Light and power company is warning consumers to brace for an increase in power bills due especially to the relentless invasion attempt by Russia at Ukraine.
The electricity company made the announcement via news release. The following is the statement by Fortis:
The ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict continues to affect the supply and cost of fuel worldwide, and significant increases in fuel prices are expected to continue in the upcoming months. This translates into higher electricity bills.
We empathize with the challenges customers are facing due to higher electricity bills at this time. While the cost of fuel is beyond our control, we want to help ease the burden as much as possible. We remain committed to keeping customers informed about these global trends.
Customer notices were issued back in April, and information was shared via mainstream media channels on these developments. At the time, we also shared that our fuel supplier, Sun Oil Ltd, projected further increases in the cost of fuel in the months ahead, and this has now become a reality for utilities and customers. These higher fuel costs are reflected in the fuel factor rate on customer electricity bills.
Fuel Factor Rate Increases
Due to fuel price increases in the month of May, the fuel factor for Grand Turk and Salt Cay customers increased from $0.1672 to $0.2053, and from $0.1962 to $0.2405 for Providenciales, North and Middle Caicos customers, respectively. These represent an increase of 23%, which are reflected on June electricity bills.
For example, if the fuel factor on May's bill was $100, this would change to $123 on June's bill, provided that the customer's consumption remained the same month over month.
The fuel factor rate for customers on South Caicos was $0.2299 in May and an increase in the rate is also expected. The fuel factor rate is calculated monthly as outlined in the Electricity Ordinance. As FortisTCI is a regulated electricity company, the fuel factor rate is sent to the TCI Government’s Energy and Utilities Commissioners Office each month for authentication.
What To Expect In The Months Ahead
Based on the latest information received from our fuel supplier, the cost of fuel will rise significantly over the next several months, which will cause a further increase in the fuel factor and ultimately an increase in electricity bills. Similar to the rising prices at gas stations, grocery stores, and across other sectors, the utility industry is also recording the same upward trend due to global market factors.
In addition, we are now in the summer months and higher temperatures at this time of the year may affect electricity costs. Higher temperatures can mean increased use of air conditioning, which is the biggest consumer of electricity in the home.
Customer Support Measures
The following measures are now in effect:
No penalties on late payments during the months of July and August 2022.
No disconnections for balances less than 60 days overdue from July to August 2022.
Payment plans on a case-by-case basis.
To further assist customers, FortisTCI will launch a series of interactive online educational sessions on how to manage energy use.
We encourage customers to keep track of their electricity use by signing up for My Online Account. Visit www.fortistci.com to register. My Online Account allows customers to set budget limits on their electricity usage and receive alerts when their consumption limit is approaching.
We believe that renewable energy is a pathway to lower energy costs and we are working with TCI Government to implement supportive regulations. As your partner in energy, we will continue to expand our renewable energy programs and reduce our dependence on diesel fuel.