15 September 2023
The Utilities Regulatory Authority (URA) has announced that Connect St Helena has presented a Tariff Paper to increase utility tariffs from the 1st October 2023. The water and wastewater tariffs were last revised in April 2021 and the electricity tariffs were last revised in 2016.
The Tariff paper recommends a 10% increase in water and wastewater tariffs, which relates to both the unit and standing charges, and the introduction of a standing charge on electricity (£45 for domestic and £60 for commercial, per quarter). In addition to these recommendations, a further option was included and considered by Connect St Helena, which was to increase electricity tariffs by 15%, but this was not recommended.
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.
Ahead of this meeting taking place, 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 Legislative Council.
We can confirm however, that the formal response to the URA has incorporated the views of the Council in its entirety, as requested.
15 September 2023