BERMUDA-ENERGY-Government says electricity rates to be scaled back.

HAMILTON -- The Bermuda government says recently announced increased rates in electricity rates will be scaled back as well as an amendment will be made to the method used to calculate the Fuel Adjustment Rate (FAR).

Home Affairs Minister, Walter Roban, in a statement on Monday night, said that the customers of the electricity company, Belco 'will soon be advised of the changes to the FAR, which will reduce the recent increase in consumers' energy bills'.

The Regulatory Authority (RA) had approved a request from Belco, a subsidiary of Canada's Algonquin Power and Utilities, to increase the FAR which increased electricity bills by an estimated 20 per cent from October 1 this year.

Consumers had staged a protest outside the Belco headquarters and Roban had said he would consider taking legal action against the RA if it did not lower the FAR. He had also demanded that the RA explain the methodology used to calculate the FAR.

But Belco president, Wayne Caines, defended the increase, saying that the number were correct and were a result of global increases in the price of oil.

Caines was backed by the chief executive of the RA, Abayomi Carmichael, who defended the increase and insisted it was necessary and justified.

On October 6, during a news conference, Roban said he was taking on the RA and Belco, which has a monopoly here, telling reporters that the RA had always acted with integrity but n this instance, it needed to be confirmed that the authority was operating 'according to the law.

'This increase is not in the public's best interests, and this decision does nothing but cause hardship. The ripple effect will be massive, stifling job growth and economic recovery, hitting seniors and...

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