EDITORIAL: 32 Nails to the Coffin

EFL is crying wolf as it shoots itself in the foot in its claims to support renewable energy.
20 Sep 2023 12:40
EDITORIAL: 32 Nails to the Coffin
An EFL worker works on a power post

Another nail to the coffin as moves to raise the cost of electricity supply are afoot.

Make that 32 nails for the 32 per cent in­ crease in tariff over the next four years, proposed by Energy Fiji Limited (EFL).

The justification by EFL is preposterous – protec­tion against rooftop solar panelling – when the com­pany profits are north of $50 million year after year.

EFL is crying wolf as it shoots itself in the foot in its claims to support renewable energy.

Nothing about their latest move adds up – not even their claim that lower income earners would be forced to dig deep to account for the exodus of wealthier users.

It reeks of poor policy making and demonstrates very limited forward-thinking.

A public company limited by shares, with objec­tives that include listing on the South Pacific Stock Exchange, now tries to make a mockery of locals by ripping off more of its customers.

The consortium Sevens Pacific Pte Limited – owned by The Chugoku Electric Power Co Inc and Japan Bank for International Cooperation – own 44 per cent of EFL.

In an era where the cost of living has sky rocketed, the proposal for an increase – from a monopolised service provider of a majority-owned State enter­prise – is plain daylight robbery.

Raising the tariff by 32 per cent over a four-year term, will compel more than just the rich to get off the grid.

As it stands, EFL should answer for the daily un­explained power outages occurring all year round. It has to stop somewhere, and soon.
The market must be deregulated.

If the Government, as the largest shareholder of EFL, cannot provide the basic service, it should sell its shares. Or change its guard. Either way, the peo­ple are not prepared to fork out the additional 32 per cent increase.

Feedback: frederica.elbourne@fijisun.com.fj 

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