CUC earnings boosted by hot weather

| 02/08/2016 | 3 Comments
CNS Business

CUC new generator

(CNS Business): Sales were up by 7% for CUC during the second quarter of 2016, the firm has reported. While this was partly due to a slight increase in customer numbers, the main factor was the warmer weather, as the average temperature for the period was up by almost a full degree and people turned up the air conditioning. Net earnings for Grand Cayman’s monopoly power provider were up by $2 million when compared to the same three months last year. Although CUC’s new generator began operating during the reporting period, the firm struggled with service and the company president admitted that customers experienced several outages in June.

President and CEO Richard Hew said there was a strong demand for electricity during the quarter, which CUC was able to meet with the successful completion of the 39.7MW power plant.

“Unfortunately some of our customers were impacted by frequent, short duration outages in June and our usual high reliability standard was not met. However, we are confident that the longer term reliability outlook is very positive with the addition of the new units,” he said in the financial report published this week.

CUC’s Advanced Metering Infrastructure is near completion and at the end of June over 23,000 new meters were installed to residential properties and businesses. The project was expected to be completed at the end of July and the company said this would provide real time electricity consumption information and more efficient meter reading.

Customers who have the new AMI meters are now able to monitor their consumption through the website and better manage their usage.

Although CUC made a bigger profit, the company claimed that customers were getting a better deal because of the fall in world fuel prices and the 30 cent government reduction on fuel duty. Residential customers who used an average of 1,000 kWh per month would have seen their monthly bills decline by approximately CI$49 during the Second Quarter of 2016 when compared to the same period in 2015.

But given the volatility of the world fuel market, CUC said it continues to seek ways to connect other stable and competitively priced energy options to the grid to ensure that its commitment to provide a safe and reliable electricity service at least cost remains attainable.

The firm broke ground on a 5MW Solar Project at Bodden Town in May, where Entropy Cayman Solar Limited is progressing with the solar array which is expected to be in use by the end of this year. The firm said it had plans to source more renewable energy for the grid and a request for proposals for renewable energy will be conducted by the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) in the near future.

The Consumer-Owned Renewable Energy Generation (CORE) programme, which allows consumers to generate energy from renewable sources, continues to grow and there are now 146 customers connected to the grid.

CUC fired up new generators in June generating an additional 39.7 MW of diesel power, which includes a 2.7 MW waste heat recovery steam turbine. But it was this new machine that caused some of the widespread and frequent outages during the quarter. CUC said a communication systems problem around the new engines caused the generating unit to disconnect for short periods, triggering outages.

“CUC and its partner MAN have put all of the necessary resources in place to address these issues and the company is confident they have now been resolved,” the firm stated. Regardless of the number of outages customers suffered, CUC claimed to have an average service availability Index of 99.89% for the six months ended June, compared to 99.96 this time last year.

See CUC quarterly reports here

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Category: Local Business, Utilities

Comments (3)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I have a nest which never changes. Always the same schedule.

    I also had a fish tank that was 100 gallon salt water tank. It had coral and fancy lighting.

    One day i decided no more fish tank. So, I disabled the whole thing. Electricity bill went down 100 dollars. And it stayed that way for 3 months.

    Then CUC shows up in my yard, and changed out my meter. Now (remember I have a nest) And what do you know. That next month, Right after they changed the meter my electricity bill was back up to where, i was running my fish tank prices again.

    I guess CUC thought the meter was faulty because my meter showed a 500 kilowatt drop for 3 months. And that obviously has to be some sorta mistake

    It’s okay. I have decided to buy one of those energy clamps that clamp around the CUC pipe at the meter (lit’s entirely legal) and measure the wattage by current flow. And it’s very very accurate. I am going to start comparing that clamp’s device with CUC’s reading. If there is a different. I am definitely paying the 35 dollars to serve them a class action lawsuit.

    I have had enough

  2. Anonymous says:

    Since they are not regulated to see exactly if you are getting the number of killowatts you are paying for, we can assume that they will continue to rob us. Who says they cannot add to your bill even after you have made cost cutting adjustments to save money. Just look at your bill. The duty on fuel is not the culprit, its them.

  3. Anonymous says:

    How do we know people turned up their A/C ? Where exactly did this statistic come from ?

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