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AEL cuts cost of electricity by 8.1%

Posted Thu 5th February 2009 at 11:20

Electricity prices in Alderney have been slashed just days after huge increases were announced in Guernsey.

Alderney Electricity (AEL) has reduced the fuel cost component of its bills by 25% ? a cut which will reduce the price of electricity in the island by 8.1% overall, after the tariff component was increased by 5.5% at the start of the year.

Last week Guernsey Electricity upped its bills by 17%.

Alderney?s new charge comes into effect immediately and is due to the falling cost of oil.

AEL chairman Dick Haines said: "We are pleased to be able to pass on to customers the effect of oil price reduction. However, we remain at the mercy of the world price of oil and the exchange rate of the pound sterling to the US dollar. This price cut is not magic ? it?s simply due to the fact oil has gone down."

Mr Haines said electricity prices will fall further, should the cost of oil continue to drop.

"It all depends on the price of oil," said Mr Haines.

"In Alderney we have two competing issues. We have the cost of running the company, such as wages and TRV, which is included in people?s bills as the tariff component.

"We then have the oil, which appears on bills as the fuel cost component. Over the years the tariff component will drift upwards but the fuel cost is volatile. It has recently changed from $147 a barrel to $47 a barrel."

Mr Haines also revealed that AEL has finished laying a cable through the Cutting area, near Braye Bay, which will allow Alderney Renewable Energy ? the company leading the island?s tidal turbine project ? to connect to the French electricity grid.

"Cables have been laid through the Cutting, which is a very congested part of the island. They will be available to ARE from September so that 7MW of electricity can be imported from France."

Mr Haines went on to say numerous improvements had been made to Alderney?s power station and distribution network over the last 12 months.

"We?ve made improvements to the power station in the last year and are currently improving the distribution network.

"We have effectively rebuilt the power station in the last couple of years so that we now have an ample supply of diesel generation capacity ? enough for the next two decades. This is modern equipment being installed and, coupled with the older equipment, we now have a very adequate base on power generation.

"The other part of the development is to increase the capacity of the distribution network. The more customers we have the more power they require and this increases the capacity of cables and a capacity of switch-gear that goes into sub-stations.

"We are building two sub-stations at the moment, one in Picaterre and a similar one in Battery Quarry. The equipment to go in the sub-stations will arrive next week. That will enable us to increase the distribution capacity in the island by a factor of four or five.

"Another part of the development will take cables into the middle of town, to St Anne. They will be connected to an existing sub-station at the dairy. These big cables will land at five different places, including the Grand Site, which is subject to a lot of development discussion. There?s no power there at the moment for even the most modest development."

Mr Haines went on to say why much of the island was left without power on January 21.

"AEL suffered a power cut due to the failure of an HV cable between the Braye Street and Weighbridge sub-stations," said Mr Haines.

"Power was restored after about three hours to the whole of the island.

"The failed cable is to be repaired along with some other improvements to the Braye Street sub-station."

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The Guernsey Bereavement Service has made three visits to Alderney over the past few months and would like to continue to help you. We are visiting the island again on Tuesday, 12th November 2013 and would invite anyone who feels they would like Bereavement Counselling to telephone the Bereavement Service Office on 257778 to make a time to meet one of our counsellors.

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