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‘Light bill’ to be reduced due to lower oil prices

Government on Wednesday said that the state-run Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Inc. is considering reducing electricity tariffs in light of lower globalfuel prices.

This message, delivered during Cabinet Secretary Dr. Roger Luncheon’s Post-Cabinet press brief , is likely to be welcomed by private and commercial customers across the country who continue to decry high electricity prices.

Manufacturers will find a reduction in electricity prices particularly favourable as it is likely to decrease production costs, thereby allowing increased production at lower prices.

GPL is also likely to finding global fuel prices favourable as its management, including Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bharat Dindyal, has continuously said that high fuel prices continue to dig into the company’s profits, and almost guarantee high electricity tariffs across the country. If the company is indeed contemplating a reduction in tariffs this is itself an indication of better conditions.

Due to several international factors the price of crude oil has dropped from over US$100 a barrel to around US$46 a barrel, according to oil-price.net.

“GPL, I am now advised, is favourably disposed (to the) consideration of electricity charges decrease,” Luncheon explained. He said that “the company has particularly undertaken to have charges for consumers across the board adjusted.”

Asked by how much GPL is likely to reduce its tariffs Luncheon said “I haven’t a clue what the reduction might be like on electricity charges,” but he iterated that consumers are likely to find the reduction favourable. Also, asked when consumers should expect to see electricity prices reduced he could only say “soon.”

Luncheon also noted that lower fuel prices internationally have led to a reduction in the price of cooking oil by as much as 13% locally. With regard to public transport, he lamented that public transport operators usually hike-prices when the cost of fuel rises, but are always been hesitant to lower prices when fuel prices drop. “It’s like pulling teeth to get increased prices to be rolled back,” Luncheon told reporters today.

The realm of aviation is not much different as Luncheon noted that only the GUYOIL outlet at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) has slashed the cost of aviation fuel.

Luncheon said that the unwillingness of unregulated fuel retailers in Guyana to drop prices in light of reduced prices internationallycontinues to “strengthen the call for them to become regulated,” and for government to “continue to deliberate or extend its take on competing with such interests.”