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Friday, May 20, 2022

Technical issues not contributing to higher electricity bills - BVIEC boss

Technical issues not contributing to higher electricity bills - BVIEC boss

According to the General Manager of the BVI Electricity Board (BVIEC) Leroy Abrahams, none of the power company’s technical difficulties or equipment malfunction over the last few months have any bearing on a customer’s electricity bill.

Abrahams said this is based on the fact that a customer’s electricity consumption is personalised to their respective electricity usage patterns because of all the electrical equipment the customer possesses in their home or business.

The BVIEC boss made those statements against the backdrop of complaints from local consumers about the charges being reflected in their regular utility bills from the BVIEC.

Over the last few months, several persons have taken to social media platform Facebook to voice their concerns about what they described as a significant rise in the cost of their electricity bill despite using similar usage during the months in question.

There have also been scheduled and unscheduled electricity outages in sections of the territory during the last three months as the BVIEC did maintenance on its facilities.

“Customers’ bills are calculated based on a meter reading of the amount of electricity which they consumed over the course of a billing period from one month to the next. I think it is virtually impossible for a customer to use exactly the same amount of electricity from one month to the next as this would mean they watched TV for the same duration of time every month or did laundry or ironed exactly the same duration every month.,” Abrahams said.

BVI not immune to global fluctuations of oil prices

Abrahams also added that the Virgin Islands, like the rest of the world, is not immune to the global fluctuations in oil production and cost.

He said the cost for the corresponding fuel needed to produce electricity has been rising steadily in the United States and it has been reported that fuel costs are the highest in almost a decade.

Consequently, the BVIEC General Manager said this can result in a slight increase in electricity bills.

“Fixed electricity rate charges have not changed in the British Virgin Islands for approximately 40 years. The only element which fluctuates on a monthly basis with respect to rates on a customer’s bill is the “fuel variation surcharge” which is reflective of the market value of fuel,” Abrahams said.

“Last year April 2020 when the whole world was shut-down as a result of the global pandemic, oil prices went to a record low of approximately $4.00 a barrel which resulted in a fuel surcharge rate of $0.009889 which was less than one penny on customer’s May 2020 bill,” he added.


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