Public outcry over light bills
April 15, 2005

Public outcry over light bills

VINLEC this week found itself the centre of discussion on the streets of Kingstown and on talk radio as consumers began to cry out against increases to their electricity bills.

The power company had earlier anticipated an outcry when it published a statement in local newspapers attempting to explain how the fuel surcharge is calculated. But for the consumer who has to face paying their utility bill, no explanation ever really suffices.{{more}}

VINLEC has once again published an advisory which states that the April 2005 bill “will show a significant increase of 22.82 per cent over last month reaching an all time high of EC$31.54 per unit.”

The customer advisory said that “there is a similar effect in our sister Electricity Companies of the Eastern Caribbean where the April 2005 Fuel Surcharge rate averages EC .32 cents per unit.”

The company has pointed toward “the upward movement in the world oil prices following global concerns that petroleum supplies will not be able to keep pace with record demands.”

VINLEC has also pointed to the effects of the developing dry season on the cost of power generation. The release said that there has been a reduction in output from the company’s hydro plants as a result of the dry spell, which has

led to greater use of fuel to generate the power required to serve customer needs.

As VINLEC did earlier, the need for energy conservation is being reiterated as the company bemoans the fact that it “has no control over the price of oil”.

But even as the company has gone public, with television, radio and newspaper adverts to attempt to explain their increased charges, the public outcry seems set to continue as many customers are just receiving their April bills.