March 22, 2023


Creating Possibilities

[UPDATED] Tobago resident hits RIC: ‘What about the inadequate guy?’


File picture: Canaan/Bon Accord social activist Lyndon Mack.

A Bon Accord resident has urged the Regulated Industries Fee (RIC) to revisit its plan to boost energy rates for household and commercial consumers.

Lucille George-Percy claimed several Tobagonians are by now struggling to make ends meet up with and an increase in their energy invoice would develop additional poverty in communities.

She was speaking on Monday for the duration of the open discussion board of the RIC’s electrical power transmission and distribution resolve price control review at the Canaan/Bon Accord Multipurpose Facility. It was the RIC’s 3rd community consultation.

Questioning the timing of the proposed boosts, George-Percy asked RIC chairman Dawn Callender and govt director Glenn Khan, “I want to know no matter whether Dr Rowley (Key Minister) or the Community Utilities Minister (Marvin Gonzales) is pushing this point?”

She explained as unconscionable the conclusion to improve utility rates when numerous persons have not obtained wage improves in decades.

“When very last we get a elevate of shell out? Inform me. We acquired increase of fork out in 2014. Listed here what elevate: T&TEC raise dey selling price, Digicel long gone up, they coming with land (assets) tax to go up. And all of that will be coming to us.”

George-Percy extra, “What happen to the very poor gentleman? What is left in our pockets for meals. That is what we have to consider.”

She claimed the RIC, in its place of putting an added economic burden on common citizens, should really have centered its focus on the Federal government.

“You want to enhance the capability of what you have for energy, the Government owing T&TEC thousands and thousands of dollars, why allyuh not coming down on the Govt?”

George-Percy explained she at the moment has four unpaid energy costs at her home, all of which are $2,000 or a lot more.

“That could not be right for anyone, to pay back $2,000 a month.”

She also puzzled if there was a plan in put to swap appliances that are damaged as a consequence of energy surges.

Khan, in response, informed the audience there are currently 235,451 residential customers employing 889kw each two months and their monthly bill is about $300.

“That is one particular half of T&TEC’s consumer foundation so when you are talking about men and women can’t find the money for, these are the quantities you have to take into consideration,” he stated, adding all those buyers qualify for a 35 for each cent rebate on their bill.

Stating he could not recognize why her monthly bill is so significant, Khan urged George-Percy to get an electrician to verify out her community.

RIC: Initial proposal was ‘extremely high’

In one more contribution, Andre Baker requested RIC officers to respond to the view that the consultations were being a squander of time because the final decision to improve the premiums has previously been taken.

Callender reported an boost in electrical power charges was inevitable presented the actuality that the last just one was 11 yrs in the past. She reported ageing products was just one of the explanations why the present prices could not keep on.

“We know that they are looking at sure cracks as I phone it in T&TEC’s assistance, and there is an expectation of fantastic support. Provided that the last price maximize was 11 a long time back, T&TEC is not going to be capable to provide the exact level of assistance simply because in that 11 several years, machines would have deteriorated a bit.”

In arriving at the new fees, Callender said, the fee viewed as quite a few variables, which includes the mounting price tag of living and the war in Ukraine.

But she reported the raises the fee experienced originally proposed have been much more exorbitant

“When we did the 1st computation, there would be more uproar simply because those quantities have been extremely significant. By using those issues into account, we did a good deal of evaluation to come to a charge we feel is far more appropriate at this point in time since we know we want to strengthen the support.”

Callender urged citizens to voice their viewpoints freely at the consultations so that the fee can occur up with a ultimate determination on electric power rates.

“I am quite hopeful that as we go up and down that we could have enough input that we can go and rethink.”

Callender stated she has presently taken on board at minimum a few strategies that she has heard.

This tale was initially released with the title “Tobago community activist claims: RIC general public consultations, a farce” and has been modified to consist of additional details. See first article down below.

A Local community activist has described as a “farce,” the Controlled Industries Commission’s (RICs) community consultations on its proposed new electricity charges.

Addressing a consultation about the problem on Monday at the Canaan/Bon Accord Multipurpose Facility, Lyndon Mack claimed there is a common sensation amongst inhabitants that the fee has already designed a dedication on its proposed fees.

“At this issue in time, what you are listening to in this article from people are the belief that you have previously created a final perseverance,” he explained all through the query and respond to phase.

“You see in Trinidad and Tobago, we do issues extremely backward. We occur to inhabitants for the extremely first time. This is the extremely to start with time I am listening to that your fee exists, because residents in Tobago never know about you. We have in no way ever listened to about you.”

Mack claimed Tobagonians are experiencing all types of issues as a final result of steps carried out by the RIC.

“We have residents in Tobago in this article, apart from constructing challenges, have complications with land difficulties, with poles remaining put on to their lands. These are the things I see on social media each individual one working day as a resident. I have small business people complaining about you based mostly on your inefficient procedures.”

He said his problem was not truly about the consultation but the procedure that was employed.

“My problem is the method when you say to people talk to when you have now built a determination. And then you arrive to people as a farce to say, we are consulting you.”

Mack continued, “The objective of this exercise is that just before you make a willpower, you hear the feedback from each and every resident. This (attendees at the consultation) is not even one particular for each cent of the residents of Bon Accord and Canaan, a great deal considerably less Tobago West.

“So even if a willpower is meant to be built, the query definitely is supposed to be how many citizens have you actively consulted and invited to these consultations before you have built a last perseverance?”

RIC govt director Glenn Khan said he was taken aback by Mack’s declare that Tobagonians did not know about the organisation.

He reported, “Before covid strike, our shopper support persons utilized to appear to Tobago often to hear to people’s issues so when you say that you hardly ever read of us, I cannot say why.”

Mack responded, “This is the problem. We need to we really should not be acquiring people coming from Trinidad to Tobago to see about Tobago’s challenges. This is Trinidad and Tobago. There need to be persons from your fee in Tobago to characterize the interests of folks here. So this is a backward system.”

RIC chairman Dawn Callender interjected, expressing Tobago’s pursuits are represented on the commission through its deputy chairman Raye Sandy.

She reported sandy signifies Tobago “exceptionally well” and his thoughts are valued.

The fee is because of to host a 2nd public consultation on Tuesday in Tobago at the Belle Yard Multipurpose Facility from 5-7pm.