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Many new faces on boards and councils

Cabinet has approved appointments and reappointments to several boards and councils at its recent meetings, according to a summary of decisions released by government.

New OfReg Board Chairman Appointed

Rudy Ebanks has been appointed by Cabinet as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Utility Regulation and Competition (OfReg).

OfReg opens consultation on increasing rooftop solar capacity

Utility regulator OfReg has launched a public consultation on a proposed 3 megawatt capacity increase for distributed energy sources, like rooftop solar panels, in Cayman’s electricity grid.

OfReg seeks proposals for solar energy value study

OfReg, Cayman’s utility regulator, is commissioning a study on the value of solar energy to the Cayman Islands.

Ombudsman: OfReg must name petrol stations in quality tests

The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered OfReg to reveal the names of petrol stations on which the regulator performs quality-control tests.

OfReg denies bias against lower-emission fuels

The Utility Regulation and Competition Office issued a statement Sunday refuting suggestions made in a Refuel gas station planning application that the regulatory body did not support projects that supply lower-emission fuel to local consumers.

Logic launches wireless broadband internet in the eastern districts

Logic has launched a fixed wireless home internet service in the eastern districts of Grand Cayman.

OfReg consults stakeholders on its fuels market assessment

The study found that the fuel sector is “generally highly concentrated” and “not highly competitive”.

Uncertainty swirls over OfReg’s CORE commitment

Uncertainty remains over the extent to which Consumer Owned Renewable Energy (CORE) will play in Cayman’s National Energy Policy’s 2030 target, which calls for 70 percent of the country’s power to be provided through renewable energy.

Residential solar industry in turmoil

The future of residential rooftop solar in the Cayman Islands is under threat amid claims that regulatory missteps are causing job losses and harming the islands’ chances of meeting the goals of its National Energy Policy.

Regulator defends solar decision

Utilities regulator OfReg has stood by its decision to reduce the price offered for residential solar energy and defended itself against accusations that it has moved to slowly to renew a popular renewable energy program.

OfReg issues regulatory framework for local internet exchange points

Utility regulator OfReg has issued a determination on the regulatory framework to establish internet exchange points (IXPs) in the Cayman Islands.

Flow lines cut: OfReg ‘gravely concerned’ by loss of service

OfReg CEO Malike Cummings has said he is "gravely concerned" by the negative impact on consumers who lost telecom service over the weekend when CUC removed the Flow cable lines from its poles.

Regulator: Scrutiny has helped bring down fuel prices

Regulators believe they are making progress in bringing down consumer costs for fuel, water and electricity.

Compass parent company to acquire part of Hurley’s Media

The Cayman Compass’s parent company is in talks to acquire parts of Hurley’s Media Ltd.

Blocked OfReg report: No requirement for Speaker to verify findings

The Public Accounts Committee has voted to resubmit to the Legislative Assembly its findings on an Auditor General’s report into the operations of telecoms regulator OfReg, after Attorney General Samuel Bulgin found Speaker of the House McKeeva Bush had no grounds to block the information

Fa’amoe leaves OfReg

Alee Fa’amoe, the deputy CEO and executive director ICT at OfReg, has left his position at the utility regulator as of 25 Aug.

Consumer protection: OfReg launches internet speed test

Utility regulator OfReg is providing consumers with a new system to test the speed of their internet connections and verify whether they are receiving the level of service they are paying for.
The Caribbean Utilities Company

CUC defers price increase to 2021

CUC announced that it will push back a 6.6% price increase until next year.

New online site aims to protect buried infrastructure

A new online platform has been launched to give contractors a heads-up on any crucial underground infrastructure before they break ground.

OfReg seeks public input on consumer protection

The Utility Regulation and Competition Office (OfReg) has launched a public consultation on the long-awaited Consumer Protection Regulations for the energy and water utilities sector.

OfReg lacks legal resources to effectively regulate telecoms

Utility regulator OfReg lacks the legal expertise to address the controversies and challenges around infrastructure sharing in the telecommunications industry, the Public Accounts Committee heard last week.

Wholesalers defend fuel pricing in Public Accounts Committee

Fuel suppliers have defended their pricing before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, stating that wholesale margins are slim and high local costs are largely...

Pierson comments struck from PAC record

The Public Accounts Committee has voted to strike from the record statements made by OfReg Chairman Linford Pierson questioning the accuracy of the auditor general’s report into the operations of the regulator.

Cayman Tech City announces ‘Launch Labs’ initiative

Cayman Enterprise City’s Cayman Tech City special economic zone and the utility regulator OfReg are partnering in a new programme designed for entrepreneurs and innovators to test new technology projects, products and services.

OfReg executives grilled on fuel prices, broadband quality

OfReg’s ICT executive Alee Fa’amoe has said, based the regulator's current operational trajectory, it will be not be able to meet its mandate of getting better prices at the gas pump nor fasater internet speeds and prices within the next year or two.

OfReg energy boss: Electricity bills are dropping

Consumers using 1,000 kilowatts monthly have been paying less on their electricity bills since March, OfReg’s executive director of energy and utilities, Gregg Anderson, has said.

OfReg chairman takes aim at audit report

OfReg chairman Linford Pierson went on the offensive Wednesday, taking aim at the auditor general’s performance audit into the local regulator and questioning the report’s validity and its objectivity.

OfReg to appear before PAC

The Public Accounts Committee will resume its hearing Wednesday as its inquires into the operations of OfReg and the findings of the Auditor General’s audit into the local utilities regulator.

OfReg continues investigation of fuel prices

After the rapid decline of oil and fuel prices globally since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-March, retail gas prices have dropped by 58 cents per gallon on average. However, the regulator was not satisfied with the reduction of prices at the pumps.

Cisco donates free Wi-Fi access at 10 community sites

Global networking company Cisco donated the technology and equipment for the Wi-Fi hotspots to provide relief to the social impact caused by COVID-19.

OfReg: Audit highlights inconsistent leadership, limited governance and oversight

Utility regulator OfReg’s first three years in operation have been plagued by a lack of strategic planning, little oversight and inconsistent leadership, according to a performance audit issued by the Office of the Auditor General on Monday. The Utility Regulation and Competition Office was established in January 2017 under the Utility Regulation and Competition Law  by merging the regulatory functions of four existing organisations – the Electricity Regulatory Authority, the Information and Communications Technology Authority, the Petroleum Inspectorate and part of the Water Authority. But the lack of effective planning for the merger created problems for the regulator from the outset.

Fuel prices: Regular drops below $4 per gallon

Utility regulator OfReg’s weekly fuel price survey shows that the price of regular fuel has dropped below $4 per imperial gallon, following a sharp fall in crude oil prices since the end of February.

Consumers can expect lower gas prices

Consumers can see the first signs of the extreme fall in oil prices at the gas stations. Fuel prices began to decline marginally during the past four weeks, with the most significant reduction during the week of 16 March.

Former OfReg boss passes

J. Paul Morgan, the former chief executive officer of the Utility Regulation and Competition Office (OfReg), has died.

Fuel sector assessment starts

Economic Partners Limited, a Hong Kong-based consulting firm, has begun meetings with stakeholders to carry out an economic and competition assessment of the fuels...

OfReg seeks input on new auction scheme

The Utility Regulation and Competition Office, known as OfReg, is asking for public feedback on a new auction scheme for renewable energy.

New OfReg CEO appointed 

Former Turks and Caicos Energy and Utilities Commissioner Malike Cummings has been appointed as the new chief executive officer at utilities regulatory OfReg.
The Caribbean Utilities Company

Battery storage could mean cheaper, cleaner power

A new utility scale battery storage project could mean cheaper electricity bills and accelerate Cayman’s switch to renewable energy, regulators said Monday.

Cayman 27 among five licences suspended by OfReg

Cayman 27, which ceased operations on Friday, is not the only licensee threatened to have their licence suspended for failing to pay outstanding fees to the regulator OfReg.

OfReg suspends 5 licences, including Cayman 27’s

Cayman 27, which ceases operations today, is not the only licensee threatened to have its license revoked for failing to pay license fees to the regulator OfReg.

Final broadcast for Cayman 27

After being on television screens for 27 years, Cayman’s only local TV news station will close down Friday, 30 Aug., with the loss of 13 jobs.

Why is OfReg dragging its heels?

The world is facing catastrophic effects from climate change by the end of this century unless dramatic changes are introduced to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

OfReg fuel sector consultation period ends next week

A public consultation on the proposed consumer protection regulations in the fuel sector launched by utility regulator OfReg ends on Friday, 30 Aug.

OfReg loses decision on battle with Datalink

Justice Marlene Carter has ruled that the Utility Regulation and Competition Office, commonly known as OfReg, failed to follow the law in ruling that Datalink Ltd. could not charge reservation fees for future use of its power poles.

Rate increase for Water Authority consumers

The Water Authority and OfReg have announced a rate increase of 1.46% that will go into effect as of 1 July. That small increase is meant to account for inflation and will represent a marginal addition of approximately $1.50 per month for the average Water Authority consumer.

OfReg denies water rate increase request by Cayman Water

Utility regulator OfReg has rejected a request by Cayman Water Company to raise the price of water for customers in Grand Cayman, saying that there was no justification for the rate increase.

9 years later, still no licensing deal for Cayman Water

Some nine years after it expired, Cayman Water has still not reached a new licensing deal to serve customers in the Seven Mile Beach and West Bay areas, according to the first-quarter financial report from Cayman Water’s parent company, Consolidated Water.

Utilities regulator wants more law enforcement muscle

Some of Cayman’s communications providers did not provide information sought by the Utility Competition and Regulation Office for an investigation last year, according to the regulator’s acting CEO, Alee Fa’amoe.

OfReg and broadband

Today's editorial cartoon.

EDITORIAL – Are OfReg’s troubles ‘growing pains’ or something more?

Legislators’ narrow vote to provide supplementary funding for the Utilities Regulation and Competition Office this month should be a wake-up call for Cayman’s troubled super-regulator.

Universal broadband absent from OfReg’s 2019 plan

The Utility Regulation and Competition Office, known as OfReg, had big plans last year to improve the territory’s internet services.

OfReg’s budget continues to grow

After running a nearly $1.5 million deficit in 2017, the Utility Regulation and Competition Office, known as OfReg, increased its expenses in 2018 and will continue to do so this year.

Cayman Water, OfReg still negotiating new licensing deal

Cayman Water has yet to reach an agreement with the Utilities Regulation and Competition Office to serve customers in the Seven Mile Beach and West Bay areas, according to the 2018 annual report from Cayman Water’s parent company, Consolidated Water.

OfReg proposes rules to prevent anti-competitive behavior

The Utility Regulation and Competition Office, known as OfReg, has released a set of proposed rules designed to curtail price fixing, bid rigging, and other anti-competitive practices among the companies it regulates.

EDITORIAL – Seeking the truth about regulations on ‘truth in advertising’

It will surprise no one that, as a newspaper, the Cayman Compass strongly supports advertising. We also support “truth in advertising.” But at this moment, we are unsure about the Utility Regulation and Competition Office’s proposed regulations on truth in advertising.

CUC will buy more renewable energy, but pay lower rates

The amount of renewable energy the Caribbean Utilities Company can purchase from residences and businesses has been increased, but the rates CUC will pay for that energy has been lowered.

Auditor finds vast differences in pay to board members

From the port boss who receives just $150 per meeting to the utilities director who is paid more than $50,000-a-year, an auditor general’s investigation found vast disparity in the pay handed out to the men and women appointed to the boards of some of the Cayman Islands’ most important institutions.

EDITORIAL – What we’re watching out for in 2019

As a rule, Compass editors are cautious about indulging in the temptation of attempted prognostication. However, there are some issues and themes, classified as “in progress” or “recurring,” that we expect to find ourselves writing about in the coming year.

A look back at the year that was

The year 2018 was an eventful one for the Cayman Islands.

Renewable energy company disputes OfReg over pricing

The renewable energy company Cayman OTI released a statement on Thursday disputing the characterization by the Utility Regulation and Competition Office (OfReg) that a proposed floating power plant in North Side would not produce energy at a reasonable price.

With eye on gas prices, OfReg launching fuels sector study

The Utility Regulation and Competition Office, known as OfReg, is seeking an economic consultant to analyze the territory’s fuels sector and draft an assessment, which the regulator will use to determine what rules to make for the market.

OfReg: ‘Some’ ICT licensees not meeting financial obligations

The Utility Regulation and Competition Office, known as OfReg, has issued a notice stating that “some” of the territory’s licensed information and communications technology companies are not meeting their financial reporting requirements.

Gas prices fall, but not as much as in U.S.

Gas prices reached a four-month low as of Monday, falling to an average of $4.76 per gallon, according to the latest data from the Utility Regulation and Competition Office (OfReg).

OfReg Man

Today's editorial cartoon.

EDITORIAL – What tiny Sark can teach the Cayman Islands

Since its inception in early 2017, the Cayman Islands’ Utility Regulation and Competition Office, more commonly known as OfReg, has been defined by erratic policymaking, general ineptitude, threats of violence and the incomprehensible squandering of over-budget dollars.

OfReg tight-lipped on universal broadband plan

In March, Premier Alden McLaughlin announced government’s intention to have the Utility Regulation and Competition Office (OfReg) build its own fiber-optic cable network in the underserved eastern districts, something he said was necessary given the telecommunications companies’ failure to provide broadband internet services in those areas.

OfReg and Cayman Water resume talks

After the Utilities Regulation and Competition Office (OfReg) rejected Cayman Water’s most recent proposal for a licensing deal to serve customers in the Seven Mile Beach and West Bay areas, the two parties have resumed negotiations.

OfReg rejects Cayman Water proposal

The Utilities Regulation and Competition Office, known as OfReg, has rejected Cayman Water’s most recent proposal for a licensing deal to serve customers in the Seven Mile Beach and West Bay areas, according to the third-quarter financial report from Cayman Water’s parent company, Consolidated Water.

Study: Cayman broadband among most expensive

Cayman has the third most expensive broadband internet in the Caribbean and the 12th most expensive in the world, with an average price of US$158 per month for services, according to a study released Tuesday from researchers at the U.K.-based Cable.co.uk.

OfReg consultancy expenses balloon to $2 million

From its creation in January 2017 through June of this year, the Utility Regulation and Competition Office, known as OfReg, spent nearly $2 million on consultancy and professional fees, according to records obtained from a Freedom of Information request.

Entropy: Solar plant ‘not a successful investment’

Cayman’s first commercial-scale solar plant made a positive impact on the community during its first year of operation, producing clean electricity, reducing greenhouse gas and creating jobs, according to a post-project review conducted by the Utility Regulation and Competition Office, OfReg.

This week