New electricity rates for Linden unveiled
Despite protests by Lindeners, Government on Wednesday said it is moving ahead with plans to implement a new structure that will see a hike in electricity rates for that section of Region 10 from July 1.
The “standardization” of prices will see bauxite pensioners not being charged for the first 50 kilowatts per hour (kWh) of electricity consumed. The rates for residents of the right bank and left bank of the mining town will remain unchanged at $5 and $7 for the first 50 kWh.
Commercial and industrial businesses will continued to be charged by Linden Electricity Company Incorporated (LECI) on the right bank $12 per kWh on the left bank, this category will be paying Linden Utilities Utility Services Co-op Society (LUSCL) $15 per kWh.
In excess of 50 kWh, bauxite pensioners and residents alike will be charged $50 per kWh while businesses will be paying $65.
During a late afternoon press conference at his Kingston office, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds challenged Lindeners to conserve on that power and avoid wastage.
Also at the briefing were Linmine Secretariat’s Chief Executive Officer, Horace James, and CEO of the Guyana Power and Light Inc, Bharat Dindyal.
The administration had stressed that Linden since the days of the bauxite boom has been enjoying electricity at low rates, and following the halt of bauxite operations in the 1980s, the area continued to enjoy low cost subsidized electricity.
There have been moves in recent years, in keeping with new electricity reform regulations, to bring the rates up to standards with the rest of the country. However, attempts were rejected by Lindeners who said that the area remained a depressed community with high unemployment rates.
There have been accusations by the opposition A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) that government was moving to retaliate for their dismal showing in that area during the November 28th General and Regional Elections.
Meanwhile, according to Hinds, at the current rates charged in Linden, the allocation of $1.8B in this year’s budget to subsidize electricity costs will be exhausted by early September.
Cost of generation in the area has been averaging up to $62 per kWh. It would take up to $80 per kWh to be charged for the electricity companies there to recover costs, the PM noted.