Average home electricity bill to fall 2.3%

  • Changing cost: reduced electricity retail tariffs will go into effect on January 1 (File photograph)

    Changing cost: reduced electricity retail tariffs will go into effect on January 1 (File photograph)

Electricity rates are going down in the new year, resulting in the average residential customer seeing an expected 2.3 per cent reduction in their monthly bill.

Before any figures were released a Bermuda Government minister had said there would be a “slashing” of the electricity retail tariffs, while Belco referred to the changes as a “modest reduction”.

The Regulatory Authority, and the Government released statements yesterday about the reductions, with Belco doing so today. However, initially there were no figures mentioned.

Belco has now released a table illustrating bill impacts when the new rates are applied to meters on January 1.

The table shows that a residential user using 300 kWh per month would see their bill go from $105.81 this month to $102.29 in January, a 3.33 per cent reduction.

A user consuming 600 kWh, referred to as the average residential customer, would see their bill reduce by just over $5, or 2.31 per cent.

Meanwhile, a residential user of 1,500 kWh per month will benefit from $4.50 reduction, or 0.69 per cent.

In addition, there are illustrations of the impact on bills for commercial users, ranging from a 0.44 per cent reduction on a bill for 500 kWh, to a 0.64 per cent reduction on a 1,500 kWh bill. A user with a 5,500 kWh bill would see a 0.02 per cent reduction in their bill.

The new rates have been developed by Belco and the RA to implement a retail tariff methodology issued by the RA last year.

The RA was the first to announce the imminent reductions when, in a statement yesterday, it said retail tariffs for Bermuda’s electricity sector will be decreased across all customer groups.

This was followed a few hours later by a statement from Walter Roban, Minister of Home Affairs, who said: “As a government elected with a mandate to improve the quality of Bermudians’ lives and to drive down the cost of living, we are pleased that the Regulatory Authority has today assisted in the delivery of one aspect of our agenda; driving down the cost of electricity via the slashing of electricity retail tariffs.

“From day one, the Government has refused to support a raise of Belco retail rates and sought ways to drive power costs down. Now, relief is on the way.”

Belco was the last to confirm new rates are on the way, issuing a statement this afternoon.

Dennis Pimental, president of Belco, in a statement, said: “Belco remains committed to keeping rates as low as possible and we welcome the new rate reduction.

“Although we have encountered significant cost pressures during recent years, including inflation and decreased demand for electricity resulting from population decreases, Belco has continued to invest approximately $250 million in our infrastructure. These upgrades will allow us to import renewables onto the grid, ensuring reliable and sustainable electricity for Bermuda.

“Despite these pressures and investments, we have not raised customers’ electricity rates. Instead, we have focused on efficiencies and savings. For example, the North Power Station and Battery Storage System are expected to save $20 million per year on fuel costs. We are projected to save more than $30 million in expenditures compared to 2015 through efficiencies and material savings.”

Mr Pimental said the company will continue working with the RA on reducing rates for Belco customers and providing a safe and secure energy future for Bermuda.

This story has been updated to give illustrative bill impacts provided by Belco.

Click on Related Media to view the Belco table of illustrative bill impacts of new rates.

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Published Dec 18, 2019 at 2:57 pm (Updated Dec 18, 2019 at 6:06 pm)

Average home electricity bill to fall 2.3%

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