As electricity costs continue to rise, a local renewable energy professional is encouraging householders and businesses to make the switch now from “energy guzzlers” to more energy efficient bulbs and appliances.
Former Sales and Marketing Manager at Solar Energy Innovations Inc Jeff Shepherd said given rising international gas prices local electricity costs would continue to rise.
Earlier this month Barbados TODAY reported that electricity prices were set to go up following a slight increase in the fuel clause adjustment (FCA).
Barbados Light & Power (BL&P) subsequently reported that the FCA for June had risen to 35.7825 cents per kilowatt-hour (KWh) and “as a result, customers will see an increase in June’s electricity bill”.
The FCA, a mechanism used by the BL&P to recover the cost of fuel oil used in the generation of electricity, cost 28.6051 cents per KWh last month. It adjusts the price customers pay for each KWh of electricity, since the cost of fuel used to generate electricity rises and falls.
Delivering the weekly Astor B Watts lunchtime lecture at the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) headquarters on today, Shepherd warned that this month’s increase was only the beginning.
“You can reduce your electricity bill from whatever you are paying now. You might want to [hurry up] and do that because in the next couple of weeks we don’t know what is going to happen as far as that is concerned, but you know all the utilities have gone up . . . .So you need to start reducing your electricity bill now and the way to do that is to install LEDs. Those are the bulbs you need to install,” Shepherd insisted.
“You are going to have the fuel [clause] adjustment that is going to impact on us. That is going to be the key thing that is going to impact on your energy bill . . . .So I just want to encourage you to start changing out your bulbs,” stressed Shepherd, who also pointed out that the new Garbage and Sewage Contribution (GSC) levy to be attached to water bills as at August 1, would also impact households negatively.
Shepherd cited examples of businesses which he said had reduced their electricity bills by between 23 and 60 per cent by making simple changes.
In this regard he called on Barbadians to replace old appliances, especially those that were made before the mid-1990s, and to turn on the lights only when needed.
Pointing out that the LED bulbs had a lifespan of 10 years or more and that they were now more affordable, Shepherd said since he changed his bulbs to LED his light bill fell from between $260 and $280 per month to about $70 a month.
He also urged farmers to consider using more\ photovoltaic systems in their operations.
“You have to make your house or your office or business energy efficient. That is crucial to save energy,” he advised.