In Aruba, eight unions, four representatives of employers organizations and the private sector, timeshare organization Atia, the Oppa pension funds and the government signed an energy protocol that will remain in place until the end of next year. The protocol is an agreement that will make water and electricity significantly cheaper. The new tariffs go into effect in November. This is an astonishing difference with the situation on Bonare where the electricity prices are going to increase by 50%.
Some consumers will pay 8.85 guilders ($4.95) per cubic meter cheaper; electricity will become 10.4 % cheaper on average.
Discussions about the measures will only be reopened in case of a global oil crisis. If such developments would endanger the financial household of the utility companies, the government will call parties for a social dialogue within a month.
The savings on water are the highest for households consuming between 13 and 20 cubic meters of water. According to the government most households are in this category and they need relief the most. The water price for this category will go down by $4.95 per cubic meter, saving a 20 cubic meter user $99 on the water bill. For larger consumers the savings are even higher: on a consumption of 35 cubic meters, the water bill will fall by 215.40 NAF(about $120) to 383.55 guilders (about $214). For 50 cubic meters the bill will be around 350 guilders (around $195) lower.
Companies will pay 26 percent less for their water.
The price of electricity will go down on average by 10.4 percent under the agreement. Consumers using between 500 and 1,000 kwH per months will pay between 40 and 80 guilders ($22 – $44) less. Per year the savings amount to between $264 and $528.
Prime Minister Mike Eman said that most households the government wants to help have an income of around 2,000 guilders (almost $1,120) per month and use around 500 kwH of electricity per month. They will see the price go down by 16.1 percent.
How do they achieve this?
The lower prices are possible, according to a report in the Dutch newspaper de Telegraaf, because the government has decided not to take any dividend out of the utility companies. Aruba will also stimulate the use of energy efficient appliances. In January the import duties on these appliances will be lowered by 2 percent. The government will also launch intensive awareness campaigns to promote the responsible use of water and electricity.
Source Today, August 15, 2012 (33)