Residential fuel costs capped at 15 cents per kWh

| 01/07/2022 | 77 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Government has announced the start of a fuel cost credit to residents across all three islands who use between 101 and 2,000 kilowatt-hours per month capped at $0.15 per kWh, no matter how high fuel factor costs get over the summer months. Anticipating a sharp increase in power costs, the CIG has been in talks with Caribbean Utilities Company (CUC) and Cayman Brac Power and Light (CBPL) to find ways to help ordinary people save on their electricity bills.

“Like CUC and CBPL, government has been monitoring the fuel market and anticipated significant fuel price increases,” said Premier Wayne Panton. “In the past year external factors like the war in Ukraine and supply chain shortages have made everything more expensive. The result is volatility in the commodity prices and an increase in the price of oil, diesel, gasoline which has resulted in an increase in the cost of electricity.”

He explained that the temporary government assistance will be in the form of credit applied to help contain eligible customers’ fuel costs on the bill to an effective rate of 15 cents per kWh, providing cost relief and certainty to eligible customers “during the three hottest months of the year”.

CUC said that an increase will be reflected in July, which will appear on August bills, that will see the fuel charge increase to CI 20 cents per kWh, which is 4 cents higher than last month. But the government credit will kick in, lowering that fuel cost to residential customers who have a monthly consumption of at least 101kWh but less than 2,000kWh.

No matter how much higher the fuel costs go above $.015/kWh this summer, government will absorb the difference. For eligible households, electricity customers can expect to see a government assistance credit of up to $100 off their bill, depending on their consumption.

CUC President and CEO Richard Hew said CUC welcomed the arrangement. “High fuel prices are impacting energy consumers globally and it is beyond the control of CUC, government or customers,” he said. “This action by the government will bring needed relief to those persons who qualify for this programme.”

The government assistance credit will automatically be added to the bill through the CUC and CBPL
billing systems. The savings will vary by consumption, but it will assist approximately 80% of
CUC’s residential customers on Grand Cayman and almost 90% of all residential customers in
the Sister Islands, lowing utility bills for the hottest three months of summer.

“I encourage all residential consumers to check your electricity bills and if you typically consume more
than 2,000 kWh per month, this is your chance to make changes now, and start lowering your monthly
consumption so that you too come in under 2,000kWh and benefit from the savings,” said Panton.

Panton added that we are living through challenging circumstances with uncertainty all around, but as a people-driven government that was well-positioned to help people navigate the tough times ahead, PACT was doing its best to be prepared to handle possible future turbulence, including hurricanes or global economic forces.

The credit from the programme applies to energy consumed in July, August and September and billed
in August, September and October. Eligible pre-pay customers will receive a credit at the beginning of
the following month.


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Category: Business, Policy, Politics, utilities

Comments (77)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The most equitable thing to do would be to give checks to the most needy. I can afford an increase in CUC so why should I be subsidized because of market forces.

    Like indirect taxation this is highly inequitable and helps the rich more than the poor. Many low rental units pay all in for CUC. Now it is the landlords that benefit and not the poor tenants.

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  2. T Chesnard says:

    Well, how does one, calculate the Kw consumption, if you use the pay as you go service?
    There should be some forgiveness credit to those users as well? I believe there are many users of the Pay as you Go ?
    Is there a way to figure that out for ones credit ? or are we left behind

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Nice, but what about those of us just above 2000kw mark? And no, we don’t live above our means, but I am pretty sure everyone is feeling the stress of the fuel increase and could use the help.

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    • Aninymous says:

      If you are over 2000 kw that would only be very large 4 bed plus family homes, which shouldn’t be getting financial assistance anyway, a 1500 sq ft two bed for example would never go over 1200 kw a month,

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      • Anonymous says:

        What about the overpriced apartments in south sound. My house is 4 bedrooms and purchased for the same price or less than a 2 bedroom in GT.

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      • Anonymous says:

        You know nothing about what you speak!

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      • Trollie says:

        Well that’s one for the record. Would never or Should never? Grammarly.com cant help that one but common sense could possibly assist. Every situation is different, older home, less efficient appliances can top 2000kw easily. But again, lets cater to those with the newer homes, newly built $600,000 condos that have the comforts of the air conditioning running all day. Oh, look another discount while those struggling to maintain their homes cant be short on paying their CUC bill. Not well thought out as usual. Greetings from the home that will be in darkness soon. (P.S. Please post a number for NAU.)

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        • Anonymous says:

          6000sqft, 3 adults 2 kids, pool, irrigation electric car, boat workshop, ac at 78, 2300kWh/month this time of year… more like 2100 without the car. Difficult to see how I could use more! Seriously, the vast majority of homes should be WELL below 2000kWh. So although I’m caught by it, it sounds sensible enough to me.

          I’d experiment by reading the meter each day and try turning off a different ac unit/appliance/pump each day until I found whatever was sucking so much power.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you’re just above, I would suggest to cut back to make sure you end up under the limit. In addition to getting this credit relief from government, you would then also save on your other charges by using less energy too.

      Even if you’re a lot above, cutting back will also save money so might as well try.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Wear your mask.

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    • Anonymous says:

      2000kWh is a huge amount of energy. To put it in perspective that’s the amount of energy you need to drive a car about 7000 miles. If you’re using that much you either live in a massive house or are running really, really inefficiently.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thanks PACT

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Another vote-buying misdirection. The central takeaway is that PACT has allowed CUC to raise fuel factor by 20% in just one month. CUC will get paid either way, with enormous govt approved margins in years ahead and still <4% of power derived from renewable sources, this pattern will continue.

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    • Anonymous says:

      How many PACT members are CUC shareholders?

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      • Anonymous says:

        6:29, Pretty much all of Govt; hence Off-Reg was created; same across all our utilities.

      • Anonymous says:

        @ 6:29pm..The question should be, how many of these people getting discounts are CUC Shareholders..You would be surprised how many of the average Caymanians have shares in CUC but won’t mention it.

      • Anonymous says:

        How many PPM members are CUC shareholders?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Are you an idiot? What control do you think CUC has on global fuel prices? Please educate yourself before commenting with such authority!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe I ain’t very smart, but I know CUC has the power to help their customers, but they haven’t done much, if anything that I am aware of.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yep cuc must go now Dart hneeds to hurry with the WTE plant that got approved

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      • Anonymous says:

        Dart has no consideration for anyone but Dart. It’s always been like that!

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      • Anonymous says:

        I hear the price Dart is pushing for is well higher than what fuel is now. Guess burning garbage and making money all while leading to the appreciation of real estate you bought at a hefty discount isn’t cheap for the rest of us?

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        • Anonymous says:

          I hear you want a free WTE plant.

          • Anonymous says:

            I don’t know that I want an expensive one to mitigate waste management paid for by how much electricity I use, rather than how much garbage I produce.

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            • Anonymous says:

              So you don’t want what the government put out to tender then?

              • Anonymous says:

                The government tender has little to do with the revenue stream structure. There are myriad options that could provide the facility with the revenues needed but be more equitably assessed on the basis of how persons and entities contribute to the waste problem.
                Sticking it on peoples’ light bills for the all in energy cost plus waste management costs makes the assumption that high energy use = high waste contribution.

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    • Anonymous says:

      That’s right CUC should bring down the global price of oil. Jeez this place.

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    • Anonymous says:

      WRONG. CUC Did NOT raise the fuel factor. Fuel prices went up and these costs are passed straight through to consumers.

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      • Anonymous says:

        So why cant CUC absorb the increases as a benefit to customers during this period of inflation?

        • Anonymous says:

          That’s like asking why don’t the gas stations sell high cost gasoline at a loss so it won’t take$100 to fill your tank until the prices come down.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I am very pleased that there is a cap on this. It encourages people to consider their usage and really think if they need their air con on such a low temperature. We’ve not even had our air con on yet this year. By opening doors and windows and using fans, its completely possible to stay cool enough and keep your bill under $100. In the hottest months we will have to turn it on, but still, our thermostat will be set no lower than 83 and we’ll try to keep it higher than that.
    Better for the environment and better for your wallet.

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  7. Anon says:

    So the tax paying public is subsidizing CUC share holders profits ?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly.
      Don’t forget the shareholders and the politicians live in the same neighbourhood and eat in the same restaurants.

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    • Anonymous says:

      @6:02:
      Shhhh!! You were not supposed to tell the Emperor the truth about his new clothes!

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    • Anonymous says:

      The “regular people” will still end up paying. Either directly to CUC or to the CIG in the form of higher indirect taxes, higher debt or reduced investment in our public infrastructure. The money to fund this program has to come from somewhere.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Ummm, no. The taxpaying public is subsidizing the cost of fuel, which is passed through separately on utility bills, and has no effect on CUC profits.

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    • Anonymous says:

      @6:02pm You do realize that most people have shares in CUC not just politicians and millionaires. I wish there was a way to see their shareholdings and you would be surprised how many local Caymanians have shares but still complain. My father bought me a small amount when I was 17 as my graduation present. I still have them and I will turn 40 this year and I am as Caymanian as you can get and my husband and myself aren’t millionaires by any stretch.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Two adults live in our house, we only use Ac in two of the bedrooms and not in the other part of the house, since we spend most of the time in the bedrooms where the Ac is – the lights are off in the other part of the house. We don’t put on the outside lights, we turn off the water heater and turn it on when we have to use it, also, turn the breaker off for the dryer and also for the stove – but yet, every month our kwts increase.

    I don’t think it is fair to cut it off at 2000 Kwts – everyone needs help.

    The best thing to do, is waive the duty on fuel that CUC has to pay government,that should help the cost go down and everyone will benefit.

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    • Anonymous says:

      If you are using 2000 + a month you live in a mansion with a.c 24/7 at a cold setting & have a pool with loads of outside lighting. Two fridge freezers plus wine cooler (or cellar). They should not need help if they can afford that.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I’m with you on this. Same at my house. We still try with the a/c but I gave up the cold showers 🙂

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    • Anonymous says:

      @11:50pm..How the heck can just two bedroom get your bill up over 2000kwh. That is absolutely ridiculous! Either your AC needs servicing, your bedrooms don’t have any insulation or you are leaving the doors and windows wide open or air is escaping somewhere else. I rent and older 3 bedroom apartment in West Bay and I never go over 1300 kwh per month. How big are your bedrooms? You definitely have a serious problem as I would suspect with two regular size bedroom and a water heater you should be way below 1000kwh..

  9. Anonymous says:

    Let’s get off those dirty diesel generators please.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Well done guys. Sensible and proportionate. Thank you!

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Every little bit is appreciated PACT. Thanks.

    Now try to get CIG to trim the fat in the public service and deliver value for money.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Will someone please think of the strategists?!

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    • Anonymous says:

      9:14. That’s right. Let’s start with teachers social workers police CBC WORC DEH 911 staff and of course those pesky prison and fire officers.

      Please engage brain before posting.

      I thank the PACT government, civil service and CUC for making this happen.

      Sorry I don’t have time to be negative.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Too many of the teachers are crap, and the government schools are largely an expensive disaster. The police have largely failed to uphold Cayman’s standards and do not robustly and equally enforce the law (unless you are Skylar Mack). The prison officers are unable to control the prison, where ganja consumption and cell phone use continue to be tolerated, and are at risk in their homes in part because of the failings of our police. CBC are more interested in collecting statistics and smiley faces than protecting our borders from drugs, guns, and miscreants (reference police and prison who routinely release expatriate criminals back into the community). The fire department should be largely a volunteer force (as works very effectively across the USA) and DEH? Are they the guys responsible for the dump? You actually believe NAU and WORC are doing a great job?

        911 are however excellent. CUC too.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Get CIG to trim the fat in the public service ? Surely you jest!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Will there be any help for pay-as-you-go consumers on the Brac?

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    • Anonymous says:

      It says… every residential customer between 101-2,000 kWh. If you are in that group I assume you will be included.

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      • Anonymous says:

        You don’t understand pay as you go, or we’ve gotten bad info. Have been told there’s no way to determine kWh.

        • Anonymous says:

          What exactly do you think you are paying for with pay as you go? Brac Power and Light might not be able to predict how much you will use in your current month, but they can certainly see how much you used after the fact and apply a credit to you based on the government program eligibility afterward.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Vote buying at its best!

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Good news for residential consumers , but will need to be extended beyond the September /October consumption & billing months to continue assisting with rising cost of living & inflation.
    Government should lower the duty assessment against all fuels out of their $180,000,000 surplus.
    What is happening with the water authorities to lower costs ??
    Wayne.. what say you?

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Band aid.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Bamd aids necessary to stop the bleeding

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      • Anonymous says:

        Band aids don’t stop bleeding, they mask it.

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        • Anonymous says:

          @8:29pm what kind of band aids you buying? Try go Fosters and buy some. I know it stop the bleeding the other day when I cut my finger…healed up now too..

          FFS. Try stop being so negative. Most of us are happy for this little bit of relief. What would you have the government do? Pay for everything? Get up off your rump and go find a job and stop complaining..smh

  16. Anonymous says:

    Wouldn’t be an issue in the first place if we didn’t let them run a utility company for profit

    Utilities should be publicly owned – or at the very least publicly controlled

    You want to sell something for profit go sell knick·knack to tourists or something

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    • Anonymous says:

      Well if you let CIG run it it sure won’t make a profit – none of the publicly owned entities do, including the ones that are meant to.

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  17. Electrocuted says:

    The fuel charge is only 57% of my total bill, what about the other 5 charges listed, how much will they increase?.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Well said! Given all this talk of surplus government should be giving it back to the people by cutting gov duties on fuel, cuc bill, bank transactions,and fees to small businesses.

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