Legislative Council

Legislative Council considering Connect St Helena’s proposed New Tariffs upon request from the URA

As has been reported on, and recently published in The Sentinel, Connect St Helena Ltd, the Island’s sole utilities company, is proposing to introduce new tariffs from 1 October, which includes a number of increases.

The Tariff Paper is recommending a 10% increase in the per unit and standing water and wastewater charges, as well as the introduction of a new quarterly standing charge for electricity at £45.00 for domestic users and £60.00 for commercial users.

According to a recent Press Release from the Legislative Council, Connect St Helena also explored the option of increasing electricity tariffs by 15%, but this was not recommended as part of their proposal from 1 October.

Connect’s latest proposal follows the revised water and wastewater tariffs in April 2021, with electricity tariffs not having been revised since back in 2016.

Legislative Council said:

“As part of the consultation process, Legislative Council Members were asked by the URA to consider this Tariff Paper. As per this request, Members met on Friday 8th September 2023 to collate and discuss what this formal response should contain. In principle, Members have urged the URA to seek further clarification from Connect St Helena on the information within the Tariff Paper, to determine whether further options could be explored prior to a substantive decision being taken.”

Another aspect of the consultations on Connect’s proposed new tariffs is the launch and distribution of a petition which has garnered support from many members of the community against the proposed increases by Connect on utility charges – specifically the changes to electricity tariffs.

Legislative Council concluded:

“A decision was taken to launch a petition, supported by six Councillors, which focused specifically on the proposed increases for electricity. This was done independently and was not communicated to the entire Legislative Council. Councillors are entitled as individuals or District Representatives to take such action, however, it cannot be done under the guise of the Legislative Council. We can confirm, however, that the formal response to the URA will incorporate the views of the Council in its entirety, as requested.”   

The 1 October is less than two weeks away and whether the proposed charges will be approved by the Utilities Regulatory Authority remains to be seen. SAMS will continue to follow this high-interest story and will issue updates as and when possible.

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