Subsidy for electricity Bonaire granted by the Ministry of EZK

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate (EZK) has made a subsidy of 2.34 million USD available to reduce the electricity tariffs on Bonaire. This is necessary because the costs that are incorporated in the tariffs by Water and Energy Company Bonaire (WEB) since 1 January 2018, have risen sharply.

New tariff system
A different tariff system will be effective as of April 1st. This tariff system has been applied on Saba and St. Eustatius since mid-last year. The average bill does not rise due to the new system, but there are some shifts: for some customers it is an improvement , for others a setback. This is due to the new fixed usage rate. Customers with a prepaid contract, Pagabon, will not pay a fixed usage rate. They do pay a higher consumption rate (expressed in cents per kilowatt hour) than the customers who also pay a fixed usage rate. Pagabon is cheaper with low consumption.

The high costs at WEB are a setback. In response, the ministry has provided a subsidy to assist WEB customers, although no subsidy was needed in 2016 and 2017. Thanks to this subsidy, the average bill per April 1st decreases compared to the first quarter of 2018.

The Authority for Consumers and Markets has approved the tariffs as statutory limits. This means that WEB can choose not to go for maximum profit, but also to take into account the affordability for its customers. The final electricity tariffs that are charged to the users are determined by WEB.

Reduction in production costs
In December 2017, the Ministry provided a subsidy of 620 thousand USD to WEB for expertise and project management for the necessary expansion of the production capacity. WEB wants to replace the expensive emergency aggregates by cheaper generators. The ministry expects that WEB will be able to lower its costs with this, and with other measures.