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Inquiry into proposed BELCO Net Metering change

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

The Minister of Economic Development, Dr. the Hon. E. Grant Gibbons, JP MP has sought an inquiry into BELCO’s proposal to adjust the specific rate for net metering and change the Commercial Renewable System Excess Energy Rate (CSEER) Programme.

The Minister’s request for an inquiry comes under Section 5 (1) of the Energy Act 2009, and results from regulatory filings from BELCO two weeks ago.

The inquiry by the Energy Commission is intended to examine BELCO’s proposal to change the current Residential Net Metering Programme, and, assess the fairness of their proposed alternative transitional rate structures for both residential and commercial customers.

BELCO has also proposed, in their August 15th filing with the Commission, a transitional rate treatment for any new residential or commercial solar PV customer.

Dr. Gibbons stated, “I have asked the Energy Commission to carry out the Inquiry in consultation with relevant stakeholders, including BELCO and the renewable energy service providers, to ensure that various perspectives are properly considered by the Commission in the proposed changes to the existing Programme.”

The Minister asked that the results of the inquiry be submitted to him in writing by the end of September, although he allowed for an extension, if required by the Commission.

The Minister also appointed Dr. Raj Burua as a special advisor to the Energy Commission under Section 3 (3) of the Energy Act 2009 for the duration of this Inquiry, to help the Energy Commission in their work and provide some continuity with the Regulatory Authority, once the Electricity Act 2016 is brought into operation.

The transfer of responsibility for the regulation of electricity from the Energy Commission to the Regulatory Authority of Bermuda is one of the planned consequences of the Electricity Act 2016.

The full text of the Minister’s letter to the Commission can be found on the Government portal