Legislation planned to ‘allow more of a regulatory framework in how fuel is priced’
Legislation is in the works to cut the price of fuel, according to Walter Roban, the home affairs minister.
Mr Roban said there was scope to buffer the island from “the instability of fuel as it relates to international prices”.
Oil prices surged this year, resulting in an extra fuel charge by Belco, which will kick in this month.
Mr Roban said the Government was preparing legislation to “allow a lot more of a regulatory framework in how fuel is priced”.
More than $100 million leaves the island annually to pay for fossil fuels in electricity generation and for gasoline in transportation.
“It’s a significant amount of spending,” he said. “Clearly, if some portion of that money can be kept on the island, it will be put to a more sustainable investment.”
Mr Roban said the pricing of fuel needed “much more scrutiny”, adding: “This is not unusual.
“Other parts of the work have a regulatory framework for how fuel is priced.”
He said the upcoming session of the House of Assembly would include legislation to set up a “regulatory sandbox” for developing renewable energy industries.
Mr Roban added: “One thing we’re working on to bring down the cost of fuel as we transition away from fossil fuels is ensuring through energy policy that we can expand the use of renewable electricity that is community-based.”
Community-based networks would allow homes to tap into green energy produced at large sites elsewhere, he said.
“It would mean not everybody necessarily having to have solar panels on their roofs.”
Mr Roban also pointed to the Government’s Customs duty breaks on solar thermal technologies.
A “considerable amount” of solar panels is being added to the Government’s real estate.
Training courses are now in place to develop “a new renewable energy industry”.
“As a country, we must develop a well-trained workforce with the ability to install and maintain these new solar technologies.”
Mr Roban said the electrification of transport would be “crucial” for cutting Bermuda’s carbon footprint and reducing expenditure on fossil fuels.