A new policy was developed, according to Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, to tax the “big users” who purchase electricity from Guyana Power and Light (GPL) during peak times. This action coincides with rising electricity demand in Guyana.
In reality, Dr. Jagdeo stated that although Guyana has an installed capacity of roughly 174 megawatts (MW), there has recently been a need for about 180MW of power during peak hours.
The Vice President claimed that certain consumers have been disconnected from the grid in order to meet the increased demand. That implies that there may be power interruptions for some users.
The increased demand has been linked to “big users” of electricity now seeking power from GPL, which operates Guyana’s main power grid known as the Demerara-Berbice Interconnected System.
“A lot of the big users who are self-generating are coming on the grid now and taking power from GPL.
“… we just agreed on a policy that we will, for the peak hours, put a punitive tax on the big users who come onto the grid, because that’s where demand is greater than supply,” Jagdeo said.
He believes these users are now taking power from GPL’s grid because of the government’s move in 2021 to absorb the increase in water and electricity rates. This was done so the increased cost of fuel, which meant water and electricity generated at a higher price, would not be passed onto consumers.
The Vice President didn’t elaborate on whether those “big users” are companies but GPL this week issued a notice attributing the increased demand to the increasingly high temperatures experienced in recent months as well as the growth in the housing and commercial sector.
GPL, in that notice, urged customers to do more to conserve energy.
Meanwhile, Dr. Jagdeo also said the government was sourcing another 30MW of power. That unit should be delivered to Guyana before yearend and once delivered, power shortages should be reduced.
He also reminded the gathering that the government is constructing a new gas-to-energy project at Wales, West Bank Demerara. Once that project is operational, an additional 300MW of power will be available for local use; that power is expected to be half the cost currently paid.