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Symmonds refutes claims on electric bill amendment


Gercine Carter

Symmonds refutes claims on electric bill amendment
Minister of Energy and Business Development, Kerrie Symmonds. (GP)

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Minister of Energy Kerry Symmonds refuted claims that Government was taking legislation to the House of Assembly to block objections to license applications by Barbados Light and Power Company (BL&P).

He piloted the Electric Light and Power (Amendment) Bill 2022 on Friday and said Government had gone to Parliament to ensure that a piece of legislation that was deficient and without the regulatory framework to facilitate the objection, could now be corrected to empower those people who want to object.

The amended legislation replaces the 2015 Act which Symmonds said was woefully inadequate for the purposes of treating to an application that it invited people to make.

He explained that while the parent Act invited people to apply to the Minister if they had reservations about a license being granted to the BL&P, there was no framework within which that application could be made, heard or managed; hence the creation of the amendment.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley hailed his presentation on the issue as one of the best political speeches she had ever heard in the House.

She suggested the claims to which Symmonds referred were misguided and Government intended to use the opportunity off fighting the climate crisis and building up capacity in renewables to also enfranchise Barbadians.

But she stressed once the opportunity was given to many entities generating power, they had to work with the Barbados Light and Power to maintain stability in transmission and generation.

She said demonising of the BL&P had no place in Government’s ability to be able to ensure that there is a win-win for everyone – the country, the BL&P, the individual and the labour movement. (GC)

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