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Oct 11, 2018

Regional Utility Regulators Meet in Belize

The sixteenth annual conference of the Organization of Caribbean Utility Regulators is being hosted by the Public Utilities Commission here in Belize City.  Across the region, stakeholders in telecommunications, information and communications technology, water and sewerage, and several other related utilities have gathered at the Biltmore.  They are discussing a variety of matters, including a push for renewable energy which is at the forefront of the move towards sustainability.  Kathleen Riviere-Smith is the executive director for OOCUR. 

 

Kathleen Riviere-Smith

Kathleen Riviere-Smith, Executive Director, OOCUR

“OOCUR is the regional association of utility regulators, so we have members, for example, the P.U.C. here in Belize, who is a member and our members incorporate regulators of the telecommunications, I.T.C. space, the electricity energy sector, as well as the water and waste water sectors.  So we’re very much involved in advocating the advancement of those utilities for our members and the citizens and residents who live in each one of their countries.  Over the past couple of days we’ve been looking at various issues, so for example yesterday, we would have had a roundtable discussion on energy which was spearheaded by CARICOM and we also had participants from CARILED.  It spoke about the rate structures because you know consumers are always anxious about rates and of course, you know, there’s a push for renewable energy.  But at the same token, the capital investment that is needed to be made to harvest that renewable energy can be quite expensive, so how do you get the right mix in terms of renewable, still using fossil fuels, but at the same token ensuring that you have a reliable supply and that the impact on the environment is less harmful than the use of fossil fuels at this time.”

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