High electricity costs

Stabroek News
July 14, 2001

Dear Editor,

Recently, the Government of Guyana announced that electricity charges will increase for residential homes and in some cases the new rate will be G$38.25 per kwh beginning October, after the subsidies end (SN 6-29-2001).

A household which earns $21,000, just above the minimum wage of G$19,000, and utilizes 300 kwh per month will spend at least G$11,475 on electricity charges. This single bill will absorb more than half of the household income, leaving a tight budget to spread around other goods and services, such as food, health care, and education, among others.

Further increases in oil prices will certainly aggravate this situation, crippling businesses that use energy as a main input as prices increase in sympathy in all other spheres of economic and social activity.

Yet the development of the hydropower at Lethem is perhaps the light that can end the coming darkness, if certain investments are made and the government takes a more proactive stance to a wonderful opportunity. In the meantime, could anyone say what is the cost per kwh for power in Lethem generated from the hydropower system?

Yours faithfully,

Dr. C. Kenrick Hunte