Minister of Public Utilities, Hon. Dr. Earl Asim Martin gave an enthusiastic report of the details of Government’s approval of the company’s efforts at the Thursday, May 17 sitting of the National Assembly.
In his presentation, Minister Martin praised the newly formed St. Kitts Electricity Company (SKELEC) for vast improvement in the delivery of electricity service to the island. He also commented favourably on the company’s improved communication with the general customer base.
“Over the last nine months, I am glad to report to this honourable house, we have seen tremendous improvement in the reliability of the supply of electricity in St. Kitts” said Minister Martin. “We have seen more active public relations coming into being, when there are outages, there are notices prior, and even if the outages occur without prior notice, there some explanations given. I want to commend the public relations arm of the St. Kitts Electricity Company (SKELEC) for keeping the citizens informed with respect to most of the things that would be happening there.”
Although the cost of electricity generation is still a major concern for countries in region, St. Kitts and Nevis still pays one of the lowest rates per 100 kilowatt for electricity. Nonetheless, ways are being sought to reduce the operational cost associated with providing this service.
“We have to begin to look at ways and means of how we can begin to operate our utilities much more efficiently” said Minister Martin, “and begin to bring into being the new technologies that we will appreciate in bringing down the operation cost and having the company running in a much more efficient way that will eventually way down to the cost of electricity for our consumers in the federation.”
He said that Government would want SKELEC to continue to work hard to constantly improve the service and explore the employment of new technologies.
“We, as a company have to begin to look at the new technology that is out there” said Minister Martin, “new technology in terms of whether we are going into smart meters, prepaid meters, whether we are going to go into net metering where people will be able to come unto the grid where they will have their solar panels and be able to get involved in selling their electricity back into the St. Kitts Electricity Company and they will have a net metering period. We see that as a means of bringing into being the new technology that will assist us.”
SKELEC has been, within recent months shaping itself into the backbone and springboard for Government’s efforts in promoting efficient, responsible and sustainable energy use in the Federation.