Dominica electricity company reduces fuel surcharge

ROSEAU, Dominica, Friday July 12, 2013 – The average Dominican knows that when it rains heavily, it brings not only floods, landslides and increased fears for their safety.

Now, thanks to the increased rainfall in recent months, consumers with the island’ lone electricity company, The Dominica Electricity Company (DOMLEC) has announced a reduction in the rate of fuel surcharge leading to reduced electricity bills.

“For the last few months, we were looking at 40, 49, 42, 44 cents (One EC dollar = US$0.37 cents) but so far in June we have noticed a 31 cents and July 33 cents, the lowest that we have seen in fuel surcharge since 2009,” said DOMLEC’s public relations officer, Adina Bellot-Valentine.

“It is attributed to the rain. For that last two months, we are realizing about 40-44 per cent of hydro production. The rain has been helping,” she said, however noting that while there rains have been helping push down the fuel surcharge, gas prices are continuing to rise.

“Sometimes it’s difficult to disconnect within the two because as the price of oil goes up, we wouldn’t realize the savings that we would have, if we are using diesel. As long as we are using diesel for the generation of fuel, we are going to have a fuel surcharge,” she said.

She also indicated that perhaps “geothermal is the way to go”.

“Government is leaning towards geothermal. There are pros and cons, persons have different opinions where geothermal is concerned but if that’s going to help then that’s probably the way we have to go,” she said.

In May, a senior government official said the Roosevelt Skerrit administration was exploring the possibility of expanding the geothermal project to other parts of the island.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Ports, Lucien Blackmore, said  the government is exploring the possibility of developing the geothermal potential in the southern and northern sections of the island.

He said with the necessary arrangements in place, Dominica will also ensure that by 2018, 40 megawatts of geothermal energy will be exported to Martinique and 50 megawatts to Guadeloupe by 2020. (CMC) Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)