Electricity prices frozen

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Jersey Electricity has announced that its tariffs will remain the same for another winter despite the fact that prices in the UK have increased on average by 14 per cent across the biggest electricity companies this year alone.

Chris Ambler, chief executive of Jersey Electricity, said he was ‘proud’ that the prices would not go up, especially as the company has invested heavily in its undersea cables.

‘Our customer research shows that providing affordable electricity is the single most important factor to our customers in the provision of our service and we are pleased we have been able to maintain our tariffs at the same level since April 2014,’ he added.

‘This is an important achievement, given the scale of our investment in infrastructure over the last five years and when compared with the UK that has seen the “big six” increase retail electricity prices by an average of 14 per cent in 2017.

‘We have been able to hold winter tariffs at the same rate for four years in a row, which is something we are particularly proud of, given many other services are going up in price.

‘The cables have been a significant investment and a very big, complex project which has gone extremely well.’

Mr Ambler said the successful integration into the network of the £30 million Normandie 1 subsea cable at the end of last year, alongside the existing Normandie 2 and 3 cables, has greatly enhanced supply reliability and has delivered a virtually fully decarbonised electricity system in Jersey.

Work was completed on the Normandie 3 cable earlier this year and the project, which lasted ten years, cost £70 million.

Mr Ambler said typically smaller jurisdictions had less reliable networks and more expensive tariffs but Jersey, which has a network roughly 1,000th of the size of the UK, fell 14 per cent below the UK benchmark levels and 15 per cent below the EU average.

Mr Ambler added: ‘It’s extremely important to us that our tariffs are cost-effective because people in Jersey don’t have a choice of a provider, so we need to deliver the best possible value for money.’

Anne King, executive officer for Jersey’s Consumer Council, said being able to pay bills was still a huge concern for Islanders.

She added: ‘It’s definitely good news that Jersey Electricity will not be increasing their tariffs when everything else is going up. Hopefully this will set a trend for other organisations to follow suit.

‘There is still huge pressure on Islanders to pay their bills when prices for things like food are going up because of Brexit. A retail tax is potentially going to be introduced, road fuel is going up and there is a huge concern for people. House prices and rent are also rising, so this news is good news.’

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