NIA continues power subsidy

Plans to introduce a fuel surcharge for domestic users of electricity on Nevis have been quashed. Premier and Minister of Finance Hon Vance Amory said that the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) had taken the decision to continue subsidising electricity for domestic users in an effort ease the financial burdens.

The announcement came on Monday during the taping of an interview at Mr Amory’s office In Bath Hotel for a programme entitled “A Page from the Minister’s Notebook” hosted by Mr Charles Bussue on Nevis Television Channel 8

“We have determined that the domestic users of electricity would not be charged with the surcharge and the government will continue to cover that aspect of the cost to NEVLEC because we feel that we have to recognise that where the commercial increase has been made that somehow there may be some cost passed on to the domestic consumers.

“We did not think that would be a good thing to give them [domestic consumers] a double whammy from both sides, so the government has decided that we will maintain the subsidy and trust that NEVLEC would continue to produce efficiently so that we could continue to enjoy reliable electricity,” Mr Amory said.

During a sitting of the Nevis Island Assembly in November, 2005, Premier Amory had announced that the Nevis Electricity Company Ltd. would implement the surcharge to commercial users of electricity at the end of November and at the end of January 2006 for domestic users.

Mr. Amory explained, that the Nevis Electricity Company Limited of which the NIA owns 100 percent shares, had sort government’s approval to introduce a fuel surcharge to consumers in an effort to buffer the mounting increases of oil on the world market and to lessen its effects on the company’s financial performance.

The Finance Minister explained that the Chairman of the NEVLEC Board of Directors Mr Ernie Stapleton and the company’s General Manager Dr Fredrick Isaac he had met with an official of the business community to further explain the technicalities and the financial implications of the surcharge.

Notwithstanding, Mr Amory encouraged all electricity consumers to seek ways to conserve electricity citing that the Administration was also seeking alternate ways of electricity generation on Nevis while it look toward the decrease in oil prices on the world market. He said the Administration continued to look into the prospects of thermal energy and solar energy.

Mr Amory also took the opportunity to give some energy saving practices for domestic consumers including the use of lower wattage bulbs for lighting, reducing the number of light bulbs which were lit at the same time, in and to invest in a solar heater and other energy saving appliances. He also urged parents to ensure that children do not overuse any appliances at home.