The Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL) has submitted their Full Tariff Review, for their upcoming five-year business plan, to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for approval. Last night a public meeting was held to present what the business plan looks like for BWSL in their new Full Tariff Period (FTP) which runs from April 1, 2020 through to March 31, 2025. According to Chief Executive Officer, Alvan Haynes, the company has made significant improvements, without increasing tariffs in the last 5 years.
Alvan Haynes, Chief Executive Officer, Belize Water Services: “Over 12,000 customers pay less than $10 per month which is one fifth of BWS’ customer base. We put a lot of effort into improving services, investing in training and technology to help our staff do their jobs more reliably and quickly. Some measures of this improved service stand out. We achieved 99.93% service continuity despite the many road and expansion projects that demanded that water be turned off sometimes and occasionally cause leaks. Collection efficiency is at 98.8%. 82% of customer requested jobs were completed within the targeted time and the targeted time for those jobs vary from between one day to three days generally. 36% reduction in no bill complaints, this is just customers saying that they did not receive bills and this reduction is versus the first four years of the previous business plan. There was a 31% reduction in disconnection for non payment partly because we improved the notification and reminder system tremendously utilizing technology SMS, emails etc. And for us most importantly a 26% reduction in safety incidents; the company has focused on health and safety.”
According to BWS this five-year Business Plan builds on the company’s achievements and major capital investments focused on ensuring continuous and reliable supply to consumers. BWS proposes to issue two sets of debentures as a result of an increase in the planned capital expenditures during the new FTP period.
Rahisda Williams -Castillo, Chief Financial Officer, Belize Water Services: “For the previous five years, 2015 and on going 2020, we had had no tariff increase. However an increase is required within this full tariff period but the business plan defers this increase for a further two years to April 2022 which would sum up a seven years without any increase to our consumers. The forecast average increase is estimated at 10% which is lower for residential especially those with consumption of under 3,000 gallons.
Desiree Tillett, Customer Service Manager: “Our planned expenditure for the next five years is estimated at $237 million dollars of which $111 million will be contributions from the government. $79 million will be secured through loans and $47 million will be from revenue generated from our tariffs over the next five years.”
The PUC will meet with BWS to discuss these proposals and a final decision will be declared by March 18, 2020.