Caribbean Utilities Company (CUC) have had the nerve to apply to the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) to increase its base rate by 0.7% to take effect in June.
We received a press release on Wednesday (2) announcing its un-audited results for the first quarter ended 31 March.
With tears in their eyes as they made this announcement, CUC said its base rates, excluding fuel costs, have not changed since 2009 and remain lower than in 2002. Yes, you did read it right â€“ â€śremain lower than in 2002â€ť.
They have submitted to the ERA for verification a calculation of a base rate increase of 0.7%. Iâ€™m surprised they didnâ€™t add the word â€śonlyâ€ť. If approved this hike will be effective for bills rendered from June 2012, â€śas prescribed by the terms of CUCâ€™s licenceâ€ť.
Also in the release, CUC said their net earnings have fallen by 39% compared to the same period in 2011. Now Iâ€™m crying.
Please note the word â€śNETâ€ť. I would like the company to release the GROSS earnings for the same period as a comparison and state what the â€śextraordinaryâ€ť expenditure they incurred in this period was
With a recession and the majority of people already having a hard time, people leaving the island, more persons out of work, rising fuel prices, it is just the ideal time for another increase for us to bear.
Of course, if you took a course in economics, it tells you this is absolutely the wrong time to implement increase because it keeps one in a recession.
But CUC have their own agenda and probably no one in management took a course in economics anyway.
I would not like to be the companyâ€™s Public Relations officer at this moment. Expect an Ivan Hurricane to descend upon the company from the publicâ€™s wrath.