DOMLEC unfazed by online petition

DOMLEC Managing Director Collin Cover. Photo credit: www.domlec.dm
DOMLEC Managing Director Collin Cover. Photo credit: www.domlec.dm

DOMLEC’s General Manager, Colin Cover, appears unmoved by a petition which surfaced on social media recently complaining about the high rate of electricity in Dominica.

Organizers of the petition said its aim is to reduce electricity bills on the island, which they say, are getting harder to pay.

They say they are also planning a “national blackout” where all Dominicans will be asked to turn off their electricity during a specified time as a form of protest.

Cover said the island’s sole electricity provider, DOMLEC, is unfazed by the action but pointed out that the cost of electricity is a concern.

“The course of action that they are taking is not a concern to me,” he told Dominica News Online on Wednesday. “To lower their electricity bill is a concern to everybody at DOMLEC…. not just Colin Cover alone, all my managers, every staff member. So the protest, for whatever hours per day, doesn’t concern us but we are more than concerned about the price of electricity.”

DOMLEC announced at a news conference after the company’s general meeting on Wednesday 22nd May, that it had made a profit of 8.2 million dollars for the 2011-2012 financial year.

There’s been concern that DOMLEC’s license guarantees the company a 15% return on its investment and that this, along with the fuel surcharge and VAT, is one of the main contributors to the high electricity rates. However, Cover told members of the media that the surplus represents only 5% profit.

“We have over a hundred and fifty-six million dollars invested in Dominica, so with an eight million dollars profit on an investment of a hundred and fifty-six million, it’s a five percent profit,” he said.

The DOMLEC boss said the company was able to achieve that profit by making its operations more efficient and implementing tighter fiscal controls.

In the interview with DNO, he urged customers who have difficulties in paying their bills, to conserve and thinks that a ‘national blackout’ as proposed by the protesters, might just be one way of conserving electricity.

“Another way of conserving is to use electricity wisely,” he said. “You can turn off your transformers when you’re not using them …. so I see this as no difference from us going out and saying to conserve.”

He said he wants the company to do well but not on the backs on those who use electricity foolishly because it would be inconceivable of him “to just want DOMLEC to make money while everybody else is suffering.”

“People seem to get it mixed up because we are in the business of selling power,” he stated.”We don’t want to make a profit from people being foolish about the way they use power. We want to use power wisely.”

In 2010-2011, DOMLEC made a profit of more than 7 million dollars.

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65 Comments

  1. dominican1st
    May 24, 2013

    I think they Dominica needs another electricity company to compete with domlec. If it had one i sure the manager would not be so fast to open his moth and utters those words. Cable use to have that kind of attitude until other phone companies came along.
    while i understand you got to make a profit, he should have phrase his wording differently to show some compassion to the people who gives you that profit..YOUR CUSTOMERS

  2. The Fuel Surchage
    May 24, 2013

    PEOPLE Domlec is not the PROBLEM. The issue is the FUEL SURCHARGE. Please try to understand this and saying that, the government can do something to lower it. But why are they not? Because of ALL THE MONEY IN VAT DOMLEC IS PAYING THEM…..ohhh you all did not know that??? They making DOMLEC take all the blows and they saying nothing. That is an issue that DOMLEC cannot do much and also because of where they are buying their fuel from. Its time we stop passing the buck on DOMLEC and face the truth which is from the Government side…….blackouts will not help…

  3. Hype
    May 24, 2013

    High rates, what arrogance. This is a good initiative, if we keep this up it can reap results of forcing these peoople to do something.
    When they call a demonstration we have to show up, and show this man and his company up for their arrogance.

  4. Annon
    May 24, 2013

    I read this story…Now that’s pushing a finger in all-you eye and twisting it.
    Never mind the profits they have to make profit. But…The man seems to be laughing at us, thumbing his nose at us, like saying – We doing this to you, we are not stopping, and you cannot stop us!?

  5. Hate ignorance
    May 24, 2013

    But wait a while , the Domlec manager thinks we are stupid. If he claims to have invested 156 million dollars then it may be worse than i thought . Was that 156M invested last year into the company ? if so then the 5% interest he is claiming is mathematically correct but if that 156 M represents an aggregate (total ) investment to date then the profits are way above the 5% he is claiming . I personally don’t think they invested 156M into the company last year and so to calculate the interest based on the total investment made to date is unfair and deceiving . Something is wrong here does that mean Domlec actually made a total of 164M dollars on 70,000 Dominicans ? that’s the only way 8.2M can be a 5% profit using 156M as the investment . I can do basic maths , so either the Manager is a big liar or he got his numbers mixed up some how . Inn closing if they actually invested the 156M last year then the 5% is correct but if they invested less the profits for last year is much higher . either way he look at it the number sare unbelievable.

  6. Domlec
    May 23, 2013

    Dumlec: The FLEESING of a Nation!

  7. mean mark
    May 23, 2013

    well its a dog eat dog world nobody cares a damn….he is unfazed but I hope he knows that God donot like ugly…

  8. ReeAreLeeTea
    May 23, 2013

    Why do we pay fuel surcharge?
    Why does Domlec pay to import fuel?
    Why is there tax and especially VAT on electricity?
    Who sets the price per unit for electricity?

    Domlec, I want these questions answered.

  9. Am Jus Sayin
    May 23, 2013

    Remember when a certain telephone company used to boast tens of millions of dollars profit annually in Dominica? That company has recently changed it’s name and diversed ownership of it’s shares. In other to stay competitive on the market it also had to let go a large amount of its staff.

    Domlec workers are far and wide in this country. They pay a lot of tax and support their friends and families.

    Am Jus Sayin

    • Anthony P. Ismael
      May 24, 2013

      I remember.

  10. WHO VEX VEX
    May 23, 2013

    We have over a hundred and fifty-six million dollars invested in Dominica, so with an eight million dollars profit on an investment of a hundred and fifty-six million, it’s a five percent profit.

    So for the past couple of yrs Domlec Dominica they doh cover that money they invest yet

    I have no problem a company making 8 million dollars profit but in that hard economic time, Its unfair to the customers

  11. anonymous too
    May 23, 2013

    my observation is that in the month of april we are usually asked to pay more because it s “the dry season”. but take note it is also the month before the annual general meeting when the company has to present its shareholders with ‘something to cover their eyes’ for the rest of the year. so on our backs they have to make their eight million profit just before the agm every year??? just my two cents.

    • Jimi Hendrix
      May 24, 2013

      Do you think thsy should make their profits on the backs of Russians?

      I have heard the same nonsense being said about Dominican businesses “you not getting rich on my back”. I inderstand electricity is a very costly service in Dominica, but some of you seem to think a business should provide services to you without the thought of making a profit.

  12. A Voice
    May 23, 2013

    That’s right people, stand up for you rights. Give them blackouts continually. Eventually it will start interfering with his profits and he will get concerned or get fired.

    It is too long Domlec and them wringing the life blood out of this people man. Way toooo long…

    • Past employee
      May 23, 2013

      This wouldn’t work and u know people wudn’t do that.
      If u turn off all the lights on a crz-ship wudnt it still reach its destination?? Dca is a PEACE of cake!! Turn OFF alu car ENGINE(s) at night to much NOISE will wake the peacfull neighbourhooh!!!

  13. As I see It
    May 23, 2013

    May the profit bring them grief and sadness. Domlec, your time is near.

    • ReeAreLeeTea
      May 23, 2013

      Now that just sounds evil.

    • WoW
      May 23, 2013

      Your serious? That’s a wish coming from a human being? Do you even understand what grief and sadness is? A young man hung himself today. Do you understand that? I wish the same you wish to anyone to you and your family.

    • Malgraysa
      May 24, 2013

      Oh yes, and the lights will go out while the gwo boug run their generators (they don’t pay VAT on that) and Domlec will simply make up the shortfall on their next bill.It are always the common peopl, who suffer. Instead, Ask the Govt. to reduce their VAT and Mr. Austrie not to make profit on the diesel sold to Domlec.

  14. Anonymous
    May 23, 2013

    DOMLEC shareholders are guaranteed a certain percent return on their investment

    As long as DOMLEC is a monopoly there is nothing any 1 person can do to stop them. Social Security and the Government both have shares in DOMLEC while they may publicly cry down the high cost of utilities they privately rejoice because their pockets are being lined.

    either the Government buys back DOMLEC outright or another company be afforded the opportunity to compete because at the end of the Day we the people are suffering under the high cost of electricity

    • Jimi Hendrix
      May 24, 2013

      Let government buy back the company and they you will surely be complaining about excessive power outages. Government will get their lackeys in positions where they don’t belong. They will bow to pressure to keep prices low and they will not have the money to maintain the equipment. The best think UWP did for Dominica was to sell Domlec.

  15. May 23, 2013

    It does not matter how much you conserve, the surcharge always takes over your savings of energy

  16. african queen
    May 23, 2013

    domlec needs some competition and the problem will be solved one company supplying electricity and that’s what will happen high price make another company come in and u see how fast they drop their price cover and your team free up the poor people man.

  17. IPO
    May 23, 2013

    DOMLEC MGMT ….you are not coming across to well…arrogant and condescending…alway remeber the consumers are your end product….and you got to show customer satisfaction and loyalty to grow your business and grow margins and profit.

    Collin you might not be around to see it, but I see a sizeable part of the population will move to their own generation ala Solar and you will be left with smaller paying clients…..

    Please be humble and understand your market.

    A liitle advice from someone who understands market s and trends.

  18. me
    May 23, 2013

    That $150+ million he is referring to is a damn lie. Thats just the value of Total Assets. The shareholders only have about $68+ million invested, thus resulting in a return of approximately 12%.

    • Concerned
      May 23, 2013

      The total valve of the investment is what’s being considered.
      Secondly, how can a business be worth $150 but the share holders own $68? HUH? I must have slept through that in business school.

  19. Roseau Valley
    May 23, 2013

    They shoving Amy and pay as you go down peoples throat saying its the better way to go My electrical bill was between the range of 40 and 60 dollars a month. Since i moved to Amy its 200 and counting. You really think that these people was looking for a better way for us to save money LMAO. they were looking for ways to strenghen their pockets. ITMA. Something have to be done about Domlec.

  20. REAL OBSERVATIONS
    May 23, 2013

    COVERT OBSERVATIONS Duty on a generator is miniscule your fuel bill a month will be over $2000.xx a month. plus the generator will cost another at least another $3000.Then what will you do when it breaks down, because it will at some point.

  21. Jayson
    May 23, 2013

    The party that can resolve the unemployment issue, health care issue and most of all the DOMLEC issue will be the party that get’s my vote!

  22. Mamizoo
    May 23, 2013

    A blackout is not going to have any effect on DOMLEC hence the reason the Collin is unfazed by the threat. First of DOMLEC makes much more money during daylight hours as oppose to night time. In fact on the day of the intended blackout DOMLEC will be more than happy to shed some load and will volunterily shut down the grid. Secondly DOMLEC ‘s profit is not primarily based on the high electricity bills and in my opinion $8.2 million in profitroot the utility company is really not a big deal . Granted that profit should really be completely be for the people of Dominica . Our problem in Dominica is tht we try to solve our problems by conveniently overlooking the root cause. everyone was so elated that Petro Caribe was going to reduce our electricity bills and non of us can say that we have seen a reduction in our bills. In fact our electricity bill has been climbing year after year. Had these corrupt politicians not been so averacious and conniving DOMLEC’s miniature profit would not have been a problem and the people would have enjoyed a significant reduction in the rates. Why are we shooting above the fact that DOMLEC is not getting the reduced fuel charges as promised by the Petro Caribe iniatives. If DOMLEC was provided the fuel price reduction then we can request fire and brimstone on DOMLEC BUT THST IS NOT THE CASE. We should demand a response from Reginald Austrie as minister of energy and ask for the resignation of those who fooled the people just so that they can personally benifit.
    Here is a few questions to chew on
    Why it is the the audit department is not allowed to audit the Petro Caribe program? Don’t hang me that information is readily accessible. Do your own search.

    Why it is that when Charles Saverin was minister responsible for energy that it was Reginald Austrie who was responsible for Petro Caribe Affairs? I know the truth offends

    Who is the sole owner of the PDV company and why is that so.

    Why is Reginald Austrie happily declaring that he is no longer responsible for Petro Caribe and again who is the owner of PDV and how does PDV operate.

    Why it is that there is double dipping for fuel consumption on our electricity bills.

    Now some will give me the thumbs down and I can only imagine that the thumbs down will can only come from thse at the top of the milk and cheese line up. I cannot imagine thumbs down coming from the people who after paying electricity bills cannot even pay for the junk food that the murderers of agriculture are now feeding our people with. after the electricity bill is paid some have to park the car and hitch hike

    So we can initiate and stage 5 blackouts a week, we can chastise DOMLEC for a $8.2 million in peanuts but until we address the problem the bobo will remain , cause gangrene and the people will keep loosing limbs while the real perps are thse that the very same suffering go allout to protect.

    • Anonymous
      May 23, 2013

      I to would.like to have the answers to all those quesyions…try being reasonable here. When the promise of lower electricity rates was made, the price of crude was US$160.00,(you can correct me)…you must make the comparison with the current price…do some homework…

      • Yen
        May 23, 2013

        You remind me of simplicity stiff naked fool. What does that have to do with the fact that we never saw the reduction that was promised.

      • Anthony P. Ismael
        May 23, 2013

        Brent Crude sells for $US102.60 a barrel.

      • Malgraysa
        May 24, 2013

        Antony, Venezuelan oil is not Brent crude (highest quality light oilfrom the North Sea). Venezuelan crude is notrious for its high sulphur content and sells at prices well below that of Brent crude.

    • Jay
      May 24, 2013

      There is not as sole owner of PDV in Dominica. First of all the the PDV company registered here is known as PDV Caribe (Dominica) Ltd. 65% of which is PDV S.A.(owned by the state of Venezuela).The other 45% (gifted to us by Venezuela) is owned by our Govt. through another company: Dominica National Petroleum Company Ltd. This company is 100% owned by our Govt. and run by Hon. Austried on their behalf. All payments made for fuel deliveries by PDV Caribe Dominica Ltd. are transferred to Dominica National Petroleum Company (less a mark-ups, and provisons for social programmes). What OUR state-owned company does with that money is anyone’s guess.

  23. Stupes
    May 23, 2013

    DOmlec too damn wicked. Their charges are ridiculous. How on earth can we continue like that!!! The people are actually giving Domlec money to run their business. This is blatant rip off. This country needs to shut down. Electricity prices have trippled within the past 5 years. This is absurd!!!!

  24. DC
    May 23, 2013

    The Manager has earned the right to make such a statement because it has been given to him by the people. An online petition has little or no effect in comparison to the majority of people demonstrating in front of the company demanding decreased rates. The power always lies in the hands of the people.

  25. La voix
    May 23, 2013

    I once thought that we could introduce renewable energy more projects to reduce on the cost of electricity. Lets take for example solar energy, why can’t we invest more in using the energy from the sun to power our homes. That is valuable energy that can be sired and transformed into electricity but the companies would not want to invest in this since they won’t make the huge profits that are calculated on imports from oil. We should not be totally dependent on one source of energy why then don’t we research the opportunities in renewable energy. Hydro we have started but there are many opportunities in other sources of energy. Lets stop complaining of the existing system because that’s what is available, lets explore new frontiers to make the country self sufficient and independent from those who control this vital resource.
    Unless we begin to see how we can change the source of our energy supplies then we will always be at the mercy of those who dictate the prices of fuel because we have no control there.

  26. Pedro
    May 23, 2013

    its an arrogant and insensitive statement by the GM. Certainly consumers can do better at conservation, but tehre is not nearly enough being done by the company aimed at improving efficiency. We doesnt he indicate what specific ways efficiencies in operations have been improved. What were the costs savings, how much more efficient has been been to both generate and transmit electricity? After all, for years, a significant proportion of energy generated is wasted due to issues that are certainly under the control of the company. Then there are further uses about the selection, health and efficiency of the generating plant, operating practices, training etc all of which contribute to some efficiencies…The GM can only come off that way because Domlec is the lone service provider, however this is a very poor response to issues that have only escalated over the decades. Of course the amount being paid is a joint burden of actions of the consumers, the public and the government, but the company should acknowledge that its PR in the matter is unacceptable and it must do more to come across as even sensitive to consumer interests.

  27. comment
    May 23, 2013

    DOMLEC doesn’t care about such things as economy growth etc..its business company oriented on bringing value to its shareholders + DOMLEC is a monopoly so its nature to usurp and profit as much as possible
    I am dummy in electricity business but I don’t see why alternative solar energy cant be used
    Geothermal energy in the other hand is good source of energy but why DOMLEC would distribute it at cheaper price?…Logically if DOMLEC as the infrastructure owner will get cheaper source of energy its definetely will sell it for the market price which DOMLEC itself dictates. So after all there are no possibility to get cheaper energy through DOMLEC as its nature and profit initiative wont allow to do so

  28. Procreator
    May 23, 2013

    DNO, why is my comment still awaiting moderation when it was sent prior to all those that you have displayed at the moment. You people must stop being political about the right to express oneself freely. There is absolutely nothing politically incorreect about the passionate statement which i made earlier.

  29. Covert Observations
    May 23, 2013

    Well they do have a monopoly what can I say. I wanted to purchase a generator as a form of lowering my bill but alas customs……ou ja connet

  30. kay
    May 23, 2013

    So true, Mr Cover, our ppl need to be better educated on matter of such importance. All that is required is to use what you have wisely. I HOPE that is wake up call regarding water etc.

    • Real Porssie
      May 23, 2013

      Boss even when we conserve energy our bills go up. I have personally experienced this. Less TV, less computer usage, minimized usage of the lights, disconnect TV, disconnect computers and more electricity bills going up.
      I don’t hear anything from our government at all.
      Guiltiness rest pon their conscience.

  31. Derryck
    May 23, 2013

    While he makes some valid points; I sense a fair bit of arrogance in his responses. I do not know whether that is typical of the man. Just my initial thoughts.

  32. Spooners
    May 23, 2013

    He can never be concerned because he is aware there is no other company in Dominica to provide electricity.

  33. River Street
    May 23, 2013

    One gets into business to make a profit. Mr. Manager get real. Your response is so cold and distanced. The people should call for your ouster.
    Wouldn’t it be more customer friendly to implement energy saving methods and education to help the public be better conservationist.

    • Jimi Hendrix
      May 23, 2013

      This is not a democracy. The shareholders can ouster him but as long as he can grow their profits, he is their man. The man is there to do a job for his shareholders. He should have handles it better, but in the end he is only accountable to the shareholders. The consumer is only the means to an end.

  34. one stone
    May 23, 2013

    my people just remember unfazed means they do not care and i did some calculations and 8 million dollars profit works out at $22,000 clear profit everyday of the year……………….

    • Not a herd follower
      May 23, 2013

      People invest their monies to earn a return. There’s nothing wrong in desiring and generating profits in principle. In fact, profits make investments and continuous improvements in industrial production and service quality possible. What we the public and regulators have to be vigilant about is that profits are not earned through unfair trade practices such as price grouching.

  35. Procreator
    May 23, 2013

    The economy is hard due to the increase in food prices and the mounting rates of electricity. It has become rather difficult for the ordinary working Dominican citizen to keep his head above the economically raging waters and there he stands on his pedestool stating that the protest of poor Dominican consumers do not “CONCERN” him. They need to focus on the affordability of energy to the consumer, which has been instrumental in chasing away feasible foreign direct investment opportunities, I must add, and less about profit glorification. The only reason that this man can speak with such callous disregard is contingent on the fact that this company exists as a monopoly and as a result has settled for the fact that people simply have to live with that kind of treatment. I hope that this statement resonates in his mind “…like all things this too shall pass!!”

  36. Great
    May 23, 2013

    Mr. Cover we use electricity wisely. For eg a single person who works all day comes around 7pm at night to use one light bulb (energy saving). One fridge (economy saver too. Iron once a week. Do laundry once a week. No microwave, transformer, computer or highfi system. One TV (switch turned off after use at night and during the day. Tell me how come a minimum of fifty dollars can’t last a month. When not so long ago like 2009 it could with similar equipment. You will now want to tell me the electrical wiring in the home is faulty too. I will turn off the fridge too and just use a lamp

    • May 23, 2013

      Fifty Dollars a month? u doing good. me and my lady spend $400 a month and we are very judiscious in our use of electricity. I recentyly got Domlec to give me a new meter to see if that helps

  37. Toma
    May 23, 2013

    Dominica needs competition, this is why Domlec dose not care about Dominicans,because they are the sole provider.

  38. Lady
    May 23, 2013

    Of course they will be unfazed. after all is DomLEC or not Lectricity…..

  39. hi
    May 23, 2013

    cannot wait to sign this petition. Daomlec and the government also too unfair. Next level my foot.

  40. eyes wide open
    May 23, 2013

    DOMLEC,DOMLEC its so easy for the General Manager to run his mouth becasue most times the managers them selfs hardly feel pain becasue the company pay for every thing for them ,bills,gas just name it .If u want to know how domlec is a rip off put AMY meter at your home, AMY is crazy ,keep enjoying your 7 million dollars on poor people time will tell :oops:

  41. grell
    May 23, 2013

    Cover you must be unfazed because your not feeling what the poor is feeling.You guys have no heart for the poor people..

  42. Dominiquen
    May 23, 2013

    We need to nationalise Domlec and send the foreigners packing. :?:

    • Great
      May 23, 2013

      True. What should happen is that the government should allow people to buy shares up to a certain amount but never more than the government controlling share PERIOD

  43. Bittersweet
    May 23, 2013

    These people do not give a rats about Dominicans. Let them enjoy their 8.2 million dollars profit, slave masters.

  44. eyeswideshut
    May 23, 2013

    I in dat!

    Monthly Blackout-there’s a full moon every month and for an entire week the land is lighted up enough…
    Last night was spectacular!

    Where can I find the petition?

    And I am not against DOMLEC doing good business making a profit.
    I won’t get political either, only to say that its Julius Timothy damn fault, period.

    …Blessings

  45. joe
    May 23, 2013

    I would gladly join that protest

  46. May 23, 2013

    Well said Mr. Cover!! We all need to find ways to conserve our electricity rather than complain everyday its evidently getting us nowhere

    • Procreator
      May 23, 2013

      I recognise the sarcasm in that ststement….

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