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CUC’s Use of Renewable Energy Up 250%

renewable energy, Cayman News Service

CUC power plant, North Sound Rd

As Caribbean Utilities Company published its financial results for the first quarter of 2018 this week, Grand Cayman’s power provider has also revealed an increase in renewable energy use on the grid from 1 million kilowatts to 3.5 million kilowatts — a 250% jump from the same period last year. The company’s residential customer base increased by 2% and sales were up 3% but CUC profits fell. This has been attributed to a change in the way large commercial customers are billed and officials say they will be seeking intervention from the regulator to recover this loss.


In the quarterly report CUC said the revenues from large commercial clients fell under the newly introduced demand rate and were less than what would have been billed under the previous energy-only rate.


“The introduction of the demand rates for the large commercial customers, to be phased in over a three-year period, was intended to be revenue neutral and, with the early indications that they are not, the company has written to the Utility Regulation and Competition Office (OfReg) to request a recovery of the shortfall and an adjustment in the rate going forward,” the report stated.


The customer base grew to 29,273, an increase of 509 customers compared to 2017, but the firm suffered a $1.8 million decline in net earnings when compared to the three months ending March, falling from $4.5 million to $2.7 million as a result of a number of factors, including the demand-rate billing.


President and CEO Richard Hew said the local economy continues to grow and the firm was in line with its plan were it not for the demand billing.


“The demand rate is intended to be revenue neutral and the shortfall is expected to be recovered in the future,” he said. “The company continues to execute on its five-year $219 million Capital Investment Plan to increase the reliability of the electricity system and to meet the demands of the growing economy.”


Hew said that capital expenditures during the first quarter of this year were $8.3 million and included distribution system extension and upgrades, generation replacement costs and LED street lighting replacement.


“I am also pleased to see the growth in renewable energy as we strive towards our goal of 25% renewable energy on the grid by 2025,” the firm’s president said. “The company remains focused on delivering a safe, sustainable and reliable service to its customers while at the same time improving efficiency and managing costs.”




Category/ies:Articles, Cayman Island Article, Cayman Island News, Energy Efficiency, News, Renewable Energy.
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