Private Sector bodies not in support of higher electricity rates – 13th Jun 2013
The proposed electricity tariffs hike of almost 27 percen by the GPL is not finding favour with several civic bodies including trade Unions and private sector agencies. The Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association is the latest body to come out, and says the increase is not only unconscionable, but it has strong potential to literally demolish some enterprises, or at the very least, stymie the growth of the entire manufacturing and commercial sectors in Guyana.
Guyana currently has one of the highest electricity tariffs in the Caribbean region coming in higher than countries like Jamaica, Barbados, St. Lucia, Suriname and Grenada. A 26.7 percent increase will also catapult Guyana among several countries in the world with high electricity rates. Countries like Australia, The Soloman Islands, Denmark and Germany have some of the highest rates worldwide. The GMSA said that for some time now it has been pushing for greater energy efficiency and consumption management within manufacturing companies and has received support from the IDB to help with this programme. The body said that the entire nation stands to benefit in the short term from this project when the broad-based national standards for energy efficiency are created. One of the consequences of the proposed increase according to the GMSA will be to make Guyana’s manufactured products even more uncompetitive on the export market due to higher production costs, and would definitely erase the gains that manufacturers have made to better manage their power supply and consumption.
The GMSA says it can in no way support the GPL’s proposal to increase electricity tariffs now or at any time in the foreseeable future. Instead, the GMSA strongly suggests that the power company continues to explore the ways and means that could make their operations more efficient which would necessarily reduce their own costs. The private sector body is also calling on all stake holders to work together to find solutions to all the contentious issues facing the country.