Dominica’s sole electricity company, DOMLEC, is reporting a profit of $14.82-million in 2014 after tax.
This is over 67 percent increase from a profit of $8.8-million reported in 2013.
General Manager, Bertilia Leblanc- Mckenzie, said at a press conference held at the DOMLEC’s office in Roseau on Friday that the company’s profit was announced during an Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at Fort Young Hotel with its shareholders on Thursday.
“We had our Annual General Meeting yesterday at which we spoke to our shareholders about our performance in 2014,” she said. “We were pleased to report to our shareholders that DOMLEC made a profit, after tax, of $14.82 million, which is about 67.6 percent above that of 2013.”
According to Mckenzie, reasons for the profit include a two percent increase in electricity sales, a decrease in expenses by 11 percent and “miscellaneous revenue figure of $1.08 million which was insurance proceeds.”
She noted that the company suffered a crank shaft failure at a plant in 2013, “so we expended money on that and we got back the insurance proceeds of $1.08 million in 2014 which led to an increase in the profitability.”
She said the increase in profit was not based on a rise in electricity rates to customers.
“DOMLEC has not had a tariff review since 2007, so it cannot be said that DOMLEC has increased the rates to the customers,” she stated. “That has not happened at all. What I am saying is a company which performed in such a way, managed itself in such a way that it was able to decrease it expenses by 11 percent.”
Mckenzie stated further that there have been an increase in electricity sales, “and what we have seen is the fuel surcharge dropped in 2014 from a high in July of 14.09 cents to a low in December of 36.78 cents.”
She believes that when customers notice a reduction in the fuel surcharge, “they probably use some more electricity.”
“That’s what I attribute it to. I attribute this increase in sales to a drop in fuel surcharge and people are tempted to use more electricity, they will conserve more when the price is higher,” she explained.
She added, “I cannot apologize for a company that is well run, which was able to bring down its expenses by 11 percent. Given the fact that we have not had a tariff increase since 2007, so it cannot be said at all that electricity rates increased.”
Meantime Mckenzie revealed that in 2014 the company lost $240,201 to businesses that self generate elecricity such as operating Solar PV.
“They self generate and if they have excess supply, they are hooked up on our grid so they sell it to us, so that’s what happens,” she said. “So when they sell to us we have to pay them.”
Mckenzie reminds customers that the company is in the midst of a tariff filing review process, “and what we want for the customer is the least cost electricity.”