High electricity rates and wastage concern employers association

The Employers Federation has raised concern over the high price of electricity in the island and called on the government to better monitor its own usage.

The Employers Federation said the cost of electricity and transportation in the country is making it extremely difficult to do business.

The Federation’s past president, Pedro Corbin said there was clear evidence of energy wastage in government departments.

He pointed to sports facilities, where he said, high-powered lights are left on throughout the night and during the daytime as well.

Corbin said the Antigua Public Utilities Company (APUA) has no choice but to recover the costs of such wastage and that can only mean higher prices on consumers’ bills.

“The government consumes probably the largest chunk of electricity in the country. Whether we like it or not, when we see all these basketball courts and playing fields lit all night and all day we, the consumers, are paying for that because at the end of the day APUA has to provide the wattage to fuel that electricity,” Corbin said.

“I think the government has to start to take a stance, to say we really need to make sure that this electricity is not wasted,” Corbin added.

Vice president Patrick Ryan said to his knowledge the country has some of the highest utility rates in the region.

“All we know is we are paying very high costs here, I keep hearing whenever we line it up to any other island in the eastern Caribbean or any other Caricom partners it’s a high price. The cost of utilities and transportation here has really made it difficult for any manufacturing sector and that is why I would think here in Antigua it is almost non-existent,” Ryan said.

(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)