CUC remains on track for profitable year

| 01/11/2021 | 44 Comments
CUC crews working to restore power after TS Grace

(CNS): Caribbean Utilities Company’s net earnings for the third quarter in 2021 dipped slightly when compared to the same period last year, but the US$300,000 drop has done little to dent the revenue so far for the year, which is running at more than US$3.3 million over 2020. While there was a slight fall in operating income, given the current situation regarding the pandemic and the border closures, the monopoly power provider on Grand Cayman has shown signs of resilience, with another increase in its customer base from 30,895 customers this time last year to 31,964, and an increase of 245 customers compared to the previous quarter.

While many people on Grand Cayman struggle to pay their power bills in the current economy, shareholders continued to do well. However, the company is now facing a number of challenges in addressing the need to reduce its dependency on fossil fuels.

Although the CORE programme is continuing to generate slight increases in green energy, CUC needs to make some dramatic changes to how it generates power. The company has been targeting an increase in solar generation and switch to gas, which, although less polluting, is not a renewable resource and has recently soared in price as a result of major supply chain problems.

CUC said it is continuing to work on increasing renewable energy connected to the grid in accordance with its Integrated Resource Plan, which recommends pursuing natural gas as a diesel fuel replacement and increasing the use of renewable energy for up to 60% of the electricity needs by 2037.

Talking about this last quarter for the company, President and CEO Richard Hew said CUC had dealt with the impact of Tropical Storm Grace while simultaneously navigating the uncertainty and myriad challenges presented by the pandemic. The company continues to monitor the Cayman Islands Government’s plans to reopen the borders to the tourism industry and to prepare for any related increase in electricity demand, including the mitigation of recently heightened global supply chain risks, Hew said.

CUC is also said to be actively engaged with the Utility Regulation and Competition Office (OfReg) on the issue of green energy and rising fuel costs on customers’ bills.

Renewable energy purchases for Q3 2021 totalled $1.6 million, an increase of $0.2 million when compared to renewables purchases of $1.4 million for Q3 2020. The cost for energy sourced from both CORE and BMR Energy are passed through to consumers on a two-month lag basis with no mark-up.

Renewable energy purchases for the nine months ended September totalled $4.4 million, an increase of $0.5 million compared to $3.9 million for the same period last year

CUC said that the Average Availability Index for this period, despite the outages surrounding TS Grace, was still 99.96%.

See the full results here.


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Category: Business, utilities

Comments (44)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Of course they made a profit – it’s a monopoly protected by the state.

    Would have likely gone bust if this was a Uk based competitive company with a consumer price cap in place.

    But CUC will always make a profit because there is no cap on them passing increases costs onto customers.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Why am I not happy for them, oh yea my exorbitant bill. While profits roll in the average person has to cut back on food to pay this monopoly.
    Do me this one favor CUC, cut the advertising budget completely, no tv, newspaper or radio ads. It’s not like Cayman consumers can go elsewhere.
    Stop wasting our money and find ways to make electricity cheaper.

  3. Anonymous says:

    They should! Especially when they are taking a “deposit” from property owners for service. They justify it by saying this is in the case of non-payment. Oh, and the icing on the top is you get it back when you terminate your account. I thought you could only terminate your account if you no longer own the property and for the account to be transferred to the new owner, all outstanding balances should be paid. My question is; is it legal to require a deposit for property owners? I completely understand for persons renting. Let’s say they forcefully take $130 from the 31,293 customers they reported last year, that over $4 Million dollars of free money. You either pay them or live without electricity.

  4. David says:

    CUC will always win.

    They are not for renewable energy, they are only going towards that path because the whole world is and they have to, however they are not being fair.

    I tried to build my house totally off the grid the legal way, was ready to bring a company from the uk to fly in and install my off grid battery system ( before covid ) also i may add i only looked over seas because local solar companies quoted me 98 grand and above for a 12 KW system with 2 batteries and back up generator which would still be connected to CUC. The price I got from the uk for a totally off grid system was 32 grand.

    Then when i went to planning i was met with all kinds of walls, i needed solar plans, when i tried to get those, they said they must be drawn by a local company, reached out to local solar companies, non of them would draw me plans unless i got their system with them. total scamm, XXXX they do their best to not get you to go off grid!

    Anyways my house is 70% off the grid now and i did it all myself, i barely pay over 50 dollars monthly cuc bill. If i can do it you can do it too!

    CUC are not for the people!!

    • Sunshine says:

      Hey David how did your get your solar plans approved locally? Do you have the U.K. company name or website?

      • david says:

        I got my whole system from energy-solutions (dot) co (dot)uk. when I purchased the system cayman still implemented duty free on all solar equipment however I’m not sure if that’s still the case. I basically have my regular circuit connected to cuc and a completely separate system for A/C, HOT water, refrigerator, washing machine and some outlets and lights incase of power outages I dont even have to switch off the main breaker since its a completely system, I made my electrician install a totally separate system while the house was being constructed and managed to hide it through inspections. I didn’t go to planning i have a great electrician friend who helped me install everything. If your not thinking of selling your property and willing to take the risk go for it like I did!

        • Anonymous says:

          I didn’t go to dot anyone, I have foam insulated roof space, use gas for cooking, water heating and dryer for laundry. I use A/C in bedrooms only set at 79.
          Gas is comparatively inexpensive and elec bill reasonable.
          The more you use the more you pay. It ain’t CUC’s fault., use less , pay less.

    • Anonymous says:

      You don’t need a rip off local solar company to do your electrical or structural plans or install. I bought my system in from the us but had a local structural and electrical engineer draw up my plans for bcu. Iirc Cost about a grand each. Plenty of good electricians around to do your install and get you through bcu inspection. It was fairly easy actually and the inspector was also helpful.

      • David says:

        Hi, I had plans drawn up from a company in the USA, paid about 800 dollars each, when I submitted them to planning I was told that I needed a local company to draw and submit so I reached out to local solar companies, I never even though of going to my electrician since I was told they had to be separate from the regular electrical drawings.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds like your issue is with Planning and local solar companies?

    • Anonymous says:

      Local solar companies are useless! They know nothing about tech specs etc and just want to install and run. Ask more than two questions about what you’re paying for and they move on to the next sheep customer who will pay without knowing what they’re actually getting for their money!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Wait, a for profit company made a profit? Well I’ll be damned.

  6. Anonymous says:

    CUC should be ashamed to even mention that they made a profit – while robbing their customers pockets. Every month my bill has been going up since April. I have reduced the electricity that I use – but it still increases when I get my bill.

    My bill is almost as much as my mortgage payment!

    Government has to do something in regards to this monopoly!

    Not everyone can afford to buy shares or buy solar.

    • Anonymous says:

      A quick look at their 2020 financial statement shows net earnings of $26m on $177m of sales… or 14%. Hardly robbing anyone. That’s after they’ve paid CIG $4.3m in fees and $11m in fuel duty. Doesn’t seem unreasonable. The rates are comparable with most industrialised countries and far lower than many comparable islands.

      • Anonymous says:

        26 million that could have gone to be used by CIG for the public good & investment in updating our energy systems to instead of siphoned away to shareholders.

    • Anonymous says:

      You have a job I take it, you provide a service to your employer, you work for free..?
      Perhaps you work for what it costs to get to work, or, perhaps you make a profit to pay your expenses…?

  7. Byrd says:

    Yes CUC always Wins !

  8. Anonymous says:

    Thats just Sad. Whats best for the people is always secondary to profit on this island. Shame.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Break the monopoly or nationalize the plant

    • Anonymous says:

      Do that and it will become a run down inefficient expensive civil service run disaster.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Apparently OfReg has told Cayman Water they want to reduce their retail water rates, yet the primary cost to produce desalinated water is electricity produced by CUC lol

    • Anonymous says:

      Energy cost is separated out on the bill and “passed through” to the customer. Same thing is done by CUC themselves, and the other water company, so whatever OfReg is telling Cayman Water about their base rate is unrelated to CUC rates.

    • Anonymous says:

      yes but if you dig into the rules and rates a bit you’ll find cayman water (and WAC) are screwing everyone. For starters Cayman water is 10% more expensive for no reason whatsoever.

      Secondly they charge an energy factor which is a fixed kwh amount per gallon of water. It fluctuates with the cost of power…but does not reflect the ACTUAL power consumed to make that water. It’s much more and highway robbery!

  11. Anonymous says:

    So the monopoly that is allowed to adjust rates to costs made a profit again?? Those are some incredible managers.

  12. Anonymous says:

    CUC loses money said the news channels never

  13. Anonymous says:

    everyone hates monopolies, especially enery co monopolies.

    A$$holes.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Finally some good news! Thank goodness CUC is doing so well. We can all sleep easier now.

    • Anonymous says:

      LOL

    • Say it like it is. says:

      3.07pm The shareholders certainly can, but not those whose power has been disconnected.

      • In-depth says:

        We are all shareholders in many ways through private and public pension funds. I’m happy that they make a reasonable profit, as it secures my pension. I have no plans to live in the dark and I can’t afford the up front finances to live off grid. However, CUC needs to invest profits into the latest battery technology like Australia,California, and the UK to reduce cost and improve grid reliability.
        It’s fairly obvious that the people who can afford to go off grid can afford to pay the current rates. Don’t be fooled they are not your friend..Think

    • Anonymous says:

      I leave my lights on even during the day, just to help their profits

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