In May 2008, the Fuel Clause Adjustment reached its highest ever level recorded of approximately 36 cents per kilowatthour (kWh), an increase of 7.5 cents above April's fuel clause of 28.5 cents per kWh. The previous 'high' recorded was around 29.7 cents per kWh in February this year.
This comes at a time, soon after fuel prices reached record levels on the world market, exceeding US$120 per barrel, and the Government controlled price of diesel was increased to just over double of what it was before.
At present, the Fuel Clause Adjustment for Domestic and General Service customers continues to be subsidized by Government. This subsidy is designed to stabilize the electricity price that residential customers pay and it remains at 23.5375 cents per kWh, the same level as in October 2007. As a result, these customers have not experienced the impact of the increasing fuel prices since the introduction of this subsidy in December 2007. Other customers who are in the Secondary Voltage Power and Large Power tariffs will actually see a 16% increase in their bills in May.
Chief Marketing Officer of the Barbados Light & Power Company, Stephen Worme, has given the assurance that "At Light & Power we will continue to do our best to ensure maximum use of our generators that use Bunker C fuel, which is the lowest cost fuel available to us. However, there is not a lot more we can do in the short term. We, however, encourage customers to play their part in mitigating the impact of these increasing prices by eliminating any wastage and, where possible, finding ways to reduce their overall use of electricity, gasolene or other products they use." "We must reiterate that while most residential customers will not be directly impacted by this recent increase due to the subsidy, the increase in the price of oil and other commodities continue to place a burden on our country's finances and we all have a responsibility to do what we do more efficiently and more cost effectively."