General Manager of BVI Electricity Corporation (BVIEC) Leroy Abraham has said the company has been offering hundreds of thousands of dollars in electricty subsidizes to Anegadians every year.
Despite the cost of their operation being much more expensive, residents of the far-flung sister island are benefitting from the rates that everyone else pays in the territory.
“If we had to determine Anegada’s rate based on the cost of the operation, it would be significantly higher rates than all of us in the territory. Sometimes the figures are in the amounts of several hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to subsidize the operations on Anegada,” Abraham said.
Chairman of the Board of Directors of the BVIEC Rosemarie Flax said this is because Anegada is not connected to the territory’s main electricity grid.
She explained: “Because of this, the revenue derived from Anegada cannot cover the cost of maintaining its operations; particularly, the cost of fuel for Anegada is significantly higher than the fuel used to produce electricity on the main grid. For example, the fuel surcharge being applied to all customers’ bills during the month of July including Anegada is $0.03 however, if BVIEC were to apply the actual fuel surcharge incurred to the Anegada residents’ bills it would be $0.07.”
She said this is being done at “a time when BVIEC is still struggling financially as a result of the devastation caused by the 2017 hurricanes which reduced its customer base, bearing in mind that every damaged property across the BVI that you see where the owner has not recovered from the ravages of those hurricanes, was once a customer of BVIEC.”
She said this is coupled with the current COVID-19 pandemic that has only compounded the situation.
“This is also one further reason why BVIEC is looking forward to the swift execution and completion of the Anegada project, which will bring much needed financial relief to the organization,” she added.
The island is expected to be 80 percent renewable by 2021 with the implementation of the Anegada Hybrid Renewable Energy Project.
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