GPL electricity rates may eventually drop if proposed increase is implemented – 14th Jun 2013
As the Guyana Power and Light Company, seeks the Public Utility Commission’s permission to authorize the proposed tariff increase of some 26.7%, the company’s Chief Executive Officer Bharat Dindyal said there is a possibility that if the permission is granted, those rates could eventually drop early next year.
He stated that the PUC’s Tariff adjustment mechanism could serve as a means of reducing the cost of electricity when the power company upgrades and modernizes its distribution plant, which will see a more efficient distribution network.
Last week GPL announced that it will increase electricity rates by nearly 27%, justifying that move by saying the company has been experiencing constraints over the past few years as a result of high technical and commercial losses.
The proposed increase will see the present rate of 63 dollars increasing to 80 dollars per kilowatt hour for residential consumers.
With the present rate Guyana falls at number 4 in the region, in terms of countries that have the lowest electricity rates. According to Caribbean Electric Utility Service Corporation’s data, Bahamas comes in third, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago rank second and first respectively. With the proposed increase, Guyana will move to #7, a position that the CEO says isn’t too bad at all. The Guyana Power & Light Company currently has some 166,000 billing customers, according to the CEO, their receipts from billing are some 99.5%, which amounts to 2.5 billion Guyana dollars.
The company has come in for some stinging criticisms since the announcement of the proposed hike in electricity rates. With the opposition claiming that the utility company is not properly managed. APNU member of PArliament Basil WIlliams says if GPL thinks they can introduce those rates, then, let them go ahead and try.
The CEO also used the opportunity to update the media about its development and expansion plans of the company’s transmission and distribution system.