CUC justifies bills against regional prices

| 29/09/2021 | 77 Comments

(CNS): CUC bills in Grand Cayman may be painfully high for some customers but the company has said that it’s even worse in other countries in this region. A recent survey carried out by the umbrella body for the regional utilities, the Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation (CARILEC), shows that CUC’s rates are “very competitive”, the local power provider said in a release. CUC’s President and CEO, Richard Hew, said the high use here was the cause of what appears to be higher bills.

“Although there may be the perception that CUC has the highest rates in the region due to Grand Cayman’s high level of household electricity consumption, this independent survey confirms that most islands with a similar number of customers do not have lower rates than CUC,” Hew said.

“The survey shows CUC as having the eighth lowest cost for residential consumption of 800 kWh out of 17 participating regional utilities. The majority of the utilities with lower rates than CUC are much larger or have subsidized fuel rates. Large utilities are able to benefit from economies of scale which allow operating costs to be spread across a greater number of customers, and in some jurisdictions fuel costs are subsidized by the Government to provide for lower than market rates,” he added.

But with fuel costs making up about half of CUC bills, including fuel duties, Hew said the survey shows CUC operates efficiently and keeps operating costs down while delivering a safe and reliable service.

The average monthly bill for a CUC customer consuming 800 kWh is US$251.33, which is 30% less than the average monthly bill for customers in similar sized jurisdictions, CUC claimed in the release, adding that their customers can take steps to cut their energy use and in turn the bills.

CUC said it believes that it provides value for money and a reliable service, given that it has an average of three hours of outage time throughout a year.

The company also continues to advocate for more utility-scale renewable energy on the grid as this would bring positive benefits to the system if planned and implemented properly. The benefits include the lowering of emissions and competitive and stable rates when compared to diesel fuel.

“Of the 17 regional utility companies surveyed, CUC has the fifth highest renewable energy capacity connected to its grid,” Hew stated. “CUC’s aim is to have 25% of renewable energy on the grid by 2025 and to meet the objectives and targets of the Integrated Resource Plan and the National Energy Policy over the longer term.”

Chart showing regional rates without the utility names, as requested by CARILEC

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Category: Business, utilities

Comments (77)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Why is everyone moaning apparently incapable of dividing their bill by the kWh they used and comparing the price with other countries? It takes about the same time to do as it does to write a post complaining about cuc.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This article is so pathetic and laughable.

    “The average monthly bill for a CUC customer consuming 800 kWh is US$251.33.” Where is this and how can I live there?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Charts like this usually include a footnote quoting the source of the data. Was that a purposeful exclusion or do you really think your customers are that stupid?

    • Anonymous says:

      The chart explicitly quotes the source as Carilec and the request to keep all other members anonymous.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ahh yes this is courtesy of CARILEC the Caribbean energy producers cartel, no wonder why no names were mentioned, it’s another private club, just like the Lodge, OfReg, Cosa Nostra, Yakuza. But at least the last two I mentioned have a code of ethics.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Definitely not a Trump advocate but this definitely qualifies as “fake news”. Sorry CNS this is not meant to denigrate you, on the contrary you are to be commended for highlighting this complete and utter BS.

  5. CUC shareholder. says:

    I am ok with the rates as long as I use power wisely. Also I do not mind the dividends either!

  6. Anonymous says:

    This sounds like a case of keeping up with the Jones’s. If rate are higher in other countries that does not mean you have to raise yours to match. Thank God for monopolies, if it’s not Flow raping us on high prices and low speeds we can always trust CUC for sloppy seconds.

  7. Anonymous says:

    CUC – the cleanest dirty shirt in the hamper!

  8. it's a secret says:

    The graph should identify which country has which rate. Without it, it’s like they’re trying to hide the facts from us. Oh I get it: The ARE hiding the facts from us.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Government could easily help here by giving us a break on fuel duty.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Richard who does your PR campaign or do you construct the message all by yourself ?

    ‘CUC, just be grateful we’re not charging you more, we’ve got the power’

  11. CUC - Cunning Unreliable clueless says:

    Funny how Brac Power And Light is a superior company with better rates.

  12. Anonymous says:

    3 outages this week alone where I live and you can never get any info on how long it will take to restore.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Surely no one believes this BS.
    Funny how 9th highest becomes eighth lowest 😂
    And no one believes those figures.
    Bloated monopoly with excessive salaries and benefits .

  14. Say it like it is. says:

    So Mr Hew’s justification is that as all other regional electricity companies are ripping off their customers he can do the same.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Monopoly CUC is almost as bad as those grossly underperforming overcharging pensions ripping off pensioners

  16. Anon. says:

    “CUC’s President and CEO, Richard Hew, said the high use here was the cause of what appears to be higher bills.”

    That is bollocks.
    Look at the utility bill, fuel cost is a driving factor of the high bills.

    I am skeptical of their meter readings because there are times during the week when the meter reading suddenly jumps, I am not using any additional piece of equipment, the temperature wasn’t unusually hotter than than the day before but they want to convince me that I used an additional 10kwh? I don’t believe it.

    Now they have down away with the use of solar panels, what are our options now?

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not bollocks. Our all in price per kWh is considerably lower than comparable islands and even major industrial countries like Germany. If your bill is high it’s because you use a lot.

      • Anonymous says:

        so say Germany is higher without taking into consideration their much more advance social programs is disingenuous at best.

      • Anonymous says:

        Don’t want to be like Germany. They are about to run out of power.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ok CUC employed statistician, we believe you, we really do…(says as fumbling around in the light switch) Now where’s that damn carrot again?

        • Anonymous says:

          Nope. Not even a shareholder. Now why don’t you figure out your cost/kWh and Google the price in USVI/Hawaii/Germany/UK Etc. You won’t of course because you’d all rather whine about it but the simple fact is you’re wrong. CUC prices are comparable with many major countries, far cheaper than similar islands, more expensive than the US.

    • Anonymous says:

      A place where there is NO consumer advocacy group, Cayman.

      The Wild West of Captalism.

      And still we sit, gripe and take it!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Solar and NET METERING. Full stop.

    • Anonymous says:

      Turkeys don’t vote for Xmas. Profiteering and they’ve got us all stitched up.

    • Anonymous says:

      Solar yes. Net metering no.
      Non producers cannot subsidise the cost of distributing your solar power. The wholesale (solar producer) price for power cannot be the same as the retail (consumer) price.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wish my meter would stop, go backwards even

  18. Anonymous says:

    Post other Utility names so someone can at least verify the information otherwise it’s just a make believe chart and invalid argument.

  19. Anonymous says:


    Imagine living just north of the equator, 24/7/365 sunlight basically and complaining about fuel prices. lol!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Solar is not 24/7 so don’t forget the giant batteries, just sayin’.

    • Anonymous says:

      24? You need to get out more pal.

    • Anonymous says:

      24/7 Doh!

    • Anonymous says:

      Solar is a great idea until you consider the massive battery farm required to provide 24 hour electricity when the sun only shines for 12 hours. Where does electricity come from for the other 12 hours? You have to have a source and that would only mean a huge battery farm taking up acres of wetlands. Also solar is not 100% effective and that reduces the 12 hour period when sunlight is converted to electricity I would figure approx 8 hours. Can that power all the home’s and businesses in Grand Cayman ?

    • Anonymous says:

      Too long to get return on investment to make it viable for most people.

  20. Anonymous says:

    3 hours per year? Lol. Per month more like.

    • Diesel power in 2021 is mental. says:

      3hrs per year is laughable.
      Same as their ‘competitive’ pricing.
      Should be nationalised plain and simple.

  21. Anon says:

    “Although there may be the perception that CUC has the highest rates in the region due to Grand Cayman’s high level of household electricity consumption, this independent survey confirms that most islands with a similar number of customers do not have lower rates than CUC,” Hew said.”

    So – apples and oranges. The argument that we are cheaper to other similarly sized locations fails to recognise the increased economy of scale available to a company located in a high consumption location. And may very well be comparing Cayman to locations where customers live half way up a mountain, or atop a hill – and use considerably less electricity than Cayman customers. Lets use Bermuda as an example. They are ‘similarly sized’ but have a defined winter season – where ac is not typically needed.

  22. How about that? says:

    Maybe because we are a small relatively densely populated island that doesn’t have terrain issues to deal with plus we restrict or require all to be part of the grid.

    Regardless, prices still too high. Monopoly needs to be properly regulated by competent individuals with no financial ties to the utility.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Lies, damn lies and statistics…Mark Twain

  24. Anonymous says:

    CUC will always justify their cost of electricity. Yes, the highest components on the bill is fuel and energy – so why then don’t they go solar? Don’t understand how they work out the energy cost for customers? They charge a renewable energy cost to every customer – whether you have solar or not – which is not fair.

    I at one time cut off all breakers in my panel box that I didn’t need to use – nothing changed – the bill kept increasing each month.

    CUC will always blame the customers for the increase in their bills – because it is a monopoly and they have to pay their shareholders!

    • Anonymous says:

      Every new generator that is connected to Caymans grid has to be approved by OfReg. CUC cant just hook up solar and expect to be paid for it. OfReg is the main problem in my opinion.

  25. Anon says:

    “But with fuel costs making up about half of CUC bills, including fuel duties,”. And yet Cayman, through the pitiful OfReg, continues to disincentive the residential solar industry. And – let’s not kid ourselves – ‘utility scale renewable energy’ owned and operated by a corporation will charge the consumer for the capital investment and then seek to maximise profits. That is a normal corporate mandate. While residential solar seeks to lower costs and put more spending power into the hands of the consumer.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I remember a few months ago my Bill was CI $250.00, now it’s a 507.00 while consumption has not changed in the household.

    Competitve my ass, more like monopolistic robbery.

    • Anonymous says:


    • Anon says:

      Honestly I don’t understand how people can keep claiming their bills doubled within a month / a few months. I have lived in the same condo for over 6 years and my power and water bills are essentially unchanged over that entire period. In fact, month-to-month my bills are usually within a few cents +/- of each other. Granted it’s just me so I am fully able to dictate usage but frankly my consumption pattern hasn’t changed so it’s not like I’m reducing usage to keep the bills static.

    • Anonymous says:

      Do not compare the monthly bill. Compare with kwh price and kwh consumed. I had bill same for last 2 year as from 250 to 330 depend of the year.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mine has doubled since May

  27. Anonymous says:

    missed this gem

    “CUC said it believes that it provides value for money and a reliable service, given that it has an average of three hours of outage time throughout a year.”

    guess they never heard the song: “CUC – YOU GOT NO POWER”

    • Anonymous says:

      they are averaging that downtime over the years since Cayman was discovered to get 3 hours per year.

  28. Anonymous says:


  29. Anonymous says:

    Why cant the names of the other providers be shown? so it can be verified?

  30. Anonymous says:

    How about names for these other areas, personally I like utility N though!

  31. Nationalize pop says:

    Pointing out that other areas in the region also have exorbitantly priced utilities with piss poor service isn’t the stellar defence that the Management at CUC thinks it is

    If your defence for your prices is “we could be charging you more”and “in other places you’d be paying more”
    That would be equivalent to an admission of the issue

    All public utilities should be nationalised and these statements make that point even clearer

  32. Anonymous says:

    Can utility N please come here or show CUC how they achieve such low rates!!

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