Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, September 16th, 2008 - In the past eight months, fuel prices have been at an all time high. As a result, the cost per gallon of fuel paid by PPC has increased by 93% since the beginning of this year. This situation is not unique to the Turks & Caicos Islands, and is felt by every utility company across the globe that is reliant on fossil fuel as a means of power generation.
Over the past three weeks, the world market experienced a relief when crude oil prices dropped to the lowest in more than four months. This decrease in fuel prices will result in a decrease in the fuel factor, which will translate to lower power bills for customers in the month of October. However, September's fuel factor rate has increased slightly which is due to the one-month fuel recovery lag established by a combination of the electricity Ordinance, and the settlement arrangements with our fuel suppliers.
However, the company forecasts a reduction in power bills in the coming months as the affects of lower fuel cost is passed on to consumers. CEO, Eddinton Powell stated "As oil prices continue to drop, the lower prices will be reflected in our customer's bills." He assures customers that the company has not increased its base rate, and encourages everyone to continue their efforts at energy conservation. Mr. Powell further stated, "We are beginning to see a pull back in financial speculation, which was driving up price in the international oil market. We are hoping that prices will drop further, and for a period of price and supply stability, although the market continues to be volatile."
Mr. Powell added "Notwithstanding the recent drop in fuel prices, the company still sees a role for alternative energy, particularly wind energy, in the energy mix of the Turks & Caicos Islands. The company is still proceeding with plans for a comprehensive wind testing survey and facility in the coming year, a precursor to any permanent wind generation".
PPC is sensitive to the impact the high fuel prices, which are beyond the control of the company, is having on its customers' pockets, and so the company continues to work efficiently to minimize its operating cost while providing a safe and reliable service.
Allan Robinson, VP, Customer and Corporate Service, assures customers that all meters are read monthly. He stated "The new automatic meter readers which are currently being used, further ensures that all our meters are read accurately and minimizes the potential for errors". He went onto to explain that, "The meters are factory tested for accuracy according to US standards".
P.P.C. Ltd. and Atlantic Equipment & Power Limited (Atlantic), commonly known as Fortis Turks and Caicos, are indirect wholly owned subsidiaries of Fortis Inc. Fortis Turks and Caicos serves approximately 9,000 customers in the Turks & Caicos Islands. The Company is the sole provider of electricity in Providenciales, North Caicos, Middle Caicos and South Caicos. The Company has a combined diesel-fired generating capacity of approximately 48 megawatts.
VP, Customer & Corporate Service
Provo Power Company (PPC) Limited