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Belco rate rise drives Algonquin earnings

Algonquin Power and Utilities is the parent company of Bermuda’s electricity supplier, Belco (File photograph)

Rate increases at Bermuda’s electricity supplier are among items credited by its Canadian parent company for divisional earnings performance during the third quarter ended September 30.

Belco was among five subsidiary companies where rate increases drove growth in the Regulated Services division of Algonquin Power & Utilities.

The group's divisional operating profit was $246.4 million, up $17.1 million, or 7.5 per cent from the same three months last year, on a revenue increase of more than $12 million.

“Growth was driven by rate increases at Empire, CalPeco, Belco, Granite State, and Park Water,” Darren Myers, chief financial officer, said in the company’s earnings conference call.

For the entire company, a net loss of almost $175 million was reported in the quarter.

Belco upped its base rate January 1, and the fuel adjustment rate went up in July.

Irate Belco customers took to social media in September to complain about soaring bills.

The utility said at the time that high energy bills could be the result of increased temperatures and humidity over prolonged periods requiring the use of more air-conditioning.

Rates increased by about 20 per cent as of October 1 as a result of a 48.5 per cent increase in the fuel adjustment rate.

The matter is under review by the Regulatory Authority with discussions involving Belco and the Government.

For the 2023 eight months through August, Belco said “the FAR was under recovered by $5,084,816.”

The utility said in its heavily redacted September 15 request to the RA for the FAR increase, that it was primarily the result of the mix of fuel necessary to meet demand in light of existing and projected engine availability for the quarter.

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Published November 15, 2023 at 7:58 am (Updated November 15, 2023 at 7:36 am)

Belco rate rise drives Algonquin earnings

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