The Barbados Light & Power Company has welcomed the decision of the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) to exclude certain company information from the public’s eye during the pending rate hearing
On Friday, the FTC handed down its decision and order, approving a request by the electric company to have certain sensitive information held in confidence.
“The Barbados Light and Power Company acknowledges the Fair Trading Commission’s decision and we are pleased with its determination that commercially-sensitive information within the rate application continues to be kept confidential,” the utility firm told Barbados TODAY on Wednesday.
“The company requested confidentiality on a few items in its System Expansion Plan, which related either to the security of the national grid or to the cost of renewable energy and battery projects that will be subject to competitive procurement and not included in the rate application,” the power distributor revealed.
The BL&P said it will continue to work with the commission and all stakeholders in the matter of its rate review.
The ruling of the FTC follows a confidentiality hearing involving the BL&P and its legal counsel and representatives of the Barbados Renewable Energy Association (BREA), the Energy Division and the Business Development Division of the Ministry of Energy held on June 29.
The five-member commission led by Deputy FTC Chairman Dr Donley Carrington and including Dr John Griffith, Ruan Martinez, Samuel Wallerson and Dr Simon Naitram, deemed that withholding the information would not disadvantage the public or the intervenors who have opposed the BLPC’s request for a rate increase.
The power company itself had withdrawn some of its initial requests to keep certain documents private.
The public utilities regulator said: “In each case, the Commission has balanced the public interest for and against disclosure of the information which the applicant requested be held in confidence. Where the commission has determined that the information should be held in confidence, the commission was not persuaded that the public interest in disclosure outweighed the reasons which underscored the request for confidentiality.
“Further, the commission is of the view that holding the information in confidence would not cause an injustice or otherwise create a disadvantage to the intervenors in the prosecution of their cases in the substantive rate hearing.”
Written objections to the request for confidentiality were filed by five intervenors in the rate review application. These include BREA, the Energy Division, the Business Development Division; Kenneth Went and the team of attorney-at-law Tricia Watson and chartered accountant David Simpson.