The Independent Regulatory Commission (IRC) here says it has during its four years of existence been able to ensure that electricity company DOMLEC (Dominica Electricity Services) provides a more stable and reliable supply of electricity.
Executive Officer Lance McCaskey told reporters on Thursday that through the efforts of the IRC, troublesome blackouts that had consumers complaining bitterly in the past have been reduced drastically.
Endorsing that position, Commission Chairman Eluid Williams said the IRC’s engagement with DOMLEC had resulted in “greater efficiency on the part of DOMLEC, fewer blackouts, and greater accountability”.
The IRC chairman also suggested that increased profits being obtained by the electricity company today could be attributed to the Commission’s efforts to ensure that DOMLEC was working towards greater efficiency.
DOMLEC has disclosed that it made after tax profits of $7.75 million in 2011.
The commission says however that DOMLEC has been reluctant to engage with the IRC in negotiations for a new license, and the Commission has had to amend its license regime in a bid to get the electricity company to the table for those license talks.
It says the amended license regime makes it clear that DOMLEC has a specific timeframe to submit a new license application – it must do so within 42 months of expiry of its current license, which expires in 2015.
DOMLEC currently has a monopoly in the supply of electrical energy to the country.
But IRC officials say the company is aware that that monopoly is being regulated by the Commission which is committed to acting in a transparent manner to ensure the highest quality of electricity is supplied to customers at fair and reasonable prices, while also maintaining financial viability of electric utilities.