OfReg tries to steer CUC to reward renewables

| 28/12/2018 | 27 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): The Utility Regulation and Competition Office (OfReg) has approved changes to Caribbean Utilities Company’s terms of service that create more choices and promote the use of renewable energy. The revisions to Grand Cayman’s monopoly power provider’s service terms impacts how consumers acquire electricity and what they pay for it. Customers can continue to consume as they always have or they can switch to renewable energy and reduce their load on the grid and the island’s dependence on fossil fuel, with new rates and rewards.

Officials from OfReg said in a release Friday that consumers who are able to shift their peak demand to the new off-peak period will see decreases in their CUC bills, as the new rate structure provides for better rates for energy consumed at ‘off-peak’ times. “Customers interested in generating energy for self-supply can now elect to subscribe to CUC demand rates,” the regulator said in the release.

Customers with electric vehicles will now be able to install a separate meter for charging their cars with preferred rates. The EV charging rates along with more information will be available starting in January. Customers who wish to install renewable energy systems in their homes and businesses will be able to participate in a new demand rates, known as the Distributed Energy Resources (DER) programme, where the demand rates are market-driven. Consumers can also install batteries for energy storage.

Any excess energy that customers do not use for self-supply can be sold back to the grid more competitively and without being cross-subsidised, keeping electricity rates as low as reasonably possible.

OfReg’s Acting CEO and Executive Director, Energy and Utilities, Gregg Anderson, said this was one of the first steps to reducing dependence on diesel-generated electricity. “As more people move to renewable energy generation and practice better demand management, CUC’s overall fuel consumption reduces, which helps to bring down the price of energy for everyone,” he said.

“Distributed Energy Resources (DER) will continue to play a bigger role in the islands’ resiliency, since poles and wires are the most fragile part of the transmission and distribution system. After disasters, solar and storage offers one of the best means of ensuring that consumers have power,” he added.

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Comments (27)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Two words in response to that headline – ‘Never happen!’ Over the past decade CUC’s opposition to any kind of alternative energy sources has been so well documented it’s going to take a lot more than OfReg to change them.

  2. Anonymous says:

    There are several “Lodge” comments here. There is a lot of truth to that, but once a man joins the Lodge, he becomes a follower of an agenda and he pretty much loses his identity.
    Look beyond the Lodge and you will see the real bosses around here. Lodge has been a real con job. Making perfectly decent men into lemmings.
    Unfortunately, after drinking the Kool-Aid, they start to believe the lies.
    Wake up lads.

    • Anonymous says:

      I know right, all these comments about lodge this and lodge that , this new obsession with all things lodge apparently, most of these people don’t even know what they are talking about.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wonder who blackballed you?

  3. Anonymous says:

    when are the “off peak” times CNS?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Any chance of government helping by reducing import duties on solar panels and related batteries?

    • ThIs WrItInG Is VeRy IrRiTaTiNg says:

      Solar panels are duty free.

      • Anonymous says:

        Good news. Did not know that. Thank you.

      • Duty free for residential use, but not for commercial, or at least that’s how it was.

        • Anonymous says:

          SO? Or are you going to argue that the commercial solar producer, once they have a tax exemption for their panels for commercial purposes, are going to somehow pass the exemption back to the secondary power consumers? I’d like to see the maths on that explanation.

          At some point we have to accept that Government can’t make everything free. (Someone has to pay for something somewhere.)

  5. Anonymous says:

    Government please stop wasting our money on OfReg. Shut them down.

  6. Anonymous says:

    OfReg can’t even steer themselves.

  7. Arthur Rank says:

    Well if the CIG is serious, it needs to start with the contractual arrangements between CIG and CUC. If I remember correctly (and thats questionable!) the CUC is rewarded for the overall capacity, as well as usage charges, if so, thats a recipe for waste, not renewables. Then there is the way they treat those that DO install renewable capacity, things may have changed, I hope so, but time was when they charged people for supplementing their electricity with say, solar, rather than rewarding them for supplying. These Islands are fully capable of creating all of their needs from solar and wind, few places on earth are better blessed in this respect. If CIG were sincere in the comments above then they would actively encourage every building to have solar panels, and a wind farm in a part of the Island that has space, that means the eastern end, The requirement for diesel generation would then be reduced to supplemental needs, not total supply, this will never happen so long as the CUC is rewarded for capacity!

    • Anonymous says:

      And will never happen as long as CI Government refuses to relinquish duty on diesel used by CUC.

      • Arthur Rank says:

        And, forgive me for even suggesting it, but does CUC have any other kind of hold or influence? Just asking!

  8. Cyril says:

    What about net metering? WIll we continue to pay for importing Diesel for our solar cells?

  9. Anonymous says:

    wow….ofreg does something….how many consultant reports did that take???
    asked before, how many lodge members in ofreg???

  10. Overpaid Blowhards says:

    All OfReg really have done is to allow CUC to dictate their price structure and conditions of owning renewable energy infrastructure which only pays dividends to the independently wealthily. Until OfReg dictates a new precedent setting regime where the masses can afford to install renewables by way of more attractive incentives then CUC will still be wagging OfReg’s tail. Furthermore, if OfReg was proactive and had a concrete, sustainable plan, (that’s a stretch), for Cayman’s transition to majority renewables it would see CUC as just a licence holder and not an all encompassing driving force in regards to our future energy needs.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Translation: We will find a way to make you pay more for energy, very likely by telling you that you are the reason the climate will destroy the earth.

  12. Anonymous says:



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