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Could today be the end of the Sark Electricity fiasco?

Could today be the end of the Sark Electricity fiasco?

Thursday 28 November 2019

Could today be the end of the Sark Electricity fiasco?

Today could finally mark the beginning of the end of a now two-year-long dispute between Sark's government and electricity supplier over the cost of power in the island.

Residents have been invited to a meeting at the Community Hall this evening, where the Director of Sark Electricity is expected to speak about a new 'Sark Green Deal' he has had put together.

David Gordon-Brown announced the meeting would be happening early in the summer, at the same time as putting the island's electricity prices up to the highest in the world. This announcement was met with shock from much of Sark, who have now been paying the 85p per unit, more than four times what others in the Bailiwick pay.

sark electricity David gordon brown

Pictured: David Gordon-Brown outside Sark's power station. 

There is currently ongoing legal work from the island's Electricity Price Control Commissioner to put a cap written in to law on the prices, and force the utility to charge less. But the last time this happened, the island found itself heading towards a crisis, as Mr Gordon-Brown threatened to shut his generators off. 

While a deal was struck at the last minute which was supposed to see Chief Pleas buy SEL out, it does not appear to have come to fruition, and a similar situation has appeared on the horizon since the start of the summer.

To try and avoid another showdown at the last minute, Mr Gordon-Brown arranged tonight's meeting.

More recently, he explained they would be discussing a 'green deal' penned by a University of London Senior Research Fellow, Chris Cook. 

In a previous letter to customers, Mr Gordon-Brown said: "The proposed Sark Green Deal appears to have all the elements necessary to stop the hemorrhage of funds from the island, to reduce electricity costs and bring to bear the investment necessary for Sark to achieve and sustain energy independence. Building upon the work of Chief Pleas working groups and the recent Exeter University energy study this proposal aims firstly to resolve existing issues and secondly to set out a roadmap for a transition to a low carbon Sark energy economy extending to heat, power & mobility."

How the rest of the island and Chief Pleas will react to the deal is yet to be seen, however. 

More to come... 


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