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‘Light bill’ reduction not permanent- GPL

Chairman of GPL’s Board of Directors, Winston Brassington.

Guyana Power and Light Inc. on Tuesday did not rule out electricity rates being increased as the year progresses if international oil prices rise above US$70 per barrel.

Chairman of GPL’s Board, Winston Brassington said that as it stands, the power company would be passing on GUY$3 billion in savings to consumers due to the 10 percent overall reduction in the energy charge. “Let us be cautious. In the same way that this has come down, if fuel prices remain low we can maintain this reduction but if this all started to reverse in a really big way on a quarterly basis, we would have to look to adjust,” he said.

While the private sector has welcomed the reduction in the ‘light bill,’ the company has planned to review its rates against movements in oil prices in July.  “This fuel rebate is premised on the reduction of fuel prices and is likely to be revised and adjusted on a quarterly basis,” he told a news conference at GPL’s Headquarters, Duke Street, Kingston.

Figures show that GPL spent US$105 million on fuel last year, down from a projected US$120 million, and plans to spend US$70 million on fuel in 2015. Brassington said the lower oil prices would see the company saving an overall GUY$7 billion.

Brassington said the reduction in the price of Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) would see the company earning sufficient money to foot its operational expenditures.  He, however, said that GPL would be still depending on government to finance its capital projects.

The Board Chairman brushed aside questions that the tariff reduction was influenced by Guyana’s May general and regional elections scheduled for May 11, 2015. He explained that the tariff reduction could have been lower but authorities took into consideration that GPL had in the past forgone increases and substantial revenues totaling GUY$29 billion up to December 2014.