June 10, 2005
Heavy rains may reduce high ‘Light Bill’ crisis

Vincentians will be hoping to get some ease on their monthly electricity bills as torrential rains continue to boost reservoir levels around the country.

The water level is up thanks to the arrival of a long-awaited rainy spell, which intensified with unrelenting showers over last weekend and into the first few days of this week. {{more}}

Only last month Vinlec’s Chief Executive Officer Thornley Myers said the dry spell had caused hydro intakes to fall below normal levels thus contributing to the increased use of fuel.

The company found itself at the receiving end of strident outcries from the public in response to increases in their electricity bills.

With electricity fuel surcharge rates climbing to an astounding 22.82 per cent in April due to the rise in the already high cost of fuel, the recent downpours of rainfall should allow for greater use of hydropower.

Customer Service Manager at Vinlec, Steve Wyllie is agreeing with this, “Any water that we have will help, but the fuel surcharge is calculated monthly,”

Severe thundershowers sent water levels to 189.9 ml, which is an all time high for the year. Meteorologist, Julian Farrel said heavy downpours are to be expected around this time of the year.

But he noted that due to climate changes, more than the usual downpour is likely to occur.

“The whole thing is about global climatic change, heavy rainfall is expected leading up to the latter part of the rainy season, but this is quite a lot of rain for just one weekend” Farrel noted.

The meteorologist said the last time such a large amount of rainfall was recorded here was last November, at the end of the last Hurricane season.

And, with this expected increased rainfall continuing throughout the Hurricane season, persons are wondering just how this would affect our fuel surcharge prices.

Wyllie explained to Searchlight.

“We will do whatever we can, if we have good rain fall, we can maximize our hydro usage from 10-14 percent to 25 -29 percent,” he added.

He said the company is hoping to see an increased hydro contribution, which will in fact cut fuel surcharge rates.

“We are hoping that the fuel prices in time will reduce,” Wyllie said.