The Bahamas: Gov't confirms increases in electricity fuel charge

The Bahamas government has confirmed that the country's main electricity company will be increasing its monthly fuel charge in response to rising fuel costs, with the rate increase set to be reflected in consumers' electricity bills beginning November.

Prime Minister Phillip Davis, however, said the increases will only be temporary and are expected to come down over the next 12 to 18 months.

He said for a large majority of BPL customers who consume less than 800-kilowatt hours, the fuel charge is increasing by two cents per kilowatt hour, which will result in an increase this quarter of less than US$20 per month.

In February, BPL announced plans to increase customers' fuel charges, but the company later recalled the statement with the government describing the announcement as premature and ultimately denying the company approval for the increase.

Then Works and Utilities Minister Alfred Sears later said that BPL would have no choice but to pass on increased fuel costs to its customers through higher electricity bills unless the government provided a subsidy to the company, which it eventually did given surging fuel costs globally.

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