Dominica

Independent Regulatory Commission

The IRC was established under the Electricity Act, Act 10 of 2006, which was passed into Law in October 2006. IRC effectively took off in June 1, 2007, following the appointment of its five Commissioners, and their subsequent inauguration on June 22, 2007.

The IRC has been set up as an independent regulator whose primary responsibilities and functions are as contained in the Act 10 of 2006. These functions include:

  • Ensure orderly development of a competitive power market
  • Ensure efficient, safe and adequate production of electricity
  • Promote competition & private sector participation
  • Protect consumers and the public interest
  • Evolve standards & codes that measure with international best practice
  • Evolve stable & equitable rates – cost reflective + reasonable profit
  • License and regulate persons engaged in electricity business
  • Settle disputes amongst industry participants
  • Ensure expansion of access to rural and urban dwellers
  • Establish and administer the Power Consumer Assistance Fund for subsidizing underprivileged consumers.

Country Profile

    Capital: Roseau.

    Population: Estimated to be 73,449 (July 2014)

    African decent 86.8%, mixed 8.9%, Carib Amerindian 2.9%, white 0.8%, other 0.7% (2001 census).

    Currency: Eastern Caribbean Dollar (XCD).

    Language: The official language of the islands is English, with a French based creole (Patios) being spoken by residents.

    Political status: Dominica is a parliamentary democracy within the Commonwealth of Nations and, since 1979, a member of La Francophonie. The Commonwealth of Dominica is one of the Caribbean’s few republics. The president is the head of state, while executive power rests with the cabinet, headed by the prime minister. The unicameral parliament consists of the thirty-member House of Assembly, which consists of twenty-one directly elected members and nine senators, who may either be appointed by the president or elected by the other members of the House of Assembly. 

    Unlike other former British colonies in the region, Dominica was never a Commonwealth realm, instead becoming a republic on independence. Dominica is a full and participating member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

    Climate: Dominica’s climate is tropical, moderated by northeast trade winds and heavy rainfall. 

    The island has a Tropical rainforest climate and some areas bordering on a Tropical monsoon climate with characteristically warm temperatures and heavy rainfall. Excessive heat and humidity are tempered somewhat by a steady flow of the northeast trade winds, which periodically develop into hurricanes during the Northern hemisphere’s summer. The steep interior slopes also alter temperatures and winds. Because of the moderating effects of the surrounding ocean temperature ranges are slight. Average daytime temperatures generally vary from 26 °C (78.8 °F) in January to 32 °C (89.6 °F) in June. Diurnal ranges are usually no greater than 3 °C (5.4 °F) in most places, but temperatures dipping to 13 °C (55.4 °F) on the highest peaks are not uncommon.

    Geography: Dominica is an island in the Caribbean Sea, located between the French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique. It is the largest abd most northerly of the Winward Islands. It is known as “The Nature Island of the Caribbean” due to its spectacular, lush, and varied flora and fauna, which is protected by an extensive natural park system. It is the fourth largest island in the Eastern Caribbean. 

    The lowest point in the country is at sea level along the coast, and the highest is Morne Diablotins (1,447 m or 4,747 ft). The extreme southwestern coast of the island includes a large collapsed submarine caldera. Portions of the exposed rim of this caldera form the southwestern tip of the island at Scott’s Head. Natural resources include farming, hydropower and timber.

    Dominica is distinctive in many ways. The country has one of the most rugged landscapes in the Caribbean, covered by a largely unexploited, multi-layered rain forest. It is also among the Earth’s most rain-drenched lands, and the water runoff forms cascading rivers and natural pools. The island, home to rare species of wildlife, is considered by many as a beautiful, unspoiled tropical preserve. According to a popular West Indian belief, Dominica is the only New World territory that Columbus would still recognize.

    Religion: The population of Dominica (as of 2001) were Roman Catholic 61.4%, Protestant 20.6% (Seventh-Day Adventist 6%, Pentecostal 5.6%, Baptist 4.1%, Methodist 3.7%, Church of God 1.2%), Jehovah’s Witnesses 1.2%, other Christian 7.7%, Rastafarian 1.3%, other or unspecified 1.6%, none 6.1% (2001 census).


    Source:
    The Caribbean Regulator: Volume 1, Issue 3, February 2015.