Georgetown, Guyana – Vice president Bharrat Jagdeo has announced plans by the government, to implement a policy to tax companies that consume large amounts of electricity during peak hours.
This announcement comes as the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) on Friday called on consumers to adopt conservation practices as the utility company registered its highest ever electricity generation and demand.
In a statement, GPL said that it recorded a peak demand of 182 megawatts (MW) compared to 154 MW for the corresponding period last year.
The vice president, also on Friday, explained that the over-peaking of electricity consumption, was due in part to large electricity consumers, who were previously self-generating, and are now reconnecting to the national grid following the government’s decision to subsidise electricity costs.
The situation is compounded by the current high temperatures being experienced which has led to higher use of air conditioning units and fans.
“To cushion the effect of this situation, GPL is seeking the support and cooperation of our customers in adopting conscientious electricity conservation practices,” the GPL, said, urging consumers to use LEDs that consume “significantly less electricity and generate less heat”.
In addition, factories, manufacturers “and other large customers” are being asked to “manage their production schedules efficiently to conserve electricity” and housewives are urged to schedule laundry and ironing on one day instead of multiple days.
“Our demand now, in a single night, is 180 megawatts and we only have 174 megawatts of installed capacity, so you have, of necessity, to take some people off the grid,” Jagdeo told a gathering, at the opening of the West Central Mall at Leonora, West Coast Demerara.
However, he said that government will be investing in additional generation capacity of some 30 megawatts of power, expected before the end of the year, adding that the 300-megawatt Wales gas-to-energy project to come on stream next year, is expected to significantly improve electricity supply as well as reduce costs.
The vice president accused the former APNU+AFC Coalition administration of not making the required investments in the energy sector, citing the scrapping of the 165-megawatt Amaila Falls hydropower plant, which he claims, has led to an increase in the spate of blackouts.
He also accused the APNU-AFC coalition of not investing in new capacity during its 2015-2020 tenure. (CMC)