Call for day of protest over increased power costs

Shut the island down is the call in the aftermath of the announcement that residents are to pay an increase of up to 20 percent more for electricity.


The person behind the proposed protest has taken to social media platform WhatsApp to gather support for the shutdown which has been called for next Monday, the 9th of October.


They are urging the parking of vehicles, trucks in particular, at roundabouts to prevent traffic access and disrupt services as the hope is to cause delays in people getting to work, if at all.


“Now we are asking those of you who can’t make it to stay at home from work and stand on the road sides to show our solidarity as a people! Airport workers, government workers, reinsurance, local businesses, restaurants! Construction. Fisherman, teachers, parents keep you children home. Groceries, everybody! Please share as we are moving to demand change!”


There is also a voice-note from the organiser expressing frustration with the increase in electricity costs which they say exacerbates an already high cost of living in Bermuda.


The increased power costs are as a result of an increase in the fuel adjustment rate from 16.5 cents per kilowatt hour to 24.5 cents per kilowatt hour.


BELCO in a post on “X” formerly Twitter stated, “Beginning with the next billing cycle, you’ll likely see an increase in your energy bill. This increase is a result of rising fuel prices and a consequential adjustment made to the Fuel Adjustment Rate.”

The FAR reflects the total cost to deliver fuel to the Belco central plant and comprises two parts: the fuel adjustment and government taxes.”


In response to the increase government issued a press release indicating, “The Ministry of Home Affairs wishes to clarify the government taxes related to the fuel adjustment rate.

The Ministry can advise that there has been no fuel tax increase by the Government for many years, and at present, only four cents of the FAR represents government taxes. Also, under law, the Government has no direct involvement in setting the rate of the FAR.

The Minister of Home Affairs Walter Roban said: “Notwithstanding the minimal impact government taxes have on the fuel price, I am deeply concerned by the almost 50 per cent increase in the fuel adjustment rate and its impact on families’ electricity bills.

“We live in challenging times, and inflationary pressures and higher living costs only reinforce the consensus that pursuing renewable energy options is vital to Bermuda’s future.”

Photo courtesy of Photographer Scott Stallad

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