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We must "play our part"

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Wednesday 30 November 2022

We must "play our part"

Wednesday 30 November 2022

The States body which oversees Guernsey Electricity has supported its plans to reduce our imported power this winter to help alleviate the impact of the energy crisis across Europe.

The States’ Trading Supervisory Board (STSB) said "any support the island can give to help alleviate Europe’s energy crisis this winter should be welcomed".

Today, Guernsey Electricity announced that it will be reducing the amount of electricity it imports from the French grid.

It has also asked consumers to cut down on their usage - specifically between 17:00 and 19:00 daily.


Pictured: Guernsey Electricity's winter plan can be read about HERE.

The utility has said this is in response to the "energy crisis on the continent" and will help the firm cut back on the amount of power it buys from the French grid.

Guernsey Electricity's contract with Electricité de France (EDF) means we buy the majority of the power used on-island from the national provider. GEL now says that with costs rising and supplies at risk across Europe, it has agreed to, "if necessary...reduce the amount of energy it imports from Europe this Winter".

Through its supply agreement with EDF, Guernsey Electricity says it "will, if requested, generate more electricity using the Vale power station for local consumption and lower the energy imported through the subsea cable from the European grid". If that does happen then GEL will be refunded for the cost of any imported power that is not shared with us through the existing agreement. 

STSB President, Deputy Peter Roffey said that doing that will likely make only a small difference, but he insists it's important for Guernsey to "act responsibly within the context of the current global geo-political situation".

The STSB Board has said it "fully supports Guernsey Electricity in making maximum use of the arrangement by fully utilising the power station if required".

Deputy Peter Roffey

Pictured: Deputy Peter Roffey.

“We have an opportunity for Guernsey to play its part in responding to the effects of the current energy crisis and act as a good-neighbour to its counterparts in France and Western Europe more widely,” said Deputy Roffey.

If GEL has to resort to increased local production STSB says that it will reduce the need for larger communities in Europe having to rely on older, more polluting plants, and that should, therefore reduce the overall environmental impact said Deputy Roffey. 

The thermal efficiency of our local generating plant and carbon intensity of the electricity we can produce on-island is likely to be better than some of the alternatives that Europe may otherwise have to rely upon.

He also said that GEL may "potentially" benefit financially from any need to increase on-island generation. He said that would be welcomed and may be able to help offset future price increases. At the moment he said that was a secondary consideration.

Currently there are much greater issues to consider, nevertheless any financial benefit is welcome. It is in no way certain, but if it does materialise we would be supportive of any such proceeds being used to strengthen Guernsey Electricity’s financial position. That would provide a potential buffer for local customers to partially offset against future commodity price increases.


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