5.5 per cent hike in power

Blame it on the fuel levy

Electricity
consumers can expect to see a 5.5 per cent hike in their power bills once the
import duty on fuel comes into effect from 1 July, the Caribbean Utilities
Company has confirmed.

Richard
Hew, president and CEO of the power company, said CUC had not received direct
confirmation of the 25 cents per gallon increase on fuel import duty, which
will bring the duty on diesel up to 85 cents per gallon, but he expected that
cost to be passed on to CUC.

“The
proposed increase on the duty rate on diesel fuel will translate to an
approximate increase of 5.5 per cent to the total cost on an electricity bill
and the proportion of the total cost that would go towards fuel duties payable
to the Cayman Islands Government will rise to approximately 16 per cent,” Mr.
Hew said.

He
added that CUC’s fuel costs are passed on to customers without any mark-up and
appear as a separate line item on bills. The company would not increase its
base rates, which do not include fuel costs.

CUC’s
generators are powered by diesel and the company is the single largest user of
fuel in Cayman.

Premier
McKeeva Bush announced in his budget address last week that an increase of 25
cents per gallon on fuel import duty would raise an additional $10.3 million in
revenue,

The
import duty increase would boost the levy on gas from 50 cents per gallon to 75
cents per gallon and the diesel import duty from 60 cents per gallon to 85
cents per gallon.

It
is expected to take effect on 1 July in Grand Cayman and Little Cayman, but
does not apply to Cayman Brac.

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