WITHIN two months, the public will be invited to comment on the rates charged for electricity supply, revealed Regulated Industries Commission (RIC) chairman Dr Hyacinth Guy at Wednesday’s sitting of Parliament’s Joint Select Committee (JSC) on Local Authorities, Service Commissions and Statutory Authorities, chaired by Ian Roach.
She said the RIC is compiling details from electricity providers (presumably TTEC) to craft a draft price determination to be published for public consultation, after which suggestions will be considered to draft a final document by this year’s fourth quarter.
General manager Kelvin Ramsook said TTEC has not been paying a $900 million annual bill to the National Gas Company, and, inclusive of this sum, was overall $1.5 billion behind in meeting its financial commitments. However TTEC is benefiting from cheap electricity supply from Trinidad General Unlimited and Powergen.
Assistant general manager Courtenay Mark said TTEC’s cost to make each unit of electricity is 25 cents (half paid to NGC for the gas and half paid to convert it to electricity), while each unit is then sold for 36 cents. “That margin between 25 cents and 36 cents, you now have to deal with all your administrative expenses: salary, wages, materials, insurance. That is why all that debt, that shortfall, is almost all consolidated in one place, the NGC.” Roach said the administrative costs led to TTEC’s debt.
Lee Young said TTEC must provide a “prudent and efficient service”, yet also noted TTEC had faced increasing costs and so needs a regular rate review, to be done every five years.
Ramsook said all electricity meters are remote-read, while ten per cent can be disconnected remotely, the latter were largely installed at locations where TTEC has previously experienced “problems.”