2015 Year in Review:
Grenlec makes solid progress in helping to energise Grenada’s economy, community and future
Lower electricity rates, increased renewable energy production, advancement of new technologies, and greater customer care highlighted 2015 as Grenlec acted upon its commitment to Energise Our Grenada. Together, these efforts support Grenlec’s aim for collaborative transformation of the nation’s energy sector by integrating more renewable generation, which will lead to future economic growth and environmental well-being in a sound, sustainable way.
Falling Electricity Prices
Both fuel and non-fuel charges decreased significantly in 2015. The fuel charge was reduced to $0.3117/kWh in December 2015. This reduction represents a 42.5% decrease in fuel charges compared to December 2014. Effective January 8, 2016, the fuel charge decreased again to $0.2869/kWh. The current fuel charge is at its lowest level since 2004.
In addition, the non-fuel charge was lowered twice over the past year. It was decreased 3.2% effective November 1, 2014, and then lowered again by 2.36% effective 1 January 2016. In total, the combination of fuel and non-fuel charge reductions resulted in a price decrease of 23.8% over the past year.
The reductions are in compliance with the Electricity Supply Act of 1994 and clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of current legislation in controlling electricity pricing. Over the last 21 years since the privatisation of Grenlec, the non-fuel rate has decreased by 31.8% when adjusted for inflation, based on the current legislation’s requirements for electricity rate adjustments. The current law benefits customers by regulating the non-fuel charge with a price cap formula that is based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and keeps the adjustments lower than the CPI.
Achievements in Renewable Energy
Accelerating the use of renewable energy for electricity production in a prudent, cost-effective manner is a cornerstone of Grenlec’s strategy to stabilise electricity prices, decrease reliance on foreign oil, and protect our environment. Below are some key projects of 2015:
- Executing an EC$6.4 million contract for 13 solar photovoltaic (PV) installations, totaling 937 kW of capacity—the largest single renewable energy investment in Grenada to date. Project implementation will begin in 2016.
- Successful completion of Phase 3 of Grenlec’s voluntary Customer Renewable Energy Interconnection programme, with more than 100 customer-owned renewable energy sites and an aggregate installed capacity approaching 1.3 MW. Phase 4 is scheduled to launch in 2016.
- Start up of three solar PV projects at the Bel Air Home for Children, Grand Anse Home for the Aged, and Queen Elizabeth Home for Children as part of the Grenlec Community Partnership Initiative (GCPI) to reduce the homes’ energy costs through Grenlec’s Customer Renewable Energy Interconnection programme. The combined installations amount to 40 kW for the three homes.
- Completion of the St. Andrew’s Anglican Secondary School (SAASS) Energy-efficient Lighting and Rooftop Solar Installation, 13.92 kW. The installation was the school’s prize for winning the Grenlec 5th Annual Debates Championship.
Currently, Grenlec’s renewable energy initiatives amount to 1.05 megawatts (MW). The amount of electricity produced by these renewable projects and other initiatives is equivalent to producing over 1,848,886 kilowatt hours (kWh) — enough to power more than 1,000 homes, displacing 115,411 U.S. gallons of fuel, and offsetting 1,170 metric tons carbon dioxide (CO2) annually.
Additional renewable energy initiatives are planned for 2016 and will be announced periodically.
Advancing New Technologies
Energy-Efficient LED Street Lighting
Grenlec, in cooperation with the Government of Grenada, launched an LED Street Lighting Pilot project to lower energy costs, improve light quality and increase public safety. LED street lighting has proven to be more energy-efficient, durable, longer lasting and brighter than conventional street lighting — providing significant savings of up to 50% in energy and maintenance costs.
Grenlec, supported by the Government of Grenada, launched the nation’s first electric vehicle (EV) pilot programme to help achieve our energy efficiency and environmental stewardship goals. EVs achieve the equivalent of up to 75 miles per gallon (MPGe), and are estimated to reduce fuel and maintenance costs by as much as 50%, compared to traditional gas-powered cars. With zero tailpipe emissions, EVs reduce greenhouse gases and air pollution for a cleaner environment.
24/7 Customer Care
As part of Grenlec’s commitment to providing reliable electricity and customer service, customers can now enjoy a new 24-hour automated telephone service to access their bill balances. By dialing 237, the new Interactive Voice Technology utilises a powerful speech recognition feature, giving customers an easy choice between using touch-tone or simply speaking into the phone. The service is designed to improve convenience, reduce waiting time and speed up transfer time for customers who would like to speak to a customer care representative. Customers can access account balances by using their Grenlec access number in which is located on the front right hand panel of the electricity bill.
Giving back to our Customers and Community
The Grenlec Community Partnership Initiative (GCPI) continued to contribute 5% of Grenlec’s pre-tax profits to support community educational, environmental, and social service initiatives. More than $1.5 million was contributed through the GCPI in 2015. Projects include:
- Commissioning of a new multi-media center at St. Andrew’s Anglican RC School to advance education, science and technology for our nation’s youth
- Sponsoring the 8th School Season of the Grenlec Debates with an EC$50,000 championship school project award, and another EC$95,000 for individual students and runner-up schools
- Contributing to Grenada’s Care Institutions for children and the elderly with more than EC$83,000
Over the last 21 years since privatisation, Grenlec has provided reliable, safe electricity to improve the quality of life for our citizens and community. With our ongoing commitment to Energising Our Grenada, there’s more positive change coming in 2016 to help our customers save money, energy and the environment. Grenlec is dedicated to our nation’s economic growth, the prosperity of our residents and businesses, and the future well-being of Grenada.
For more information about how Grenlec is Energising Our Grenada, please visit www.grenlec.com/energise.