The recent ruling by Fair Trade Commission in response to a motion by the Barbados Light & Power Company to switch to a “by all/ sell all” billing arrangement for all new customers having systems above 2kW is not meant to discourage renewable energy users.
This from Managing Director Designate Roger Blackman, despite the move, resulting in participants of the Renewable Energy Rider no long being able to benefit from cross subsidies when it is implemented next month.
Blackman, joined by other senior officials of the company during a press interview last week, called the FTC ruling a fair judgement which if not passed, could have resulted in increasing charges being applied to non-participants of the RER, who would have to, in essense, foot the majority of the fixed costs of the energy grid as those who supply it with renewable energy reap the most benefits.
“If done the right way, the [RER programme] is good for everyone. The customers who are on it, the customers who are not on it, the Utility the Government and the country [in terms of] foreign exchange savings… and by the right way I mean “buy all/ sell all” [billing arrangement]”.
Blackman says that that approach was fair to everyone, as oppose to the creation of cross subsidies which occurred under the “sale of excess” billing arrangement.
In response to accusations being leveled at the sole energy utility provider that it was attempting to stifle the renewable energy sector for its own commercial purposes, the company’s top man retorted that BL & P had been demonstrating all along by its record in facilitating the growth, that it was supportive of the Governments energy goals.
“In fact, we were proactive in introducing the RER which was somewhat unique because I don’t believe you would find another utility anywhere that has introduced a programme on its own volition as we did. Usually it is something set out by the regulator or by government”
He argued that comments relating to BL &P putting barriers in place to prevent the government from achieving its target, were not founded on any fact.
“The targets that are set appear to be, based on the plans, very achievable.. everyone does not recognise that renewable energy goes beyond the RER [which accommodate at present, primarily solar energy, with some wind energy contribution]… things like biomass, landfill-gas-to-energy, waste-to-energy… all of these together -intermittent and firm sources of energy] form that portfolio … that result in those renewable targets being met,” he said.