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Blame oil prices, says expert

rhondathompson, [email protected]

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OIL PRICES, rather than Barbados Light & Power’s (BL&P) rate increase, should be blamed for the steep electricity bills received by some businesses.This assessment came from Jeremy Martin, managing director of CarbonAqua, a United Kingdom-based company specialising in reduction solutions for energy and water consumption.He was speaking to BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY last Wednesday following an energy savings seminar hosted by Renew Energy Caribbean, at the Barbados Yacht Club, Bay Street, St Michael.In January, BL&P increased the kilovolt amperes (kva) demand rate from $4 per kva to $24 per kva and as compensation, reduced the base rate from 20 cents per kilowatt hour to 13 cents. “I’d heard rumours that there were some customers who had been very badly affected, that some had [very large increases],” he said, noting that this was not the case for the majority of business customers. “It’s been a change of what they’re paying but the total bill has not been that different,” Martin stated.He said businesses with steep increases were those “who have got relatively short working hours but when they work, they use a lot of energy”.He added: “Their capacity and their peak usage is very, very high, so obviously paying for that at $24 per kva rather than $4 per kva means that’s a massive change. Yet their total number of kilowatt hours in the year would be quite small.” Therefore, Martin said, the compensation in kilowatt hour rates does not save them very much. (NB)