THE RECENT RISE IN ELECTRICITY BILLS IS DUE TO INCREASED FUEL PRICES ON THE GLOBAL MARKET AND NOT ANY NEW CHARGES BY THE BVIEC
The rise in electricity bills across the territory over the last three months is said to be directly associated with the increase of fuel prices on the global market and not any new additional charges by the BVI Electricity Corporation (BVIEC).
This is according to the BVIEC’s General Manager Leroy Abraham who made the statement in an invited comment to our newsroom.
The comment follows a number of complaints received by our newsroom from residents who felt their recent electricity bills were unjustifiably high when compared to previous months.
Speaking to Abraham on the matter, he said the only factor which fluctuates on an electricity bill is the ‘fuel variation charge’ which is dictated by the present price of fuel at the time.
In fact, Abraham assured residents that the charges associated with the fixed electricity rate on all bills has been the same over the last four decades.
He said, “Fixed electricity rate charges have not changed in the British Virgin Islands for approximately forty (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. Information as it relates to the fixed rate portion of the bill and how a customer can better interpret their bill can be found on BVIEC’s website – bvielectricity.com.”
Bill not affected by BVIEC’s technical difficulties or equipment malfunction
The BVIEC’s GM also said that neither technical difficulties or equipment malfunction has any bearing on a customer’s electricity bill.
He said apart from the fuel variation charge which fluctuates, the only other variable which contributes to a change in one’s bill is the level of electricity consumed during a billable month.
“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 have watched TV, did their laundry or ironed for the same duration every month,” he stated.
He added, “a customer’s electricity consumption is personalized to their respective electricity usage pattern due to all of the electrical equipment which they possess in their home or business.”
Oil prices over the last six months
The global oil prices over the last three months while significantly fluctuating was approximately $78.28 per barrel. In the month of December, crude oil went to as low as $67 but kept fluctuating just below the $80 mark.
However, from July to September 2021, the average price per barrel over that three-month period was approximately $71.65.
As of January 6, 2022, the price per barrel for fuel is $82.60.
Oil prices plummeted during mid 2020
During the initial lockdown periods in April 2020 due to COVID-19, the world experienced record low figures in oil prices with price per barrel reaching approximately $4.
According to General Manager Abraham, this record low price resulted in a fuel surcharge rate which was less than one penny on customer’s May 2020 bill.
Haynes, K. (2022, January 7). The recent rise in electricity bills is due to increased fuel prices on the global market and not any new charges by the BVIEC. 284 Media – News from the BVI. Retrieved January 13, 2022, from https://www.284media.com/local/2022/01/06/the-recent-rise-in-electricity-bills-is-due-to-increased-fuel-prices-on-the-global-market-and-not-any-new-charges-by-the-bviec/