i mean are you really serious? If I remember correctly when the last administration negotiated with CUC they were allowed to increase their rates and on top of that they were allowed to pass on ivan surcharges to consumers etc… you PPM’rs are lost, you need to get real

      Kudos to those involved in this and yes the current Government deserve much credit for this…at least the UDP actually gets things done.

      • Live Free... says:

        What year was the new licence deal with CUC done? Read the article, it’s says clearly 2008, which Goverment was in power then? Go back to the year again and you would notice it was PPM not UDP, so how could you give credit to a Goverment that never had any licence deal agreement under the renewal of CUC licence? All that UDP is saying is the reduction on the bills from CUC would be first notice in the February bills and expect further reductions through out the year. They never sat around any table with CUC to cut any deals on their licence. So I think you need to get your facts straight. And it also sames like you have not follow the news while PPM was in power, it’s only when UDP in power that you same to follow the news.

      • Anonymous says:

        You don’t remember correctly. The last administration negotiated a rate decrease with CUC. The average reduction on consumers bills was 15%. CUC had not had a rate increase since 2002 but they still got a substantial decrease. Are you silly enough to think that CUC should never again in the future get a rate increase? They also negotiated a 4.7% temporary surcharge when CUC were entitled to a permanent rate increase of 9.5%. Utilities in Jamaica and Florida also charged their customers surcharges on on account of hurricane -related damage to those portions of the T&D system that could not be insured.

        You need to get real; give credit where credit is due and stop parroting UDP propaganda. Fortunately, people are beginning to see through it and realize they made a mistake on 20th May.     

        • Wah you say says:

          I think the only people see the new Government as a mistake is the bunch of you PPMrs who just cant get over losing an election……

          • Anonymous says:

            Did the PPM suddenly grow to 60% of the electorate?

            Keep telling yourself that. The implicit arrogance and conceit of that belief will help you lose the next election. The UDP has lost much of its support as people understand that although there were new faces claims of ‘born again’ nothing much has changed. It is the same old UDP with a ‘Fire Ready Aim’ dictator at the helm.   

        • Live Free... says:

          Thanks for the additional reminder to the poster Get Real, it sames like he/she hate to admit that PPM get things done, not UDP and so far in the 7 Months the only one I hear doing all the talking is Macdinejad, but his cronies sames to be afraid to speak on the behalf of their responsibilities, too shame on UDP, for it’s all a one man show.