Public Works and Utilities Minister Kye Rymer said the national unity government had listened to the cries of the people over rising electricity costs.
In this regard, the Minister announced that the government will provide recourse from October to December this year to help shoulder the burden of these expenses.
Rymer, while describing the situation as causing serious hardship to residents, said in a statement last night, September 12, that the government would introduce a subsidy to alleviate the fuel surcharge from high electricity bills emanating from the state. BVI. Electricity company (BVIEC).
“In the Schedule of Supplementary Provisions (SAP) recently approved by Cabinet and the House of Assembly (HOA), the Government has allocated funds to help reduce residential electricity bills,” the Minister said.
“The government will subsidize 50% of the fuel oil surcharge on residential electricity bills for the months of October and November 2022, and for the month of December 2022, the subsidy will be 100% of the fuel oil surcharge on residential electricity bills.”
The SAP was approved by Cabinet about three weeks ago and passed by the HOA about two weeks ago.
He further explained that certain measures needed to be put in place for the implementation of the grant and these have since been completed.
Rymer, meanwhile, explained that the formula for calculating electricity bills has already been laid down in legislation.
“Electricity bills have three major components in their calculation. First, there is a $2.50 per month flat rate for the service. Second, there are flat charges based on the amount of energy consumed. The third element is the fuel oil surcharge, which is tied to the price of fuel; and oil prices have reached record highs since the escalation of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict,” the minister explained.
Lawmakers also suffer
Rymer further noted that elected officials are also directly impacted by these rising costs.
“We ministers and members of government have also seen increases in fuel oil surcharges in our private electricity bills,” Rymer said.
The minister largely blamed the issue of rising electricity costs on the Russian-Ukrainian conflict that began in February 2022 and said that since the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, people’s pockets around the world have been affected by the rising cost of goods and services.
“Virtually no one has been spared and the Virgin Islands has not been exempt or immune to these international developments,” Rymer said.
He also indicated that these events have caused significant disruptions in the supply of foodstuffs, raw materials for industry, as well as the availability and price of fuel on the international market.
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