SHTA discusses energy prices with GEBE

POSTED: 05/8/11 6:56 PM

St. Maarten – The St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association SHTA and utilities company GEBE met to discuss the increasing price of electricity and water.  The current economic environment in combination with increasing cost of living has many businesses and consumers struggling to make ends meet.   The meeting was designed to explore ways to offer some relief to citizens and businesses.

 During the conversation, it became clear that many of the issues that impact the cost of utilities such as overall efficiency, subsidy of BES islands Saba and Statia, and tariff structure are political issues that will not be solved in time to offer the community substantial relief.  According to GEBE, even the much discussed new tariff structure will not reduce bills substantially.  Instead the new tariff structure would make the bills more stable with gentler price swings.  While this measure would do little to reduce cost of utilities, it would allow residents and businesses to better plan and budget their utility costs.

The SHTA proposed to GEBE to undertake a joint pilot project to conduct energy audits for a sampling of businesses and residents to find ways to conserve energy.

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