FTC Decision On BL&P Application

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The Fair Trading Commission. (FTC)

Decision on the Barbados Light & Power Company Limited’s (BL&P) application to apply the results and costs of fuel hedging to the FCA. 

The Fair Trading Commission, having reviewed the Barbados Light & Power Company Limited’s (BL&P) application to apply the results and costs of Fuel Hedging to the Fuel Clause Adjustment (FCA), has moved to deny said Application.

The Commission has determined that due to the risks associated with fuel hedging, the BL&P should not be allowed to pass the cost of hedging and associated gains or losses onto the consumers of Barbados.

In addition, the Applicant has not provided enough evidence to suggest that the Barbadian public is willing to pay for the reduced volatility in fuel prices.

Following receipt of the Application on March 29, 2016, the Commission invited written submissions from interested parties, in accordance with Rule 37 of the Utilities Regulation (Procedural) Rules, 2003 (S.I. 2003 No. 104) (URPR).

Five parties, who were granted intervenor status to participate in the process, considered the Application. Several issues of concern were raised by the intervenors, including hedging risk and strategy, related administrative costs and the efficiency of the BL&P’s plant.

The Commission reviewed these submissions and also undertook a detailed analysis of the issues involved.  This included a review of regional and international fuel hedging case studies, a simulation of fuel hedging within the local market and technical considerations related to the BL&P’s overall plant efficiency.

The findings illustrate that while the implementation of a hedging strategy could reduce the volatility of fuel prices, this potential reduction is often accompanied by a high risk of hedge losses.

Also of concern to the Commission was the BL&P’s lack of vital evidence to support its application, such as a detailed hedging strategy and proof that the average Barbadian consumer would be willing to bear the costs associated with a reduction in volatility.

Copies of the Decision may be accessed online at www.ftc.gov.bb or obtained from the Fair Trading Commission, Good Hope, Green Hill, St. Michael, Monday to Friday, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Fair Trading Commission – December 29, 2016 

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