Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 10, 2013 (SKNIS): As of this month end, citizens of St. Kitts will notice a marked reduction in the overall cost of their electricity, due to conservation practices.
This was expressed in an SKNIS exclusive interview with the Minister of Energy, Hon. Earl Asim Martin, at the first ever Energy Conservation Fair, held at the Independence Square on May 10. The event was sponsored by the Ministry of Energy in collaboration with the St. Kitts Electricity Company Ltd (SKELEC) and the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF).
Minister Martin said the Fair was intended as a means of educating the populace of St. Kitts and Nevis, on ways, means and methods in which they can conserve energy.
“You would appreciate that St. Kitts is not a fossil fuel based producer of energy,” he said. “We have to find ways and means in which we can begin to conserve our own energy in terms of fossil fuels and those that will generate power in the future, from our own concept of renewable energy.”
He said the Government’s policy is to ensure that renewable energy is used in order to have an impact on the cost of electricity. This he said is closely tied to conservation because the Ministry is closely of the view that any subsidy must be tied to conservation.
“We have decided that based on the amount that you would have consumed, there is a percentage reduction on your surcharge,” he stressed. “Those at the lower end would not only see a percentage reduction on their surcharge, but will also see a reduction on their normal cost of electricity.”
Organization of American States (OAS) Representative, Starret Greene gave the rationale as to why the OAS is working with the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis where energy is concerned.
“The OAS fully understands the importance of creating a supportive policy environment that will help attract private investors who are required for successful development of the energy sector,” he said. “In addition, the OAS believes that a sustainable energy sector requires the right policy framework, an attractive mix of incentives.”
Starret Greene stressed that the existence of specific legal and regulatory provisions that deal with issues such as land and resource use and allocation of rights, should first be securely in place. He said this would have the effect of avoiding future problems that would hinder the effective development of the energy sector and the advancement of renewable energy initiatives in St. Kitts and Nevis