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OECS inching towards sub-regional regulatory authority for energy sector

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Contact: Chris Satney


Wednesday, 18 March 2009 – The OECS is moving closer to the formulation of a regulatory authority to oversee the services of energy providers within the sub-region.  


All countries of the OECS, are said to be in agreement on the improvement of the regulatory framework for energy providers in the Eastern Caribbean, and have all reportedly expressed concerns of the implications for its continued absence. 


Implications, which Director of the OECS Social & Sustainable Division Dr. James Fletcher said, could include high cost of utility services.


“There is currently no structural energy management plan or policy in the OECS.  Energy costs in the OECS are on average 200 to 300 percent higher than average in many of the developed world countries, including the United States.  There is a general lack of awareness of energy management among energy consumers, building designers and facility managers,” Dr. Fletcher said.


The World Bank is playing a big part in the establishment of an OECS energy regulatory authority, hosting a recent stakeholders’ conference on the matter.


Senior Energy Economist with the World Bank Pierre Audinet, says the bank will help with the setting up and financing the regulatory body.


“We are in a project preparation mode, which means we are not conducting a study or doing technical assistance.  We are essentially working towards the possibility of setting up this institution,” said the World Bank official.


A document pertaining to the establishment of the proposed energy regulatory authority has been prepared by the World Bank and will receive OECS attention, with a view to moving to the next step in creating the institution.

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