GEBE customers in the Windward Islands (St. Maarten, Saba and St. Eustatius) will once again benefit from the fast declining crude oil prices on the world market. For the fourth consecutive month the electricity and water rates will drop. In addition, the 9-cent "fuel clause relief" remains in effect resulting in additional savings.
The price of oil has continued a downward trend the past couple of months after reaching a peak of US$147 in July 2008. The current price per barrel is just under US$50. The price reduction has resulted in an average decrease of 57% on electricity bills and 46% on commercial water bills. There is no fuel clause adjustment on residential water bills.
"Our clients benefit immediately from any price decreases because the fuel clause is adjusted monthly. In some countries the fuel clause is adjusted every 3 or 6 months so those clients have to wait longer before the price decreases show up on their utility bills," GEBE Managing Director ir. William Brooks stated on Wednesday.
GEBE hopes that the lower utility prices will encourage people to decorate their homes for the Christmas holidays. With the slogan "Let’s light up our community this Christmas" GEBE is also promoting it’s annual Christmas Lighting competition. "We want to bring back that old time Christmas feeling when all houses in St. Maarten were decorated with lights," Brooks explained. "So we are offering special prizes to our customers as an additional incentive to light up our community this Christmas, " Brooks added.
"You can decorate your home for a fraction of the costs using new LED Christmas lights. They come in a variety of colors and styles and use 90% less electricity than the regular Christmas lights. In addition, they last longer and are cool to the touch making them much safer," GEBE’s Corporate Communications Officer Mrs. Giselle Dirckx-Williams pointed out.
Although the prices are continuing to decrease, GEBE encourages its customers to conserve energy and water which not only saves a family additional money but it also helps the environment. "We should not become complacement with the current decrease in oil prices, but continue to practice conservation to maximize the money you can save," GEBE Managing Director, ir. William Brooks, concluded.