Government’s Electricity Bills Aim to Reduce Cost of Energy

 

The Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Hon. Allyson Maynard-Gibson, led a discussion in the Senate today on the multiple electricity bills that were tabled in the House of Assembly last month. The focus of the debate was the Government’s National Energy Policy, a plan that she says will create a new financially-strong entity that can develop and sustain an affordable, accessible, reliable and sustainable electricity supply for The Bahamas.

“Today marks another major milestone in our ambitious national journey towards a Stronger Bahamas,” said the Attorney General. “The business plan being proposed by Power Secure, on behalf of Bahamas Power and Light Company, aims to slash Bahamian electricity bills by almost half.”

The Attorney General is confident the investments and spending stimulated by such significant savings will over time be a great relief to Bahamian business owners and private citizens. The business plan that Power Secure will manage on behalf of BPL is designed reduce electricity costs to Bahamians by 41% – from the current level of 44 cents per kilowatt to 26 cents per kilowatt. The plan also focuses on creating new, sustainable, 21st century jobs, relying on technology, regulation and compliance among other things.

“These savings cannot be underestimated. For middle class families in The Bahamas, it means more disposable income to invest in their children’s educations, to start entrepreneurial projects, to spend on other priorities, or to save,” Ms. Maynard-Gibson continued. “For companies, it means more revenue to re-invest in employees, innovation and competitiveness.”

The Bahamas’ National Energy Policy will also help to eventually convert BEC’s $20-35 million dollar annual losses into profits. Simply stated, the Attorney General stated that this transformative legislation demonstrates fiscal prudence by removing $246 million from the national debt.

The collection of bills includes the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2015; the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (Amendment) Bill 2015 and the Electricity Rate Reduction Bond Bill 2015.

In August 2013, the Government underwent an extensive period of consultation and development. The partnership entered into with Power Secure in April 2015 is due in large to their scale, resilience and expertise required to ensure electricity utilities reach consumers around the clock.

This new legislation specifically mandates the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) to promote and approve energy efficiency programmes by public electricity suppliers and consumers.

The Attorney General concluded by saying, “Bahamians are rallying with enthusiasm around the improvements we have carefully planned because they understand that affordable, accessible, reliable and sustainable energy will accelerate our journey to building a Stronger Bahamas for a safe, prosperous and modern future.”

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A full copy of the debate presented in the Senate can be found at: Electricity Reform for a Stronger Bahamas

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