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VINLEC customers to pay lowest fuel surcharge in 11 years

VINLEC customers to pay  lowest fuel surcharge in 11 years


Customers of the St Vincent Electricity Services Ltd (VINLEC) will, this month, pay the lowest fuel surcharge in the last 11 years.

And while persons should be happy about that, they should prepare themselves for the surcharge to go up at any time.

So said chief executive officer (CEO) of VINLEC Thornley Myers, at a press conference at VINLEC’s conference room on Tuesday.

“…We are all happy about it but we still have to in the midst{{more}} of all this prepare for day when fuel prices will move upward once again,” he said.

Myers said there is no doubt in his mind that fuel prices will move upwards again.

He, however, said in the short term, prices will go even lower, now that sanctions against Iran have been lifted.

The CEO said customers will in January pay a fuel surcharge of 20.71 cents, the lowest the fuel surcharge has been since 2004.

“At this same time last year the fuel surcharge was 45.49 cents, a significant difference.”

“The last time we had a fuel surcharge lower than 20.71 cents is in July of 2004, so the fuel surcharge of 20.71 cents will essentially be the lowest surcharge in almost 11 years of operation,” he continued.

Myers explained that this low fuel surcharge rate is a reflection of the cost of fuel on the international market.

“You may ask how low would this get to. We would hope it gets as low as possible and that would depend not on us, but on the market prices for fuel internationally.

“Clearly this is a reflection of the cost of fuel and it’s something that we have always stressed as an organization, when fuel prices are high, we pay more for the fuel and customers will see a higher fuel surcharge, when fuel prices are lower, we pay less for fuel and customers will see a lower fuel surcharge,” Myers stated.

He also joked that when the fuel surcharge decreases, people say very little, but whenever there is an increase, customers get worried.

“It is also important for us to note that over the past year or so there has been a steady reduction in the fuel surcharge. You know when the fuel surcharge goes down, we hear very little about it; when it goes up of course, our customers are very concerned,” Myers pointed out.

At the end of 2015 customers were paying 24.04 cents against 45.49 cents when the year started.

Brent crude has fallen to under $31 US per barrel, the lowest it has been in 12 years and is expected to get even lower in the coming months.(CM)