Less talk, more action on energy, suggests Abrahams
Opposition Senator Wilfred Abrahams wants incentives to promote energy-saving innovations and a subsidy on LED bulbs to be part of moves to cut power costs in Barbados.
Responding to a warning issued last Friday by the International Monetary Fund’s Managing Director Christine Lagarde that the island’s energy cost was high, Abrahams accused the Government of paying lip service to the promotion of alternative energy usage and a green economy.
“If we are serious about trying to reach people and trying to help Barbadians to cut the essential costs . . . then the Government should be serious and do things like create subsidies for people who are serious about reducing their energy costs,” the Barbados Labour Party Senator said.
He told reporters during a press briefing at the weekend, “there should be a generous subsidy on LED lighting . . . [for] people who wish to utilise solar technology. There should be incentives for people who are at tertiary level and post-grad[uate] level of education to develop new and innovative ways to reduce energy”.
“We have brilliant people in Barbados. If the Government wishes to target its spending, and it is serious about cutting the electricity and energy costs, then provide incentives for people to address their minds to it. Back Bajans to come up with solutions,” he added.
“The cost fuel in Barbados is too high,’ he stressed.
Turning his attention to management of the Barbados National Oil Company (BNOC), the island’s producer and importer and distributor of petroleum Abrahams said: “BNOC is operating at a profit. BNOC is supposed to ease the burden of the fuel costs on Bajans. So when they pat themselves on the back and say they made $50 or $60 million in profit, at whose expense?
“Is it better that BNOC should make $60 million in profit, or is it better that BNOC’s profit should be a lot less but cost savings be passed on to the consumers?”
He also criticised the April 1 removal of the six-year subsidy on fuel sold to public service vehicles, saying it was another reason for all-round increased energy costs.
“The problem with this Government is that it is jumping with both feet into things without the appropriate level of thought,” he charged.