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Light, phone rate hike

Published:Tuesday | February 2, 2010 | 12:00 AM


Electricity and phone rates are set to increase in Barbados from March 1, nine months after a sizeable increase in water rates. The hike in electricity costs follows the approval by the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) for the Barbados Light and Power Company (BL&P) to adjust its rates upwards for the first time in 26 years.

Under that ruling, BL&P will increase its rate of return on rate base from 6.01 per cent to 10 per cent, meaning consumers on the lower end of the scale could be billed between US$1.50 and US$5.50 more per month, depending on usage. The electricity company had been seeking a 10.48 per cent increase. FTC Chairman Sir Neville Nicholls said the regulatory body approved the increase after examining the company's operating and maintenance costs.