NIA, NEVLEC Seek to Buffer the Impact of Rising Fuel Cost on Local Economy

The content originally appeared on: ZIZ Broadcasting Corporation

Charlestown, Nevis, April 07, 2022 (NIA) — The Nevis Island Administration (NIA) and the Nevis Electricity Company (NEVLEC) are looking at measures that can be implemented to minimize the impact of rising fuel costs on consumers. 

Premier Hon. Mark Brantley, NIA Minister responsible for Public Utilities and Energy said the method now being used to calculate the fuel surcharge on electricity is proving to be cost effective for consumers. He pointed out however, that if the price of fuel continues to rise, it may result in an increase in electricity tariffs.  

“We from the government’s point of view have been doing a six-month average rather than each time we get a fuel shipment we pass on the full cost, and by doing the six-months average we’ve been trying to buffer the impact, but increased gas, oil prices generally lead to increase in electricity and transportation costs etcetera. 

“If gas prices start to increase we must look at increased electricity because we have the fuel surcharge where we pass on the increases to our people, and so we continue to encourage our people to conserve as much as they can and to look at what is happening globally and seek to control how much they consume in terms of electricity.” 

In the face of rising fuel costs, NEVLEC is also encouraging consumers to conserve as much energy as possible to avoid high energy bills. The utility company customer service department has issued several electricity conservation tips for the general public. 

“Have your cooling equipment checked at least once per year. Be sure that drapes or blinds are not blocking vents. Insulate your homes with weather strips around your doors and windows to reduce cooling costs seal leaks around wall outlets and switches. Reduce the water heater thermostat setting and where applicable insulate the water tank to sustain temperature for a longer period. When using the electric range plan ahead and cook a number of dishes or meals for later use. Turn off and unplug appliances when not in use such as lights, TVs, computers, microwaves etcetera. ‘Standby power’ usage can account for up to 30 percent of your home electronics energy. Iron large amounts of clothing at one time, beginning with low temperature fabrics.  

“Turn off flights that are not being used. This is the best way to avoid wasting energy.” 

One of the critical objectives of NEVLEC is to keep the cost of electricity to consumers to the lowest level possible, and several initiatives are being pursued to achieve this over the short, medium and long term. 

These include the recent commissioning of a new generating unit which is more efficient and will thus reduce fuel consumption per kilowatt hour of power generated; and the launching of a program to assist customers with financing and implementation of energy efficiency measures to reduce their consumption and monthly bills. This program is currently being launched with the first customer being the Alexandra Hospital. The program will later be expanded to include all categories of customers. Long term pursuits include the development of new renewable energy sources for electricity with emphasis on geothermal, wind and solar power projects.