Reduced global fuel prices, a reduction in duties and improved efficiencies from a new diesel power plant are contributing to lower electricity costs for customers, according to Caribbean Utilities Company.
The utility company said in a press release that the average price per imperial gallon of fuel decreased 4 percent to $2.07 at the end of December 2016, compared to $2.15 at the same period in 2015. CUC says those fuel costs are passed on to customers on a two-month lag, with fuel costs CUC incurred in January being billed to consumers in March.
For the three months ended December 2016, the reduced fuel costs translated to an average “Fuel Cost Charge” rate of $0.11 per kilowatt hour for residential consumers, compared to an average rate of $0.15 per kWh for the same period in 2015. For residential consumers who used 1,000 kWh per month in the last quarter of 2016, this translates into average monthly savings of about $34 compared with the same period in 2015, the company said.
“We are pleased that customers are benefiting from the current lower fuel prices,” CUC President and CEO Richard Hew said in the release.
He added that CUC continues to work on connecting alternative energy sources to the grid and improving overall plant fuel efficiency.
A 5 megawatt solar project in Bodden Town is on schedule to start operations by mid-2017, and the ongoing Customer Owned Renewable Energy program is nearing 4 megawatts of connected load, CUC noted.
The 40 MW diesel plant that started operations last June comprises the most fuel efficient diesel generators in the Caribbean.
The utility notes that 82 percent of CUC’s residential customers’ bills in December were under $500, and 32 percent were under $200.