Overview


What We Do

The Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) is the regulatory authority with responsibility for the power sector in Grand Bahama. Under its regulatory jurisdiction is oversight of the Grand Bahama Power Company (GBPC).

The legislative framework which grants the authority for regulation is set out in both the Hawksbill Creek Agreement and The Operating Protocol & Regulatory Framework Agreement (Regulatory Framework) implemented in 2013. The Agreements establish the GBPA as the independent regulator of the power sector with responsibility to approve the rate structure for the utility and to ensure operational standards are in line with international prudent utility practice, throughout the industry.

Legislation

In 2013, a Regulatory Framework Agreement was established for the GBPC. The Regulatory Framework Agreement documents how electricity rates will be set for Grand Bahama and how GBPC meets its obligation to provide a appropriate level of service to its customers. The Regulatory Framework Agreement enables the GBPA to establish Performance Targets and Customer Service Standards against which the utility is measured.

Renewable & Alternative Energy


In 2015, GBPC set out to undertake an innovative approach to lowering its system peak demand, and deferring future fossil-based generation investments. The proposed plan includes:

  • The change out of all night lighting to LED technology: The new lights will replace high pressure sodium (HPS) lamps in a move designed to decrease the amount of energy consumed by street lighting on the island. This move is in keeping GBPC’s plan for improving energy efficiency, reducing carbon emissions and the use of fossil fuels.
  • The introduction of Solar PV technology: GBPC recognizes that the use of solar provides benefit to customers, partly by enabling the deferral of future capital investment in fossil fuel generation assets. Solar, when combined with a cost effective energy storage system to capture the sun’s daytime energy, can be successful on Grand Bahama, where they have the ability to release the stored energy during the night when the island’s energy demand is at its highest. Areas being investigated include the East End of Grand Bahama and the Industrial area.
  • Provide customers throughout Grand Bahama with the ability to generate/sell electricity to the grid, using renewable sources of energy, through the development of GBPC’s new Renewable Energy Rider rate. This rate allows for customers to supply energy generated from energy sources such as Solar PV, Wind turbine or other forms of renewable energy to the grid.
  • GBPC has introduced biofuel as a source of energy with the utilization of biofuel in GBPC’s diesel vehicles in January 2016. Initially a 20% biofuel, 80% petroleum blend will be used. Biodiesel will also be used in GBPC’s generation equipment at lower concentrations as the volume of biodiesel produced permits in 2016.
GBPC renewable energy and generation deferral plan

Tariffs & Protocols


GBPC is required to submit an application for rate approval to the GBPA every three years, in accordance with the Regulatory Framework.

The “All-In” rate paid by Grand Bahama Power customers is comprised of two parts:

i) The Base Rate which reflects GBPC's operating expenses, depreciation of capital assets, and return on capital investment.

ii) The Fuel Charge is the actual cost of fuel used to generate electricity and is a full pass-through mechanism which generates no profit to the utility.

The Grand Bahama Power Company has four classes of customer tariffs:

  • Residential
  • Commercial
  • General Service Large/Industrial
  • Temporary

Service Standards and Operating Protocols
As part of the established Regulatory Framework, GBPA has authority to establish Performance Targets and Customer Service Standards for the utility. GBPC is required to report to GBPA on the Performance Targets and Customer Service Standards on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis.

The Grand Bahama Port Authority’s Statement regarding Grand Bahama Power Company’s 2021 Tariff Application

Date: October 19th, 2021

The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) as the regulatory authority with responsibility for the power sector in Grand Bahama and oversight of the Grand Bahama Power Company (GBPC), has received a tariff application on September 23, 2021. As per the regulatory framework agreement, the GBPC is required to submit a filing for a rate case application which should include a capital budget presentation, five-year capital budget forecast, comprehensive plans on major operations, depreciation and maintenance expenses.

As part of the consultation process, GBPA will provide public access to the rate plan proposal on our website and in local media. As regulator, the GBPA will execute due diligence and hold the utility to the highest level of accountability, in order to ensure fiscal responsibility and appropriate investment is balanced with world class customer service standards and reliability. GBPA will also conduct a 45-day public consultation process on the application prior to its final decision being made.

We wish to explicitly state that submission of a rate case and GBPA’s initial review by no means indicates that the application has been approved, but is a necessary part of a clearly outlined regulatory process. As per the regulatory framework agreement requirements, GBPA will thoroughly review the application in detail and provide a decision to GBPC no later than December 1, 2021. We understand that reliability of energy supply is a key component to satisfying customers, and we also recognize the electric utility’s need to lessen the dependence on fossil fuel and diversify its energy profile by increasing energy efficiency through renewable energy sources.

The Grand Bahama Port Authority On The Grand Bahama Power Company Rate Case Application 2022

Date: January 4th, 2022

The Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) in its regulatory capacity with responsibility for the power sector in Grand Bahama and oversight of Grand Bahama Power Company (GBPC), has been conducting a 45-day public consultation on GBPC’s rate application.

As part of its due diligence and engagement with key stakeholders, including a virtual town hall meeting and ongoing discussions with GBPC, additional matters and revisions have been tabled which necessitate further deliberation.

The regulatory committee is extending the review period for a period of 14 days, ending on January 14, 2022 at which time a final decision will be rendered and communicated.

The Grand Bahama Port Authority On The Grand Bahama Power Company Rate Case Application 2022

Date: January 17th, 2022

The Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) in its regulatory capacity with responsibility for the power sector in Grand Bahama and oversight of Grand Bahama Power Company (GBPC), has completed its review of the GBPC rate case application 2022-2024.

GBPA received the tariff application on September 23, 2021, as per the Regulatory Framework Agreement and commenced its initial review.   As part of its due diligence, GBPA conducted a 45-day consultation exercise which included publishing the GBPC rate case application, engaging the Government of the Bahamas, key stakeholders, and the hosting of a virtual town hall meeting. 

 At the end of the consultation period the GBPA Regulatory Committee advised that as a result of its due diligence, public engagement and ongoing discussions with GBPC, additional matters and revisions had been tabled, which necessitated further deliberation and extended the review process for an additional 14 days ending January 14, 2022.

GBPC’s originally filed rate case application requested an average base rate increase of 6.3%. Based on GBPC’s filing, the main factors contributing to this increase are hurricane insurance expense, and amortization of regulatory assets deferred due to hurricanes Matthew and Dorian.

The GBPA Regulatory Committee reviewed the application, taking into consideration the concerns expressed by residents and stakeholders during the consultation process, and have actively adjusted the original filing following intensive discussions with GBPC. GBPA worked diligently with its utility expert consultant and GBPC, which resulted in a revision of the original application. We are pleased to say the final filing has resulted in notably decreased numbers, with a reduction to 53% of the original filing.   

 On January 14, GBPA communicated its approval to GBPC of the revised application and reduced base rate increase to 3.3%. Furthermore, the implementation of any increase has been deferred to April 1, 2022, to ease the rollout impact for customers.  GBPC, in their projected 5-year plan has committed to 15% of its generation from renewable sources by 2026 and proposes to invest over $80M in capital improvements, which include a 5MW solar plant, and battery storage, as well as other improvements in generation and transmission and distribution.

The Regulatory Committee also advised that they will be working with GBPC to utilize feedback from its consultation process to ensure continuous improvement in customer service metrics that will further protect the interests of customers and hold the utility to additional stringent levels of accountability. These metrics will be published on the regulatory website and reported on quarterly. 

GBPA takes seriously its regulatory obligation to act in the best interest of customers while understanding the need to balance having a healthy utility able to provide reliable, cost effective and efficient power to meet the island’s needs and future growth. 

Residential & Commercial Billing


Residential Tariff

    Availability Available in all territories served.
    Application For all domestic purposes in private residences, multi-family units, condominiums and apartments.
    Character of Service Continuous alternating current of approximately 60 hertz, single-phase, 3-wire, at a nominal service voltage of either 120/240 volts or 120/208 volts as available at the point of delivery.
    Limitation of Service All service required by customer for domestic purposes, including air conditioning or electric space heating shall be supplied through one meter. This service may not be used for other purposes.
    Deposit
    1. For a new location, the security deposit is based upon the electrical specification. The minimum security deposit for a residential customer is $500.
    2. Where the location is not a new one but has a history, the deposit is calculated as two times the average bill.
    3. After one year, if a customer applies for a review of their security deposit based on their actual energy usage and payment history, the deposit is recalculated and if applicable, any amount over $500.00 is refunded.
    Monthly Bill Computed in Bahamian currency in accordance with charges for energy, fuel, and minimum fees.
    Energy Charge

    First 350 kilowatt-hours 18.39 cents per kilowatt-hour

    Next 450 kilowatt-hours 21.35 cents per kilowatt-hour

    Additional kilowatt-hours 25.02 cents per kilowatt-hour

    Fuel Charge The actual cost of fuel used to generate electricity. This is a full pass-through mechanism which generates no profit to the utility.
    Minimum Bill $10.00

    Commercial Tariff

    Availability Available in all territories served.
    Application For lighting, power and other purposes for commercial, light industrial, institutional, and other services exclusive of residential.
    Character of Service Continuous alternating current of approximately 60 hertz, single or 3-phase, available at standard nominal secondary service voltages in accordance with the company's "General Rules and Regulations for Electric Service" for permanent accounts.
    Limitation of Services All service required by customer shall be furnished by one meter to each building, premises, property, or group of properties under one ownership or management.
    Deposit

    Security deposit quotes:

    1. For a new location, the security deposit is based upon the electrical specification. The minimum security deposit for a commercial customer is $800.
    2. Where the location is not a new one but has a history, the deposit is calculated as two times the average bill.
    3. After one year, if a customer applies for a review of their security deposit based on their actual energy usage and payment history, we would recalculate and if applicable, refund any amount over $800.00.
    Monthly Bill Computed in Bahamian currency in accordance with charges for demand, energy, fuel, and minimum fees.
    Demand Charge First 5 Kilovoltamperes (kVA) of monthly maximum demand or less at $44.45 plus additional kVA of monthly maximum demand at $8.89 per kVA.
    Energy Charge

    First 20,000 kilowatt-hours 19.26 cents per kilowatt-hour

    Next 80,000 kilowatt-hours 17.88 cents per kilowatt-hour

    Additional kilowatt-hours 16.50 cents per kilowatt-hour

    Fuel Charge The actual cost of fuel used to generate electricity. This a full pass-through mechanism which generates no profit to the utility.
    Minimum Charge $44.45

    Fuel Charge


    GBPC is required to submit its Fuel Charge calculations with all supporting data by the 15th of the subsequent month to the Regulator.

    Calculation

    The actual cost of fuel used to generate electricity. This a full pass-through mechanism which generates no profit to the utility.

    Minimum Charge

    The minimum monthly charge is $44.45.

    Fuel Charge Calculation

    Like many other jurisdictions, Grand Bahama Power recovers the amount it spends on fuel through a Fuel Charge. This is an open, transparent process that is calculated in accordance with a formula approved by Grand Bahama Power's Regulator, the Grand Bahama Port Authority.

    The fuel charge is determined each month based on two factors:

    • The actual cost Grand Bahama Power paid for the fuel it is now burning; and,
    • The amount of fuel Grand Bahama Power uses in that month to produce electricity.
    • The total amount (cost x amount used) is divided by the total kWh's used on the island during that month to arrive at a cent per kWh cost (¢/kWh) that is charged to each customer.
    • 2013 Average Fuel Charge: 16.79 ¢/kWh
    • 2012 Average Fuel Charge: 20.69 ¢/kWh
    • 2011 Average Fuel Charge: 20.6981 ¢/kWh

    The amount paid for fuel is based on world oil market prices. Grand Bahama Power does not profit from the price or quantity of fuel that it uses.

    Efficiency & Reliability


    GBPC is required to report the utility’s heat rate and system losses performance on a monthly basis to the Regulator.

    Heat Rate refers to the amount of energy (measured in BTUs) required to produce one KWh of electricity; the lower the heat rate, the greater the efficiency.

    GBPC is required to report the state and performance of its Generating and Transmission & Distribution assets, on a monthly basis to the Regulator. Additionally, documentation is required to be provided on a monthly and quarterly basis.

    Reliability is measured with three indicators: SAIDI, SAIFI & CAIDI reports.

    SAIDI means "System Average Interruption Duration Index". It measures the total duration of all power interruptions (in hours) that the average customer experiences during the year.

    SAIFI means "System Average Interruption Frequency Index". It measures the average number of times that a customer experiences a power outage during the year.

    CAIDI means "Customer Average Interruption Duration Index". It measures the average duration per power interruption that a customer experiences during the year.

    Customer Service Standards


    GBPC is required to report quarterly to GBPA on the Customer Service Standards. In cases where the utility fails to satisfactorily meet the established service metrics, customers will receive written communication and a subsequent credit on their account.

    Customer Service Metrics:

    1. Restoring power after a fault, for a single customer (Target within 12 hours of being reported)
    2. Responding to customer complaints, billing and payment queries (Target within 21 days)
    3. Connect or transfer a service (Target within 3 working days)
    4. Reconnecting service after disconnection at the meter (Target within 1 working day after payment of the bill)
    5. Meter inspection
    6. Meter reading
    7. Meter testing

    Note: Monetary compensation is associated with items 1, 2, 3 and 4 if the target service level is not met.