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Deputy calls for greater transparency of GEL

Deputy calls for greater transparency of GEL

Friday 24 June 2022

Deputy calls for greater transparency of GEL

Friday 24 June 2022


Deputy David de Lisle has questioned why Guernsey Electricity will not publicly indicate how bonuses are awarded to its senior executives at a time when the utility has “gone cap in hand to the States for more capital”.

He told Express he shares “public concerns” about the increasing cost of living and called the impending electricity tariff price hike “whopping”.

Deputy De Lisle also suggested that the company structure of GEL might reduce openness and transparency between it and the public.

He said: “The company structure run by a commercial board may be better as a public utility - as before with state ownership and control accompanied by strong political direction and oversight.” 

He also questioned if bonuses should be awarded to senior management with “no indication to the public of targets met or measures of success within the company".

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Pictured: Guernsey is heavily reliant on other jurisdictions for its electricity.

At the time of announcing the price increase, Guernsey Electricity claimed that current levels of investment “fall well below” what is required to maintain the islands infrastructure and deliver the energy transition. 

The utility said it was cognizant of the economic effect this would have on consumers but argued under-investment in the electricity network is “the most important factor”. 

But Deputy De Lisle blames GEL for failing to adequately maintain its infrastructure: “Householders will have to tighten their belts and expect others to do the same and question how a company that has failed to keep up with the structural integrity of its assets and gone cap in hand to the States for more capital,” he said.

He emphasised the island's energy dependence and the stated policy of GEL for a second undersea cable direct to France.

“[With] the risks to security of supply that this engenders for the future, it would do better seizing the opportunity afforded by the wealth of untapped local on-island renewable energy and aiming to return to a fully independent energy future,” he said, calling GEL a monopoly which has chosen a strategy “for an easy life”. 

Guernsey Electricity has always maintained that local renewable generation alone cannot provide enough energy for the short or long-term, and that both a new undersea cable and renewables will be required for the future.

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