Guernsey Electricity wants customers' views on how tariffs can be changed to allow additional investment in the island’s electricity infrastructure.
The States-owned utility says the way electricity is generated and used is evolving quickly. Customers are switching to electric heating sources and electric vehicles at a faster rate than initially predicted.
Such changes in customers' needs and choices and other changes in the energy market are not necessarily reflected in the existing electricity tariff structure, which has been in place for nearly 30 years.
Guernsey Electricity wants to restructure the tariffs in place since 1993 and says that in preparation for that it wants to understand the views of its customers and other stakeholders.
Karl Brouard, Chief Financial Officer of Guernsey Electricity, said the consultation process will help to explain the challenges of providing and funding the transition to modern energy choices.
Pictured: Karl Brouard, Chief Financial Officer of Guernsey Electricity, said the company's consultation process would help to engage with service users and stakeholders on its future operations.
“We are committed to providing a secure, sustainable and reliable electricity service that is affordable and fair to all islanders and want to be transparent around the tariff changes that are required,” said Mr Brouard.
“It is clear that we all need to work together to make decarbonisation in Guernsey sustainable for our community.
"Our customers’ opinions are very important and their views will help us have a greater understanding of future energy pricing requirements.”
As part of the consultation process, Guernsey Electricity has commissioned an independent market research agency - Explain - and associated initiatives will include a questionnaire and telephone interviews.
The consultation will consider the level of increased investment that needs to be provided through tariff increases and additional debt to meet the States’ Energy Policy direction for net zero by 2050.
Results of the consultation exercise will form part of the company's application for tariff changes which it expects to submit to the States' Trading Supervisory Board in the second quarter of this year. The Board recently took over the regulation of tariffs from the Guernsey Competition and Regulatory Authority.
Pictured: Guernsey has a commitment to record net zero carbon emissions by the middle of this century.
“Recent world events and the ongoing volatility in the energy markets have also highlighted the importance of a resilient energy system," said Mr Brouard.
“We must increase our investment in electrical infrastructure and create a network that can cope with the increased electricity demand we are seeing, support an increase in local renewables and provide the infrastructure to achieve net zero carbon targets.
“Fortunately, the cost of electricity to the island is not experiencing a significant increase, such as that in the UK and Europe, but the infrastructure we need to meet today’s demand does require investment and tariffs must change to pay for this.”
Guernsey Electricity’s long-term strategy is for an energy system that supports local renewables and reduces the reliance on fossil fuels. The power station at Northside would be deployed for emergency generation only.
The consultation will be available on Guernsey Electricity’s website and a paper version will be available from reception at the company's Bridge offices.
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