February 12, 2010
VINLEC’s fuel surcharge up

St. Vincent Electricity Services Ltd (VINLEC) has advised that the Fuel Surcharge rate applicable on February bills is 38.08 cents per unit. This figure represents an increase of 1.12 cents over last month’s figure.{{more}}

A release from the company said that the average price of fuel increased from 7.25 dollars per gallon in December to 7.61 dollars per gallon in January. The company said it was required to utilize more fuel to produce electricity during January, as electricity produced at the hydro Plants amounted to 12% of the overall production. It also reminds that that the Fuel Surcharge Rate is calculated based on the fuel consumption for the previous month.

VINLEC strongly advises customers to continue to practice energy conservation in light of current trends in relation to fuel prices on the international market. The Company also advises customers that fuel prices on the international market are gradually increasing and that this is likely to impact the price of electricity locally.

“The Company’s hydro production has also decreased over the past few months, which resulted in the use of more fuel for the generation of electricity. As a responsible Company, we take this opportunity to alert customers of the current trends so that the necessary measures can be taken,” the release said.

“The Company acknowledges the challenges faced and continues to work to ensure that it is efficient in the generation of electricity. As such, there is a structured maintenance programme in place to ensure that all machinery is operating at maximum capacity. Additionally, work on phase two of the Company’s generation expansion project is progressing smoothly. This project involves the installation and commissioning of two diesel generator sets, which will have a capacity of 8.6 MW. With the installation of these sets, the current generating capacity at Lowmans Bay will double allowing the plant to become the premier producer of electricity on the Company’s power grid. The Company is also examining the likelihood of improving hydro production at two of the three hydro stations. Work is also continuing at Ribishi Point, the area identified for a wind park site to generate energy using an additional renewable source- wind.”

“VINLEC reiterates that the price of fuel on the international market influences the local Fuel Surcharge rate. As a result, customers should continue to use the measures applied in the past to conserve energy. The Company cannot predict the price of fuel on the international market and reminds customers that energy conservation will help to reduce energy consumption and by extension the electricity bill. The Company will continue to monitor the situation, and update the public,” the release said.