Log In

Reset Password

Chamber warns of higher prices after Belco hike

Higher prices: retailers will have to increase their prices afte this month’s rise in electricity rates (File photograph)

Shoppers have been warned to expect increases in the price of goods after the recent spike in electricity costs.

The Bermuda Chamber of Commerce said that there would be a “ripple-on effect” and retailers may be forced to pass on an increase in their running costs to customers.

The increase in electricity prices of around 20 per cent came into effect on October 1. Electricity supplier Belco said the rise was brought about by “global events”. It was approved by the independent Regulatory Authority but will be reviewed at the end of the year.

The Government has since written to the RA demanding that it explain how it came to approve the increase, which is much higher than the general rate of inflation.

Describing the increase as “substantial”, Danielle Riviere, the chamber’s chief executive, said: “This will definitely impact businesses in Bermuda — any business that uses electricity.

“There will also be a ripple effect and price changes will have to be made. There’s no doubt that everyone will see their costs increase and that will probably result in an increase in the price of goods on the shelf.

“Because it’s such a substantial increase, it is highly unlikely that businesses will be able to absorb that increase into their own costs.”

Major retailers and hoteliers have so far declined to comment on the increase

Stephen Todd, the chief executive of the Bermuda Hotel Association, described the development as “significant”.

He added: “Our members are reviewing the matter and we will be in a better position to comment further, once this process has been completed.”

Yesterday, scores of residents camped outside Belco’s headquarters to protest against the increase, with many expressing fears of possible knock-on effects following the rise.

Both the Government and the opposition One Bermuda Alliance have expressed concerns over “inflationary pressures”.

Last week the Bermuda Industrial Union claimed that the cost of living “continues to spiral out of control”.

A BIU spokeswoman said: “As a country, we cannot continue to operate this way; families cannot continue to be put in predicaments where they must choose between essential items that are needed to survive.”

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published October 10, 2023 at 7:55 am (Updated October 10, 2023 at 7:45 am)

Chamber warns of higher prices after Belco hike

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon