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VINLEC: Do your part, reduce consumption!

VINLEC: Do your part, reduce consumption!

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Although a price increase is not on the horizon, this country’s sole electricity provider is urging consumers to do their part in reducing their energy consumption and thus have lower bills.{{more}}

Speaking at a press conference last week Thursday at the St. Vincent Electricity Service’s main office in Paul’s Avenue, Chief Executive Officer Thornley Myers said that his company is committed to doing all it can to ease the burden of electricity cost, but the rising price of oil in the international market and the devaluation of the United States dollars are expected to worsen and will essentially affect everyone.

“There is perhaps no single area in this country where citizens are more affected as a result of the continuing increase in diesel prices as in the cost of electricity. VINLEC is concerned about this phenomenon and is doing everything to alleviate this burden.”

The CEO indicated that his company has made steps internally to conserve energy,

“During the past six years our organization has been making greater use of every gallon of fuel used in the generation of electricity. In other words, our fuel efficiency has been steadily increasing.”

“At the end of 2007, for the first time in history, we achieved approximately 18 kilowatt hours for every gallon of fuel.”

He credited this to among other things, the commitment of the VINLEC’s work force in the maintenance and operation systems.

Myers said that energy conservation is a continuing exercise, and individuals also have their part to play in keeping electricity costs at a minimum.

He acknowledged the energy conservation drive that VINLEC has been promoting through Public Service Announcements, and suggested that consumers consider solar energy as one means of saving on energy bills.

They company is considering practical sessions in which to sensitize consumers on energy conservation.

Myers indicated that although a rate hike is not being considered, consumers will still feel the pinch in the pockets when oil prices increase through the fuel surcharge fee.

He said that if it were not for the fuel surcharge fee, VINLEC would not have been able to deal with the costs of producing electricity which has grown from $18 million in 2003 to $50 million in 2007.

“Without the fuel surcharge mechanism, VINLEC would not have survived these increases in the cost of fuel.”

The fuel surcharge has increased from 12.81 cents per kilowatt hour in 2002 to 46.75 as recently as the end of February this year, an increase which Myers said is causing socio-economic strain on Vincentians. (JJ)

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