On Wednesday, May 26th, 2021, the Dominica Electricity Company (DOMLEC) Limited, issued a notice on its Facebook page and other platforms, to its pre-paid customers stating the following:
“Pay As You Go (PAUG) customers are advised that due to recent works being undertaken on our system, this has led to an interruption of daily usage being applied to all accounts. This resulted in accumulated charges that would have led to a higher than usual estimated daily usage averages.
Once daily charges have resumed those figures will normalize. In view of this, PAUG customers are advised to top up sufficiently as soon as possible to clear those arrears and avoid any inconvenience.”
As per the mandate provided by the Electricity Supply Act (ESA) 2006, No. 10 of 2006, Part III, Sections 19, 20 (1) (e) and 21(1)(e), (f) which state:
“19. The Commission shall have sole and exclusive authority to regulate all electricity entities that are subject to this Act and shall have full powers to regulate all licencee with regard to all economic and technical aspects of regulation in accordance with this Act especially with regard to the determination of tariff or electricity charges.
20 (1) The Commission shall, without limiting the generality of this section, have a duty to perform and exercise its functions and powers under this Act in the manner which it considers best calculated to:
(e) protect the interest of all classes of consumers of electricity as to terms and conditions and price of supply.”
Furthermore, Section 21(1) states:
The Commission shall: –
(e) establish, maintain, review, monitor, and amend, as appropriate, customer care standards.
(f) regulate prices charged to customers of electricity where this is not supplied on a competitive basis, and the methods by which they are to be charged.”
The Independent Regulatory Commission (IRC) hereby informs that this type of notice from DOMLEC to customers while performing changes to their PAUG system is not acceptable.
The Commission has therefore ORDERED the Dominica Electricity Services Limited (DOMLEC) to withdraw all of these notices with immediate effect; until a proper internal review and determination is made on how better to proceed by allowing customers to comfortably pay any arrears or accumulated charges in a manner that is satisfactory and reasonable, both to the IRC and the PAUG customers.