Fuel costs account for more than half of DOMLEC’s expenses

Chairman of Domlec Robert Blanchard Jr.

Shareholders of  DOMLEC – Dominica Electricity Services – were being told at the company’s annual general meeting on Wednesday that DOMLEC spent EC$42.9 million dollars on fuel for the year 2011, more than half the cost of its total expenses.

The company puts its total expenses for that year at EC$83.4 million.

However Chairman Robert Blanchard says 2011 was a good year for Domlec, when “prudent management of our operational and financial commitments yielded an after tax profit of EC$7.75 million”.

Domlec’s total revenue for 2011 was EC$98.3 million.

According to the company, it has paid dividends of EC$1.8 million to ordinary shareholders for 2011.

DOMLEC puts its share capital at EC$10.4 million, its retained earnings at $51.7 million and the company’s total equity at $62.1 million.

Blanchard has been telling share holders that the company’s mission is to “deliver affordable and reliable energy today while making the investments needed to ensure a sustainable supply in the future”.

However with more than half the company’s expenses going into the purchasing of fuel for its generators, and the surcharge imposed on consumers to offset rising world market prices, many are questioning the “affordable” part of that mission statement as they continue to complain about high electricity bills.

And that’s not likely to change any time soon.

Dominica’s Independent Regulatory Commission (IRC) says the fuel surcharge that consumers of electricity have been paying from January to the present time has been increasing because of higher world oil market prices.

The commission’s Executive Director Lance McCaskey said recently that a steady rise in fuel prices on the international market in recent times saw the price increase from EC$11.74 in January to EC$12.59 in April (2012).

According to McCaskey the increases in fuel prices have directly affected local electricity rates.

He indicated that the fuel surcharge escalation for the period January to April had moved from 40 cents per kilowatt hour in January to 53 cents by April.

McCaskey said the IRC was working closely with DOMLEC (Dominica Electricity Services) to see how they could minimize the fuel prices.

He said however that the trend of rising world market prices made this difficult.

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  1. May 10, 2012

    the irc cannot minimize fuel prices.
    the only ways out is to empower buisnesses and private citizens (those who can) to generate their own electicity
    i.e. solar, wind and the excess they produce can be resold back to domlec. so instead of paying domlec. domlec would be paying them.

  2. simple mind
    May 10, 2012

    Questions:(1)why should consumers have to pay Domlec for fuel used in the generation of the power we buy from them?(2)why can’t Govt.drop taxes on fuel used in the generation of electricity?(3)the million dollar question;did’nt Govt.promise relief to consumers after the introduction of “Petro Carribe”?(4)IRC,are you or are you not viewing the consumers through your regulatory eye?

  3. May 10, 2012


    • May 10, 2012

      hey jones, the petrocaribe deal is an agreement to pay venezuela later for our fuel consumption (at full market price) a credit my friend.

  4. Mike
    May 10, 2012

    Every little hill along our reachable coast, especially east coast can take a wind turbine. Problem solved.

    They have to make profit but they are out for fast cash like they do in ?Africa. Sad!

    • Malatete
      May 10, 2012

      Ask the owners of Rosalie Bay, how easy they found it to overcome objections to the installation of their wind turbine!

      • Mike
        May 11, 2012

        No doubt it will be expensive/challenging but a one-time investment in the future of power in DA.

  5. May 9, 2012

    Why cant Dominicans be reasonable for once. You all making noise on Domlec while you all are the same people who own shops and charging people inexorbitant prices for goods and services. The whole country is a rip off, Dominicans ripp off each other and wants everything for free. GIVE US ELECTRICITY AND DONT MAKE US PAY…. Thats Dominicans.

  6. Cali For Life
    May 9, 2012

    why im i seeing a white man who running the biggest company in Dominica.We not saying nothin. But if it was skerit running it hmm. lets leave that alone.

    • Malgraysa
      May 9, 2012

      Is not he that running the company. Mister does not live here but in Florida. Is his family company that own most of Domlec.

  7. Nudibranch
    May 9, 2012

    when you have a monopoly, we the people have to put up and shut up. Soon we will get geothermal energy, then hopefully, like Iceland the government will allow FREE electricity, since it is of the country, by the country…..But our government cant see that far ahead can they.
    Just like the Soufriere road, patch it up quick, evade the question about when it will be fixed properly, and hope the disciples in the south will sign high praise.

  8. Way Out There
    May 9, 2012

    Domlec, people are not stupid. You guys are not investing in anything except continuously fixing an inefficient, broken down, antiquated generator.

  9. May 9, 2012

    its time to manage all you finances. if is youn alone in your house, buy a small fridge by astaphans or wherever and pay domlec $30 a month.it worked out well for me.stop opening the fridge door everytime to drink icewater, drink pipe wAter instead.those big transformers all you ahve at all you homes get rid of them. and put bigger better windows to allow for proper air circulation so that you donot have to use the fan.my laptop and a small fridge is all i need and money in my pocket.

  10. consumer
    May 9, 2012

    Dominicans open your eyes for once, nuh? Care for once about what is going on in this country. CDC, a foreign co. owned the electricity Co. Dominicans made noise for local control. Govt. refused to listen to the people and allowed DOMLEC to be bought by another foreign Co.

    DSS have shares in DOMLEC that is owned by that foreign co. That co. also controls MARPIN Telecoms 2K4, with DSS again having major shares.

    Dominican consumers were reluctant to support CAHUR in fighting against the monopoly, for fighting against high electricity bills. People complained day in day out about DOMLEC’s high bills, but would do nothing in their own interest to rally with CAHUR.

    Dominican consumers were fooled again by Govt. officials about the operations of Petro Caribe into Dominica. They claimed that Electricity bills would be cheaper. The cost of fuel at the pump would reduce. All lies and manipulations. Some sectors of the population really believed. Dominicans were taken for a bumpy ride.

    Now they are seeing Petro Caribe has not lessened the rising costs of electricity bills and fuel at the pumps. But who cares? It is not the first time that Dominicans have allowed themselves to be fooled again and again and again. It would not be the last. The consumers will continue to complain and cry blood. The foreign Co., which controls DOMLEC, would continue to rip off millions of profits, while Dominicans wait on Petro Caribe to lessen the rising costs of our electricity bills, gasolene and diesel.

    Expect no changes. look the IRC say they do not have any power to regulate DOMLEC and make things cheaper because of rising fuel costs. Take it or leave it.

  11. Hydro
    May 9, 2012

    Why no mention of reducing operational costs, nor Hydro: “In the abundance of WATER the FOOL is THIRSTY”!

    They are laughing at their shareholders, taking them for fools who have to pay their $1.8 mil dividends and more right back to the company.

    It is a rat race! And for Dominicans Domlec is a FAILURE.

    We watching, but will we act?

  12. Well
    May 9, 2012

    They are not doing anything to reduce costs. Not looking at any type of renewable energy. But every month no matter what I do my electric bill goes up. My next step is to put off the main switch when I leave my house and go to bed.

    May 9, 2012

    all of allu blaming domlec when dem dirty politicians said that petrocaribe would solve that problem

  14. john doe
    May 9, 2012

    all that profit and we still suffering under light bills….

  15. man
    May 9, 2012

    we have already untapped a few geothermal wells, why hasn’t DOMLEC ordered some steam turbines to cap these wells with so we could be living better under DOMLEC!!



    • dominican
      May 9, 2012

      because they need a licence to do so. Which they have not been granted. For domlec to erect any new forms of generation they have to tender or bid for it once a RFP for increased capacity is put out

  16. anonymous2
    May 9, 2012

    Domlec is a “for Profit” of shareholders. It is not a public utility run for the benefit of low cost electricity.

  17. empress DA
    May 9, 2012

    Plz DNO i dont want to see the face of that white masser! that man not looking like a person that care about we dominicans! domlec only sucking the blood of dominican and making how much million dollars profit every year.domlec set we dominican free plz.

    • May 10, 2012

      you prefer to see the face of the new CHINESE masser?

  18. more fire
    May 9, 2012

    i really hope that the management of domlec is reading the comments, cause we are not dumb ,Domlec is bent on sucking this country dry. i wouldn’t be the one to send the first stone but that’s all it takes now, and more will come flying.

  19. May 9, 2012

    domlec is the monopoly and you will pay whatever they charge for power.
    and our illiterate politicians are in their pockets

  20. Malatete
    May 9, 2012

    I still must ask the question. How much did it cost to bring this oil to Dominica and who reived the difference between that cost and the selling price to Domlec? I bet there is a lot of fat in there the Govt. could cut and so reduce our electricity bills.

    • questions & opinions
      May 9, 2012


      they won’t cut it when they are directors for life receiving FAT PAYBACKS!

  21. Rule
    May 9, 2012

    Domlec, don’t come crying to us about fuel costs. Find some innovative ways to produce electricity in a more efficient manner. I did not see any indication that you’re focusing on research to help alleviate the problem. Since everything has trickled down to the consumers, we paid for your fuel costs not you!

  22. WHAT!!
    May 9, 2012

    Alas papa, weh, Domlec making money on the backs of poor Dominicans. :(

  23. Smdh
    May 9, 2012

    Allu making profit meantime we suffering. Fuel surcharge more than ur actual bill. Yes sah, profit margin

    • Cerberus
      May 9, 2012

      The Govt. of the day made an agreement with Domlec allowing them to make a min. profit of 15%. As far as I’m aware this agreement has not been rescinded by the current Govt. and if I’m correct, one of its cabinet members was party to this deal. I do not champion the cause of Domlec, they are big enough to look after themselves but Govt. benefits more from our high electricicy prices than Domlec’s profit of just over $100 /yr. for every man, woman & child in Dominica. VAT alone, at 15% of total billings would amount to more than that, not to mention any profits made on the sale of diesel fuel to Domlec. The IRC should look into these aspects too to see if any savings can be made to alleviate the consumers’ burden and make our industry more competetive. It would be difficult for Govt. to chastise Domlec under the circumstances, even more so if they themselves don’t settle their electricity bills on time.

  24. Jane
    May 9, 2012

    if take out the fake background u will see

  25. Me
    May 9, 2012

    And I suspect it would be unrealistic to lower consumer cost because it would result in less profit eh…smdh

    7.5 million in profit but when I buy $20 power i get $13.

    • Malgraysa
      May 9, 2012

      My boy, that’s why they promoting that pre-paid power so. Is always the poorest, who pay most.

  26. Art
    May 9, 2012

    What a badly done photo of the man.

    • May 9, 2012

      thats a creepy pic

  27. A Voice
    May 9, 2012

    No IRC nor government going to help the Dominican people. Only the Dominican people can help themselves.

    For a country with a small population, $90 million is a lot to be shelling out to one company wee sah.

    It is up to the people to come together and send a message to these guys. One day the last straw will break the camel’s back…

    I watchin’ still!!!

    • Tiger
      May 9, 2012

      That $83.4m is revenue. That is only one factor in the profitability. They could have collected twice that amount and it still would not mean they are ripping people off. By the same token, they could have collected $30m and be ripping people off.

      That revenue figure you are appalled at, taken out of context is meaningless.

  28. Tiger
    May 9, 2012

    The other question they should be asking is what is Domlec doing to shift their focus from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. Why have they not allocated some of those retained earnings to buying some solar panels. We have abundant sunlight and the cost of solar panels have been dropping steadily. Are they looking at any of these sources or is it a matter of passing on the surcharge onto consumers. That is very easy to do when you have a monopoly. The government should force the issue.

    • truth
      May 9, 2012

      Do you all know that in the rosalie area domlec is actually obtaining electricity from the wind turbine which the resort has.Why can’t domlec do the same round the Island and thus reduce our damn electricity costs

      • Tiger
        May 9, 2012

        There is no incentive for them to so anything because they are guaranteed a profit no matter what the cost of fuel is. The GOVERNMENT has to force them to do otherwise.

    • dominican
      May 10, 2012

      Solar is not the answer. Solar is expensive and has resulted in a rise in electricity bills everywhere it has been deployed. Wind is also within the same category, It is more costly to run and maintain than fossil fuel generation.

      Do research into what is happening in texas with their wind farm and solar farms

      • JJ
        August 6, 2012

        dominican, that is a myth. The average cost of solar energy produced over its lifetime is far lower than the rates charged by DOMLEC, and is, in fact, lower than DOMLEC’s cost of producing energy (wholesale). You are paying the equivalent of about US$0.30 per kilowatt-hour (unit). The average cost of solar energy without subsidies is around US$0.15. Even with import costs to Dominica, it’s cheap energy.

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