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Did You Know?

  • The FTC must consult the public before making decisions on utility regulation matters.
  • The FTC has the power to stop a merger.
  • If you have been misled about the price or nature of goods or services, you must first let the business try to resolve it before contacting the FTC.
Utility Regulation

The Fair Trading Commission established on January 2, 2001 is the independent regulator of the supply and distribution of electricity as well as domestic and international telecommunications services and natural gas.

The Utility Regulation Department currently oversees three utility companies – the Barbados Light & Power Company Ltd.(electricity); Cable & Wireless (Barbados) Ltd. (telecommunications); and the Barbados Water Authority (water).

One of the prime functions of the Division, in respect of utilities regulation, is establishing principles for arriving at the rates to be charged. The Commission is guided by sector policy and seeks to protect consumers by setting fair and reasonable rates; encouraging investment by allowing efficient operators to earn a reasonable return on capital; and promoting efficiency in the provision of the utility service. We monitor the operation of the utilities by way of regulatory reports and periodic audits.

Under the Telecommunications Act the Commission is also obligated to formulate the policy of market liberalisation and competitive pricing. This involves setting interconnection guidelines, approving interconnection agreements and resolving disputes between providers of telecommunications services.

We also set the standards of service that utility providers should offer to the public and monitor the companies to ensure that they are maintaining or exceeding these standards. The purpose of identifying standards of service is to create conditions for customer satisfaction by making known the quality of service which the service provider is required to provide and which the user has a right to expect.

In the event that you have concerns about your bills or service, our utility regulation officers will listen to your complaint and investigate them. On a daily basis we also provide information and advice in response to queries that are made by phone, e-mail or normal mail.

Interaction with the public is critical to our success as we seek to ensure that our processes are fair and transparent. We therefore utilise several methods of informing and educating the public including written consultations, information papers, learning forums and oral hearings.

In this section, you will find information on all of this and more. You will find links to information on the Service Providers we regulate. You can inform yourself by reading up on the Standards of Service for these providers and checking out the various Applications which they have made to facilitate changes in their operations. For even more information on the division’s work you can examine the Legislation that makes us what we are and browse through our Publications and Press articles which break down the work we do in simple, clear language. If you still have questions, visit our convenient Frequently Asked Questions or check our Contacts page.