BELCO President and CEO Walter Higgins *File photo
BELCO President and CEO Walter Higgins *File photo

TUESDAY, OCT. 2: BELCO has withdrawn its Supreme Court legal action against Government to increase their rates.

The firm had hoped for average increases of 4.3%, 3.9% and 4.1% over a three year period to help fund the building of a new North Power Station.

But the Energy Commission denied the request and ordered a one-time increase of 1.25%.

Today BELCO President and CEO, Walter Higgins, said the company would now 'review and reconsider' how and when replacement of old equipment would go ahead.

He told a press conference this morning that BELCO would look to explore alternative and renewable energy sources.

Mr Higgins added: "Since filing the rate increase application in October 2011 important changes have occurred.

"Bermuda has continued to see an erosion of its economy and a decrease in population.

"The high price of oil used to fuel BELCO's generating plan has resulted in high overall electricity prices.

"Consequently BELCO's electricity sales have fallen off for two years in a row.

"This all comes at a time when despite decreased consumption of electricity, aging equipment needs to be replaced to ensure ongoing reliable supply"

Mr Higgins said BELCO would work with Government and its customers to provide 'reliable, sustainable and affordable energy' and that would include looking at alternative sources of financing for replacement plant and alternative fuel supplies.

He added: "With the reduction in electricity consumption and over all demand, we believe there is an opportunity to review and reconsider both the how, and the timing of the plant replacement.

"We recognize the country's desire for alternatives.

"We will examine those in light of the new economic landscape that has seen fuel oil prices rise, a reduction in some renewable energy pricing and possible opportunities to deploy some alternative fuels such as liquified natural gas."