The Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) is the independent regulator and competition authority for the Electricity Sector (ES) pursuant to the Electricity Act, 2015 (EA). The EA establishes that the main goal of the electricity sector policy is the creation of a regime for the supply of safe, least-cost, reliable, and environmentally sustainable electricity throughout The Bahamas. URCA considers a clear and transparent licensing system, including exemptions where appropriate, is a necessary precondition for the attainment of this goal.
URCA’s powers and functions are set out in the EA and include the power to grant licences with terms and conditions consistent with the EA and national energy and electricity sector policies. URCA has regulatory remit for licensing all persons who generate, transmit, distribute and/or supply electricity within, into, from or through The Bahamas. Section 46 of the EA empowers URCA to grant various types of licences to specific categories of persons and entities in the ES. There are certain exemptions (i.e. statutory exemptions) that are set out in section 23 of the EA. URCA may also, by determination, exempt persons from requiring a licence. Section 50 of the EA empowers URCA to grant an exemption to a person generally, unconditionally, or subject to conditions as URCA may specify in the determination.
This Consultation Document relates to the licensing regime URCA intends to establish in accordance with the EA. It also provides in draft the types of licences URCA proposes to grant to persons in the ES and sets out the types of exemptions in the ES that URCA proposes. Once this consultation process is completed, all existing electricity providers and persons wishing to generate, transmit, distribute and/or supply electricity within, into, from or through The Bahamas will be required to obtain the appropriate licence from URCA, unless exempt in accordance with the EA or a determination issued by URCA.
In this Consultation Document, except insofar as the context otherwise requires, words or expressions have the meaning assigned to them in the EA. This consultative document does not constitute legal, commercial, or technical advice and is without prejudice to the legal position of URCA or its rights and duties to regulate the ES generally.
URCA now invites and welcomes written submissions and comments from interested parties with sufficient interest in the subject matter of this Consultation Document and the Annexes included herein.
The written submissions and comments must be received by URCA within thirty (30) calendar days from the publication of this Consultation Document.
The deadline for receiving written submissions and comments is 5:00 p.m. on 25 September 2017.
The written submissions and comments should be submitted to URCA either:
- by hand to: the Chief Executive Officer, Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority, Frederick House, Frederick Street, Nassau, Bahamas; or
- by email to: email@example.com; or
- by mail to: P.O. Box N-4860, Nassau, Bahamas or
- by facsimile to: (242) 393-0237.
As soon as reasonably practicable after the close of the response date for this consultation, URCA intends to publish all responses on the URCA website at www.urcabahamas.bs.