Rate reductions good for working Bermudians
We all know Bermuda is really expensive. So many of our people are feeling the squeeze on many fronts. That’s why the Progressive Labour Party government is working on your behalf every day to continue providing aspects of relief.
During Covid-19, we provided financial relief to those who lost their jobs, saw their hours cut, or had their small business shut down or lost revenue. We also allowed people to make withdrawals from their private pensions. These initiatives helped to bridge the gap for many Bermudians. The Minister of Labour closed additional job categories for work permits to ensure more employment opportunities were made available for Bermudians while boosting training programs available for persons that lost their jobs.
These actions show that your government is prepared to do whatever it takes to ensure people survive through the tough times.
But, that’s not all we have delivered. Over the past two years, thanks to constant work and pressure, we have helped to deliver a reduction in electricity costs. These costs have affected and will continue to affect all households on this island.
Effective June 1, there will be an average of 1.6 per cent reduction of rates across all customer groups. Residential customers can expect an average 1.7 per cent drop and, depending on demand, businesses can expect reductions between 1.4 per cent and 1.8 per cent.
This reduction is on top of the previous decrease in January 2020, which averaged 4.2 per cent across all customer groups, with the most relief going to smaller households and some rate categories dropping as much as 19 per cent.
How does this second round of energy-cost reductions affect you? The average house in Bermuda uses approximately 600kWh per month. In December 2019, this would have meant an electrical base rate of $163.33. That same usage in June 2021 will be $143.69, a base rate reduction of 12 per cent or $235 per year.
There are many factors that are going to influence your personal bill, including the global cost of oil. But the bottom line is, while there is still more work to do, electricity rates are going down and this is good news for all of us.
• Walter Roban is the Deputy Premier of Bermuda, the Minister of Home Affairs and the MP for Pembroke East (Constituency 15)