Leader of SVG Green Party, Warrant Officer Ivan Bertie O’Neal BSc (Hons), MSc, MBA, makes a strong call for SVG to stop producing electricity from diesel and use renewable energy instead.
The fuel surcharge in our electricity bills is ridiculously high and for many households, the fuel surcharge is higher than the charge for energy used. For example, in a recent (month’s) bill for one household, the fuel surcharge was 59% of the total electricity bill. See below.
Energy charge = $62.50
Fuel Surcharge = $90.74
Total current charges = $153.24
It is crazy that most of the electricity bills for many households is not for the electricity the household has used. This high fuel surcharge is not only a waste of households’ money, but it is also a substantial drain on households’ finances. The fuel surcharge is impoverishing households.
The money wasted on paying the fuel surcharge could be used by households to buy food, school books, clothes, etc.
The sad thing is, the very same electricity we use, could be totally produced by renewable energy – wind, solar, hydro – and then there would be no need to charge households a fuel surcharge at all. In the household electricity bill above, the total current charges would only be $62.50.
Imagine what that household could do with that $90.74 instead!
In terms of renewable energy, SVG has a very big volume of water on the South River’s river that can operate five hydro-electric units competently- two new hydro units above the current South River’s hydro unit and two new hydro units below the current South rivers hydro unit.
Fellow Vincentians, when you look at our rivers, you’ll see millions of gallons of water running into the sea every day. What a waste that this water is not producing cheap electricity. The ULP regime is so grossly incompetent in the way they are producing electricity with (oil) diesel and draining households financially with the high cost of the fuel surcharge.
A Green government would abolish the fuel surcharge and replace oil with renewable energy, making electricity virtually free. Electricity produced by solar, wind and hydro will be cheaper. We would ensure that every household has access to mains electricity.
We would also abolish the VINLEC monopoly on the producing/generation of electricity, so that Vincentians could set up electricity-producing companies. In order to help the growth of Vincentian companies producing electricity from renewable energy and private households wanting to install renewable energy equipment at their homes, all taxes and customs duties on renewable energy products and parts should be abolished immediately.
A Green government would cut the price of electricity by 50%. The first 200 KWh used each month would be free. If we stop producing electricity from oil and produce it ourselves from safe renewable energy, then there will be much more money circulating in the SVG economy. The renewable energy industry will create employment too.
It is ridiculous that in our electricity bills, the fuel surcharge is higher than the charge for the electricity we actually use.