The Public Entity Saba is grateful for the support the Dutch Government has been making available to help mitigate the electricity price. But even with these subsidies, it is unavoidable that consumers will still see the effects of the energy crisis on their electricity bills due to the high fuel price.
As part of the latest Dutch Government subsidy of 15 million euros for Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba, the fixed fee for electricity will remain zero in 2023. The fixed fee was already reduced to zero through a subsidy for this year. This subsidy will now continue into next year. The Dutch Government will also subsidize half of the increase of the variable fee for electricity if the price exceeds $0.38 per kWh.
Consumers need to know that the variable fee will depend on the fuel price and the tariff that the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) sets. The variable tariff will be capped at $0,38 per kWh, and costs above the threshold of $0,38 will be compensated for 50% for all customers. The ACM will stipulate a new tariff on January 1, 2023. If the fuel price rises, so will the variable tariff.
The Executive Council expressed gratitude to the Dutch Government for the new subsidy, which is significant. Without Dutch Government subsidies and the six-month subsidy provided through the Public Entity Saba, the electricity bills would have been substantially higher than what consumers are paying now.
“Over the past months, members of the community have voiced their concerns regarding the rising prices of electricity on Saba. The local and national governments have worked together to provide subsidies to reduce the impact of these increasing costs as much as possible. However, the energy crisis is not only a problem here; it is impacting the world,” stated the Executive Council.
The high energy prices emphasize the importance of becoming more self-sustainable and investing in renewable energy. It is important to reduce Saba’s dependency on fossil fuels to decrease electricity prices and have a sustainable, reliable energy supply. The only way to do this is to invest in more renewable energy sources. Until then, prices will continue to be greatly influenced by the price of fuel.
The additional 10 million euros that the Dutch Government is making available for renewable energy on Saba will help the island to reach a percentage of close to 90% in renewable energy in the future. The plan is to invest in wind, more solar energy, and additional battery storage.
The Executive Council stated that it was confident that smart, no-regret investments have already been made, which are having a positive impact even though this was not truly represented on the monthly bills because of the extremely high fuel price.
“With larger renewable energy investments, which are planned to start soon, we can be optimistic that our government, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate (EZK), and Saba Electric Company (SEC) are all working towards sustainable, long-term solutions that will benefit all electricity consumers.”