In this newsletter: save on energy; new WEB connection rates and the resignation of Lydia Emerencia.
Saving on energy
Households can significantly save on their energy bill. For example by switching to LED lighting, by purchasing 50 Hz instead of 60 Hz equipment (refrigerators, washing machines) and by generating energy with solar panels or windmills.
Decentralized power generation has the future. Bonaire lags behind because people here are not convinced of the benefits of decentralized power generation with solar panels. An island-wide approach is desirable. We can catch up with a widely supported policy.
Unkobon has discussed this with the directorate of Society and Care, with the Fundashon Cas Bonairiano (FCB) and with WEB. The reactions are positive. All organizations responded positively to Unkobon's initiative and supported an island-wide approach. The FCB plans to set up a solar panel pilot project to make the benefits to normal households more transparent. WEB already has some savings tips on their new website. Pagabon promotes the awareness of energy use. WEB will contribute to a joint awareness cycle.
WEB connection rates per 1 July 2017
From January 1, 2017, the setting of electricity and water rates is a legal task of the Authority Consumer & Market (ACM). With a half-year delay, the ACM recently established a few rates per July 1, 2017. These are the maximum rates for new electrical connections (connection of houses up to 10 KVA: $2,337) and water ($1623 for homes). The rate for reconnection has also been fixed (max $ 40). Inquiry at WEB teaches that the new connection rates do not differ much from the old rates. The maximum rate for re-connection is considerably higher than before.
ACM has postponed fixed/capacity rates and variable/distribution fees. In the future, Unkobon expects low-consumption households to pay much more, and households/companies with high consumption will pay much less. As of 2016, Unkobon has therefore urged that a timely replacement social policy be created for households with lower incomes. The logical way to do this is through the Ministry of Social Affairs executed by the dirictorate for Society and Care.
Unkobon now received information that the Ministries of Infrastructure and Environment and Social Affairs still have not been able to follow this logical path.
Lydia Emerencia resigns.
At the end of last year Lydia agreed to stay as Unkobon's president of the Supervisory Board (RvT) for a period of 6 more months. In accordance with this agreement, Lydia retired as chairman and member of the Supervisory Board on June 8, 2017.
Lydia has been a member of the Supervisory Board for four years and in the background she supplied very valuable contributions to the professionalization of the Union. Unkobon is grateful to her for her efforts and wishes her success in her work for the Bonaire Educational Support Foundation.
Vice Chairman Hein van Senten succeeds her. In the autumn meeting the RvT will propose the Union Council to appoint Lydia Sint Jago as vice-chairman.