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
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.