The Electricity Act 2016 came into effect on October 28th, 2016.
This made the RA responsible for:
- Licensing the generation of electricity
- Licensing the transmission, distribution and retail sale (TD&R) of electricity
- Managing the new Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) process, including Public Consultation
- Setting the methodology for electricity wholesale and retail rate
- Setting service standards in the electricity sector
Before 2016, the electricity sector was partly regulated by the Energy Commission, a government agency.
The Act introduced a new regulatory framework for evaluating and regulating future investments in the production and sale of electricity for the long-term benefit of Bermuda residents.
Before you can turn on the lights, electricity must first be GENERATED and then DISTRIBUTED.
Electricity generation is now open to competition and BELCO is now required to account for its generation business separately from its other activities. The solar farm near the airport is an example of a new entrant in the Bermuda electricity generation market.
Experience in other jurisdictions shows that competition in electricity generation is positive for consumers.
BELCO is the only company licenced to transmit, distribute and sell electricity. It is not cost effective to have more than one distribution network, so the RA regulates BELCO to achieve reasonable rates and good customer service.