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Regulator approves slight bill hike and cut to Feed-In Tariff

The Regulatory Authority has approved an increase to Belco’s Fuel Adjustment Rate and decrease to its Feed-In Tariff (File photograph)

The Regulatory Authority has approved a slight increase in Belco’s Fuel Adjustment Rate which will result in a rise in energy bills.

The RA also approved a slight decrease in the Feed-In Tariff — the amount by which customers who feed their excess solar electricity into the power grid get paid by the energy company.

Effective today, the FAR will increase from $0.1836 per kWh to $0.1895 while the FIT will decrease from $0.1915 per kWh to $0.1821.

A spokesman for the RA said: "Following a thorough analysis of global fuel pricing and Belco's quarterly submissions, the RA has enacted modifications to the FAR and FIT.“

The RA added: “These adjustments align with international energy patterns and fulfil the RA's mandate of ensuring stability in Bermuda's energy landscape while safeguarding its consumers."

The modifications are part of the RA’s regular quarterly tariff review.

Belco raised the cost of electricity in Bermuda by 48.5 per cent last October, triggering outrage in the community. The rise came about after Belco sought an increase in the FAR from $0.1651 cents per kWh to $0.2451.

Then, in December, Belco announced a three-month decrease in the FAR from $0.24517 per kWh to $0.1836, until the end of March.

The regulator said its decision came after a review of Belco’s 2024 first-quarter FAR submission, indicating a decrease in fuel pricing.

The FAR reflects the total cost to purchase and deliver fuel to the Belco central plant and comprises two parts — the fuel adjustment and taxes.

Additionally, last October, the FIT was reduced from $0.2265 per kWh to $0.131 per kWh, a reduction of 42.16 per cent for residents who have installed solar panels.

According to a report on the RA website, distributed generators — customers who have installed solar panels — “have been overpaid during the period of October 2022 through to September 2023”.

The latest adjustment is unrelated to an RA investigation into Belco’s operations launched in December, which it expects will lead to a reduction in the FAR for customers.

The North Power Station, which has incurred millions of dollars of costs in remediation after emissions-related challenges on commissioning in 2020, is a focus of the investigation.

According to the regulator’s board minutes, up to $559,052.50 has been set aside by the RA to conduct the investigation.

The Royal Gazette has requested an update from the RA on the status of that investigation.

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Published April 02, 2024 at 7:58 am (Updated April 02, 2024 at 7:58 am)

Regulator approves slight bill hike and cut to Feed-In Tariff

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