Caribbean Utilities Company, Ltd. posted full year 2016 net earnings of $25.2 million, a $2.4 million increase from 2015.
Higher kilowatt-hour sales of 4 percent, lower consumer services expenses and finance charges and a 0.1 percent base rate increase on June 1, 2016 all contributed to the result, the Toronto Stock Exchange-listed company said. This was partially offset by higher depreciation costs.
The company sold 606.7 million kWh of electricity last year. 24.7 million kWh more than in 2015.
A number of large commercial developments and a 2 percent growth in overall customer numbers boosted the figures. The average monthly kWh consumption increased by 6 percent for residential customers and 2 percent for commercial customers year on year.
Electricity sales revenue jumped $3.5 million to $80.2 million.
President and CEO Richard Hew said 2016 was a very successful year for CUC.
Electricity consumers again benefited from lower global fuel prices in 2016, as well as the government’s 30 cent per Imperial Gallon fuel duty reduction that became effective Jan. 1. The average fuel cost charge rate was $0.13 per kWh in 2016, down from $0.19 per kWh a year earlier.
CUC completed its largest capital project to date, a new 40 MW power plant, which improved fuel efficiency to 19 kWh per industrial gallon, Mr. Hew said.
The company’s Advanced Metering Infrastructure project was completed during the fourth quarter of 2016, providing real-time consumption information and greater efficiency of meter reading.
The AMI project will enable CUC to launch a pay-as-you go payment option later this year. The company said this will help customers to monitor and control their electricity consumption.
Also last year, CUC launched an Integrated Resource Plan study, which analyzed all available energy resources and considered their cost, reliability and environmental impact.
The company said its goal is to ensure that all energy options are explored before decisions are made on what the grid can safely and reliable accommodate. The integrated resource plan will flow into the energy generation and transmission plans for Grand Cayman over the next 30 years.
CUC has an electricity generation license that expires in 2039. Its exclusive electricity transmission and distribution license ends in 2028.