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The Water and Sewage Company (WASCO) has applied for a tariff increase via the National Water and Sewage Commission.
The National Water and Sewage Commission is an independent regulatory authority, whose mandate is to regulate the water and sewage sector on the island under stipulations of the Water and Sewage Act of 2005.
According to Executive Director of the National Water and Sewage Commission, Kelly Joseph, WASCO has not increased their Tariff in over 12 years which will also be considered.
“WASCO submitted an application for a tariff review in October of last year and that tariff application was further amended in December last year. They are seeking an increase in their rate. As you might be aware, the Commission has three choices either to increase or leave the rate as is.”
According to Mr. Joseph, the Water and Sewage Act of 2005, which was amended in 2008, outlines three clauses under which a utility company can apply for a tariff review – the Annual, Tri-Annual and Extraordinary clause, with Saint Lucia applying under the Extraordinary item. Tariffs can be adjusted under this clause due to extenuating circumstances such as the case of a natural disaster.
The regulatory body will review the request of WASCO, taking into consideration factors such as the utility company’s balance sheet and cash flow.
“WASCO’s application is for 98t percent tariff increase, however the commission would have to consider all factors to determine whether such an increase can be awarded but bearing in mind the Commission can choose to reduce it or leave it as is, but a final determination has not yet been made. That is important to highlight.”
The National Water and Sewage Commission will be assisted in the review by the Office Of Utility Regulation (OUR) from Jamaica. OUR is a multi-sector regulator with extensive experience in the regulation of water sewage, transportation and telecommunications.