The new Electricity Regulatory Authority Bill will benefit Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, Sister Islands MLA Lyndon Martin said.
Mr. Martin said the bill seeks to create a regulatory authority to protect consumers and to make sure rates are kept as low as possible. He said it would also seek to provide environmental protection and ensure licensees operate safely and efficiently. He added that it would promote the generation of alternative means of energy.
Mr. Martin pointed out that electricity bills are the second largest bills in households in the Cayman Islands.
This is especially true in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, he said, where the rates are significantly higher. This is compounded by the fact that those on the Sister Islands tend to earn less than those in Grand Cayman.
He had compared the rates and said that for 200 KW of hours of electricity in Cayman Brac the consumer pays 36 per cent more than in Grand Cayman, while the Little Cayman consumer pays 60 per cent more than those in Grand Cayman.
He said although the Regulatory Authority was necessary for the entire country, the true beneficiaries would be Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.
He referred to the new legislation as bold and revolutionary.
Minister Julianna O’Connor-Connolly said the Government had given a 15-year contract to Cayman Brac Power and Light from 2003 to 2018. She said there was a provision in this licence, where, even before the introduction of this new bill, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman cannot raise their rates unless a change is made to the licence.
Mr. Martin said that in 2003 when the Cayman Brac Power and Light contract came up for renewal, if his call to ensure only a short term licence was granted, then the true benefits of the new bill would be realised. He was at that time a member of the Power Advisory Committee.
Ms O’Connor-Connolly said that CUC and Cayman Brac Power and Light had helped establish the Cayman Islands as what they are today, but nevertheless the time is appropriate for a regulatory framework to come into effect.
She thanked all involved in bringing this piece of legislation to the House.