Warm weather and new customers boost CUC profit

| 04/05/2016 | 7 Comments
Cayman News Service

Caribbean utilities Company (CUC)

(CNS Business): Both the weather and an increase in customers helped to drive profits up for Caribbean Utilities Company (CUC) in the first quarter of this year, despite increased depreciation, maintenance and amortization costs, according to results released by the power provider on Grand Cayman. The firm also claimed that it had a 99.9% reliability rate for the first quarter of the year, despite several unexpected power outages this year.

Sales for the three months ending 31 March this year were up 5% on the same time last year, an increase of $0.6 million. Net earnings for the first quarter were $5million, an increase of $1.7 million over the first quarter of 2015.

With 2016 having a hotter start to the year than last, the warmer temperatures led to an increase in air conditioning load, boosting sales for the power provider, along with a significant 2% growth in customers, as 459 more homes were connected to the grid at the start of this year compared to last.

“The first quarter of 2016 has been a good one for the company,” said Richard Hew, the President and CEO. “We remained focused on becoming a more efficient company and on meeting the future energy needs of Grand Cayman. During this quarter our customers continued to benefit from lower electricity bills, our new generating plant has progressed to the commissioning stage and significant progress has been made to increase our renewable energy options.”

Although a number of power outages occurred during the first three months of the year, the report stated that Average Availability Index was 99.9%.

“Reliability of service to our customers is a key objective for our company and it is critical to the continuing growth of Grand Cayman. The company remains committed to meeting the challenges which come with providing a highly reliable service on a small island system such as what we have in Grand Cayman,” the firm said.

Lower world fuel market prices and a cut in government duty reduced bills for most customers with residential consumers using 1,000 kWh per month seeing bills fall by about CI$68 during the Q1 2016 compared to 2015.

“While current fuel prices are low historically, the world fuel market has been volatile therefore the company’s efforts to connect other stable and competitively priced energy options to the grid have not been deterred,” CUC said, as it pointed to plans to begin a 5 MW Solar Project at Bodden Town with ground-breaking by the developer, Entropy Cayman Solar Limited, scheduled for early May.

The report also stated that the Electricity Regulatory Authority is planning another request for proposals for alternative energy providers.

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Category: Local Business, Utilities

Comments (7)

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  1. JTB says:

    First world prices, third world service.

    Their monopoly makes them unaccountable to their customers. Their licence makes them unaccountable to Government.

    The whole thing stinks.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Instead of % reliability (because in a single year, 99% means they can have power outages of up to 87.6 total hours, for example), they should instead disclose number of outages and average outage time, as well as % of total grid affected by the outage. Aggregated reliability is not a good indicator of actual performance – it hides key details by the act of aggregating.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I can reliably say that 99.9% of the time I get a power cut from CUC its 99.9% inconvenient to its customers.

  4. Anon says:

    I’m so glad you are doing so well CUC while your customers struggle to pay their bills because your monopoly means you can rape us all on charges ! Sleep well do you?

  5. Cayguy says:

    “99.9% reliability”. You have got to be kidding. is this just a template that cuc puts out there every year and just change their profits journal entry?

    • Franco says:

      99% reliability , bunch of boloni, I had to wait till this morning to make a comment , last night in the Smith Rd John Greer Blvd area there was no power, a pole caught fire, and took till this morning at 6.45 to have it restored, can someone explain to me why took more than 6 hours to replace it, maybe is due to the fact that there is no enough manpower to cover emergency so CUC can boast another stellar profit forecast , also I do not see any longer the CUC tanker track washing the salt off the tranformer like they used to do years ago, and that could have prevented last night accurance, another way to save money? I would really like If CUC could explain in detail last night accurance, and not in the usually sterile press release they are accustomed to print, may be I am asking too much? Well I am still 99% hopeful.

  6. Anonymous says:

    What a load of nonsense about reliability. I’ve no electricity tonight!

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