The Independent Regulatory Commission (IRC) is aware that Petro Caribe has increased its price per gallon of fuel supplied to DOMLEC under the new contract agreed with DOMLEC for the supply of fuel for the next year beginning March 1, 2011. We have been alerted of this fact by both DOMLEC and the Ministry of Public Works, Energy and Ports.
While it is likely that there would be some increase in the fuel surcharge, the IRC with the cooperation of DOMLEC is working to minimize the impact of the increase on consumers’ bills. To this end DOMLEC has been advised that the IRC will be conducting an audit of its fuel system to verify the correctness of the consumed fuel used in the calculation of the fuel surcharge by DOMLEC. The IRC will also be verifying the system for capturing the monthly sales figures used in the calculation.
The IRC has been working with DOMLEC on this matter and is surprised that DOMLEC would issue its release to the press without approval from the Commission. While DOMLEC is allowed to recoup the full cost of the fuel used in the generation of electricity through the fuel surcharge which appears on its bills to consumers, this must be done with the Commission’s approval, particularly when there is likely to be an increase. The Commission could only approve such an increase after satisfying itself that all is done to minimize the impact of that increase, and this will be done after the audits are carried out by the Commission.
DOMLEC’s release is therefore premature. A release will be issued by IRC after the audits are completed and the size of the increase (if any) ascertained. Any such increase will appear on consumers’ bills for the first time in April, 2011.