Ken Chee Hing
A Bon Accord resident has urged the Controlled Industries Fee (RIC) to revisit its plan to increase electrical energy fees for household and professional clients.
Lucille George-Percy claimed a lot of Tobagonians are by now struggling to make ends meet and an increase in their electrical energy invoice would create extra poverty in communities.
She was speaking on Monday during the open forum of the RIC’s energy transmission and distribution willpower cost manage assessment at the Canaan/Bon Accord Multipurpose Facility. It was the RIC’s third general public consultation.
Questioning the timing of the proposed improves, George-Percy requested RIC chairman Dawn Callender and government director Glenn Khan, “I want to know no matter if Dr Rowley (Prime Minister) or the Public Utilities Minister (Marvin Gonzales) is pushing this factor?”
She described as unconscionable the choice to boost utility premiums when lots of people today have not acquired income will increase in years.
“When very last we get a raise of shell out? Notify me. We got increase of shell out in 2014. Below what raise: T&TEC elevate dey selling price, Digicel absent up, they coming with land (house) tax to go up. And all of that will be coming to us.”
George-Percy additional, “What happen to the inadequate man? What is remaining in our pockets for food. That is what we have to think about.”
She stated the RIC, instead of putting an additional financial burden on everyday citizens, should have centered its awareness on the Governing administration.
“You want to enhance the ability of what you have for electricity, the Govt owing T&TEC tens of millions of pounds, why allyuh not coming down on the Federal government?”
George-Percy stated she at present has 4 unpaid electric power costs at her property, all of which are $2,000 or additional.
“That could not be proper for any one, to spend $2,000 a month.”
She also questioned if there was a program in position to substitute appliances that are ruined as a end result of electricity surges.
Khan, in response, told the audience there are at the moment 235,451 household clients making use of 889kw each individual two months and their bill is about $300.
“That is a single fifty percent of T&TEC’s customer foundation so when you are talking about people today cannot afford to pay for, these are the numbers you have to take into consideration,” he mentioned, adding people consumers qualify for a 35 for each cent rebate on their invoice.
Expressing he could not have an understanding of why her bill is so high, Khan urged George-Percy to get an electrician to examine out her community.
RIC: First proposal was ‘extremely high’
In a different contribution, Andre Baker questioned RIC officers to reply to the view that the consultations were being a squander of time mainly because the choice to improve the prices has already been taken.
Callender reported an improve in electricity costs was unavoidable provided the simple fact that the previous one particular was 11 yrs in the past. She said ageing equipment was one particular of the factors why the existing premiums could not continue.
“We know that they are looking at selected cracks as I call it in T&TEC’s assistance, and there is an expectation of superior service. Offered that the previous price tag maximize was 11 several years ago, T&TEC is not heading to be able to deliver the identical level of provider due to the fact in that 11 a long time, tools would have deteriorated a little bit.”
In arriving at the new prices, Callender explained, the commission thought of many aspects, including the increasing price of living and the war in Ukraine.
But she said the improves the commission had initially proposed were much more exorbitant
“When we did the very first computation, there would be extra uproar due to the fact all those figures have been particularly significant. By getting these points into account, we did a ton of evaluation to arrive to a level we believe is much more acceptable at this position in time simply because we know we want to strengthen the support.”
Callender urged citizens to voice their opinions freely at the consultations so that the commission can come up with a final determination on energy costs.
“I am quite hopeful that as we go up and down that we could have sufficient enter that we can go and reconsider.”
Callender said she has currently taken on board at least a few suggestions that she has listened to.
This story was at first posted with the title “Tobago community activist claims: RIC public consultations, a farce” and has been altered to include additional details. See original put up beneath.
A Local community activist has explained as a “farce,” the Regulated Industries Commission’s (RICs) community consultations on its proposed new electric power costs.
Addressing a consultation about the issue on Monday at the Canaan/Bon Accord Multipurpose Facility, Lyndon Mack claimed there is a standard feeling between citizens that the commission has now made a willpower on its proposed premiums.
“At this stage in time, what you are listening to below from people are the perception that you have now built a final dedication,” he explained during the problem and respond to segment.
“You see in Trinidad and Tobago, we do factors very backward. We appear to citizens for the extremely first time. This is the very initial time I am listening to that your commission exists, simply because citizens in Tobago do not know about you. We have in no way at any time heard about you.”
Mack claimed Tobagonians are experiencing all kinds of issues as a end result of steps undertaken by the RIC.
“We have people in Tobago below, apart from building issues, have troubles with land issues, with poles currently being put on to their lands. These are the points I see on social media each individual one day as a resident. I have enterprise individuals complaining about you primarily based on your inefficient techniques.”
He stated his issue was not seriously about the consultation but the procedure that was utilised.
“My concern is the procedure when you say to residents seek advice from when you have now made a perseverance. And then you appear to inhabitants as a farce to say, we are consulting you.”
Mack continued, “The purpose of this exercise is that prior to you make a resolve, you hear the suggestions from each individual resident. This (attendees at the consultation) is not even a person for each cent of the inhabitants of Bon Accord and Canaan, much fewer Tobago West.
“So even if a dedication is intended to be produced, the question truly is intended to be how quite a few citizens have you actively consulted and invited to these consultations before you have made a ultimate willpower?”
RIC govt director Glenn Khan stated he was taken aback by Mack’s assert that Tobagonians did not know about the organisation.
He reported, “Before covid hit, our consumer support folks employed to occur to Tobago often to listen to people’s issues so when you say that you hardly ever heard of us, I just cannot say why.”
Mack responded, “This is the problem. We must we must not be owning folks coming from Trinidad to Tobago to see about Tobago’s troubles. This is Trinidad and Tobago. There ought to be men and women from your fee in Tobago to stand for the pursuits of persons listed here. So this is a backward course of action.”
RIC chairman Dawn Callender interjected, expressing Tobago’s passions are represented on the fee as a result of its deputy chairman Raye Sandy.
She mentioned sandy represents Tobago “exceptionally well” and his opinions are valued.
The fee is owing to host a 2nd public session on Tuesday in Tobago at the Belle Backyard garden Multipurpose Facility from 5-7pm.