Connect Saint Helena Ltd is proposing a utilities tariff review from 1 July 2018. This will see an increase in water charges but no increase in electricity tariffs.

SHG provides a subsidy to Connect Saint Helena Ltd.  Decisions on the level of this subsidy will be made when the Budget 2018-19 is presented to Legislative Council.  This decision will take into account, amongst other things, the outcome of the Regulator’s recommendation. By law it is the Utilities Regulatory Authority’s role to review any proposed price increases.

Connect has provided evidence to SHG that they made £140,000 worth of cost savings in the last year. They made efficiencies by using existing staff on projects in place of consultants, reusing waste materials and switching suppliers. Furthermore, Connect has invested £2 million in replacing worn out assets which have contributed to the relining of reservoirs and reduction in power outages. Despite these efficiencies and improvements, price increases for water are still proposed to meet the cost of delivering water to the user and to afford upgrades to the water supply and continued maintenance of the network to reduce leakage.

The cost of providing electricity is covered by the electricity tariff income but the average cost to supply a cubic metre of water is £7.20 so Connect makes an average loss of £5.31 on each unit of water supplied.

Connect has estimated how the proposed tariff change will affect every customer. The price increase is 40p per week for 15 cubic metres (15, 000 litres or 3299.54 gallons) which is assessed as the minimum reasonable water requirement for an average household per quarter. However, many users use more. Based upon average use by customers, the price increase for a domestic customer is 51p per week (£6.63 per quarter) for water and 23p per week (£3.00 per quarter) for sewage.

The Minimum Income Standard which is used to calculate Basic Island Pension and Income Related Benefits will be adjusted to take into account this increase. The Minimum Wage rate also takes into account inflation and therefore is also adjusted accordingly.

Qualifying agricultural customers will receive targeted subsidy payments directly from SHG to offset this increase.

Further information on how to calculate how the changes will affect you is provided by Connect in this week’s newspapers.

If you have calculated how the proposed change will affect you, and you feel this is significant and you would like to provide evidence in this regard, please forward information marked for the attention of Yvonne Williams to The Utilities Regulatory Authority, The Castle, Jamestown, or by email to: Yvonne.williams@sainthelena.gov.sh by 12noon on Saturday, 30 June  2018.

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SHG

28 June 2018

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