CARICOM offering online help to understand electricity bills
From the business executive to the man on the street, all will get the chance to make sense of their electricity bill today, thanks to the second in a series of webinar being hosted by the CARICOM Secretariat.
The webinar — titled ‘Energy Pricing: My Electricity Cost’-— and put on in collaboration with Panos Caribbean and New Energy Events — is being organized as part of CARICOM Energy Month celebrations, under the theme ‘Sustainable Energy for Sustainable Development’. According to CARICOM, electricity prices generally reflect the costs to build, finance, maintain, and operate power plants and the electricity grid. CARICOM said that there are several key factors that influence the unit (kilowatt hour) price of electricity, including fuel type and cost; power plant type -investment and operating cost; transmission and distribution systems cost; and government taxes. CARICOM explained, that electricity bills are typically determined by three main elements- the quantity of electricity used; the tariff for the electricity used, which oftentimes vary for different categories of customers; and, in the majority of cases, the fuel surcharge cost. “The webinar will feature a mix of discussants who are international industry experts, as well as representatives from electric utility companies, regulatory authorities, governments and key customers groups,” noted head of the CARCIOM Energy Program, Dr. Devon Gardner.
“Participants in this webinar will learn more about the principles and the components that determine electricity rates within the different islands and territories of the Caribbean,” he promised. “Essentially, the information will provide insight on how the money that is paid for an electricity bill is distributed among fuel suppliers, utility service providers — such as power generators and grid operators — regulatory service providers and government,” Gardner said further. Celebrations for CARICOM Energy month come amidst a changing climate, which threatens to impair island economies, most of which are burdened by the high cost of energy that limit the economic growth so necessary for their sustainable development.