Hippolyte Says Prepaid Electricity Will Promote Consumer Control

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Emma Hippolyte believes a prepaid electricity pilot project will allow consumers to control their electricity consumption.

Equity, Social Justice, and Empowerment Minister Joachim Henry recently announced that St. Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC) will launch the pilot project in August.

Henry indicated that caring for people and the high incidence of electricity disconnections prompted the prepaid initiative because people cannot afford the postpaid modality.

Dominica and Jamaica are among the countries that offer prepaid electricity services.

Like prepaid telephone service, consumers may buy credit and top-up as required.

In Jamaica, the consumer gets a Customer Interphase Unit resembling a security alarm keypad, which the power company installs in the home.

The unit beeps when only five kilowatt-hours remain.

If the consumer cannot top up before the credit expires, they can call the power company for an additional five kilowatt-hours.

“It’s an opportunity to allow the consumer to have some control over the electricity they consume because they know, for example, if they have paid $30, they need to ensure that $30 lasts them for the duration of whatever period they want,” Minister Hippolyte explained regarding the Saint Lucia pilot project.

According to Hippolyte, the initiative puts the consumer in control, making them more conscious of their electricity use.

“It’s a good thing. I am glad that they are piloting it,” the Soufriere MP told reporters on the margins of Wednesday’s House of Assembly meeting.

She also said LUCELEC would learn from consumer feedback if the prepaid electricity service is something they want.

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