Power outage affects 16,054 customers

| 19/08/2020 | 14 Comments
Cayman News Service
CUC generator

(CNS): More than 16,000, around half of CUC’s customers across Grand Cayman, were without electricity during the middle of the day Wednesday for a brief period. The power outage began at 1:37pm but was restored to customers by 2:15pm, the company said in a release. The outage was caused when when one of the company’s larger generating units experienced technical issues, triggering a shutdown and loss of generation in others, officials said.

The power outage came on the same day that CUC issued a release where it said that between January and June this year the company invested US$30 million in capital expenditures to ensure reliability of the grid. In the same release officials said that it had asked for the deferral of the rate hike announced yesterday by OfReg because of the impact of the pandemic on customers.

The COVID-19 shelter-in-place order is having a significant impact on the company’s bottom line. But even though its earnings are down 43% ($3.4 million) when compared to same period in 2019, CUC President and CEO Richard Hew said the company could still absorb the losses and manage the deferment of the customer rate increase until 2021.

“CUC is well aware that if effected in accordance with our licences, an increase of base rates in June may have been difficult for many of our customers to bear, thus the submission to OfReg to delay the implementation date,” he said.

“CUC’s ability to absorb lost revenues while facing increasing costs speaks to the financial stability of the company at the outset of this pandemic. The ability to recover revenues in the future is necessary to maintain that financial stability and to meet the company’s ongoing obligations to invest in infrastructure and provide a safe, reliable and sustainable electricity service.”

He said that CUC would continue to assist customers with reducing their bills through energy conservation and by offering extended payment plan options to those in need until the end of next month.

Meanwhile, as well as avoiding a hike increase on the base rate until next February’s bills, the company stated that the drop in the fuel factor led to a reduction of around 37% on July’s bills.

For more information about the terms of the CUC T&D Licence, the Rate Cap Adjustment Mechanism, the Energy Smart programme or the Utility Regulation and Competition Office visit the CUC website or OfReg website.

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Category: Business, utilities

Comments (14)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Sending a message to remind us who really has the power around here.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Did ANYONE see a 37% decrease in their CUC July bills? Im beginning to wonder if they are talking about people who tried to reduce their consumption because in all these months of consistent 1000kwh consumption, my bill has only reduced by 10% and that was just due to slight fuel factor reduction.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Monopolies only interested in the back pocket of themselves and their shareholders. No incentive to change or improve….

  4. Anonymous says:

    CUC need to take a page from the link below and learn how to publish the facts about outages. Again, OfReg are derelict in their duty to the public by allowing CUC to remain mum on their frequent outages.


  5. Anonymous says:

    CUC – Please give more details on these incidents. I could see you experienced technical issues when the lights went out.
    – What technical issue? (be specific)
    – What immediate & planned corrective actions? (specifically)

    • Anonymous says:

      You do realise that if they allocate resources towards this, the expense will end up on your bill, right?

      • Anonymous says:

        Allocate Expense? What Expense?

        I assume they know what the ‘technical issue’ was.

        And while it may cost more letters to write ‘specifically what happened and why this made the automated system shunt power to only certain central core parts of the grid, how they restored power (faster than they themselves had predicted I may add) and what, if anything, can and is being done to avoid it in the future’, I don’t think I’ll see even a penny on my monthly bill in the extra effort it would take their PR person to take the ‘technical issue’ report from their engineers (even if its just a verbal report in your mind since you don’t want their engineers wasting time=money to write a report to their boss on why so many of their customers lost power) and repackage the key points for public release. Shoot, they can just publish their internal technical report. ‘A fuller report will be published on our website.’ How is that costing more? The public gets all the information we could want and it doesn’t cost them enough extra that you need to worry about information driving up your monthly bill.

        Or are you suggesting that we don’t want to pay anything extra to make sure that half of Grand Cayman doesn’t loose power again from a similar incident? (Assuming there is anything they can do. There might not be anything practical they can do. Or maybe it will cost 12 Billion dollars. But the point is we don’t know and we can’t have an informed discussion/decision if all that is said is it was a technical issue.

  6. Anonymous says:

    A smaller profit than last year does not make it a loss!

  7. Annie says:

    So, the rate hike is deferred. i.e. the statement that CUC will “absorb the the losses” is just PR double talk.

    • Anonymous says:

      I mean, in the same way that banks deferred mortgage payments to help people bridge a difficult financial period. Businesses that have deferred payment requirements, price changes, offered extended credit terms, etc. are absorbing the real cost of cash flows to help their customers get back on their feet because they have the financial capacity to do so in the short term, which most of their customers do not.

    • Noname says:

      How can the local .gov even think about developing IT on island whereas current power provider is struggling to provide stable service is beyond me ! It seems that in cayman “2 + 2 = Fish” is perfectly valid math ! 🤣🤪🤡🎪. Hiking rates will only drive interest of companies and individuals to get away from island , as time passes we are getting ever closer to Bermuda’s rates per KW/h and that will kill the economy outright , even for financial services , construction and hotels ! I truly urge our local .gov to reconsider CUC’s monopoly , break Datalink’s monopoly on pole access at insane costs and encourage off grid high redundancy solutions !


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