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 Immediately after the proposals for the new Utility Tariffs were made public GRTU worked around the clock to make a counter proposal and yesterday during a press conference even published a mitigation plan.

The basic flow in the proposal is the grand figure of €415m that is to be received from these tariffs. This because €104m are already being received by Government from excise duties on fuels. For this and several other reasons the €415m figure is unacceptable and must be reduced. GRTU is therefore pleased to hear that Government if reviewing the proposal seriously.

 

When analysing Government's proposal many questions soared on the financial strategy being adopted, the spread of years on which the tariffs are spread, etc. This shows that serious discussion with the social partners needs to be held.

KPMG adopted the base figure of €100 per barrel, the highest figure it could have taken of course. When GRTU worked out the average cost per barrel over a ten year period the amount did not exceed €60 per barrel! GRTU's Director General, Vincent Farrugia,  therefore explained that a surcharge which goes up and done according to the price of oil would be more desirable. This together with a fixed tariff.

GRTU is concerned as many of our members are not yet realising how much the cost of electricity and water will increase. This because the bill with the 95% surcharge has not reached everyone yet.

Government is alarming people with a crises when this is not the case. Government bought oil to last till March so the urgency of backdating the tariffs from 1st October can be done away with.

GRTU kindly asked the Office of Fair Trading and the Malta Resources Authority to make the necessary investigations. Till now we heard nothing from both, it is high time we did though!

GRTU estimates that the figure should go down to €210m. Anything above €265m is not really justified. It is estimated that the current tariffs loaded with 95% surcharge will bring in €265m, a sum more than enough for Enemalta to meet  its current and medium to long term obligations.

Mitigation Plan

Electricity

  • 1. Return on Capital Employed is not to be included
  • 2. Part of Excise Duty on Payment of Fuel not included.
  • 3. 5% of throughput losses only to be burdened to account holders.
  • 4. Introduction of a quota A allocation benchmarked on Usage in Year 2005. Quota Allocations would allow for different allocation according to class of use.
  • 5. Government to ban any imports of incandescent lighting after 1st January 2009. Government is to continue to work on a system to provide 5 CFL lamps for free and a discounted rate for an additional 5 CFL Lamps.
  • 6. Introduction of Rebates on Installation of Solar Heaters and Photovoltaic Panels with rebates covering minimally 70% of outlayed capital. Rebate to be given 50% through billing structure over 365 days and 50% in payment.
  • 7. All new households as off 1st January 2009, applied for to be built should include Solar Water Heater as mandatory.
  • 8. The introduction of the Energy Efficiency in Buildings Directive in January 2009 should also continue to be implemented together with the setting up of a Stakeholder task force to deal with already built structures prior to end December 2008.
  • 9. The establishment of a threshold for households depending on the individuals in the home. Tariffs are to be structured on the basis so that we primarily opt to conserve energy.
  • 10. Conserving the use of energy is vital in making sure the above is reached and that is why Energy Audits should be a must in households, certified by an Engineer. Energy Audited residences should be given 50% of the cost of the audit in payment terms.
  • 11. Smart Metering for Residential Customers
  • 12. Quick cost benefit analysis indicates that an improved communication between utility and customer meter will result in large energy savings during peak demand
  • 13. Traffic Lights and Public Street Lighting should be converted to solar power with a battery backup. This is another costly but needed project.
  • 14. The hospitality industry should embark on a program to convert all water heating to solar power.
  • 15. Energy Audits in all Government Buildings
  • 16. Develop Common reporting requirements for energy usage in government establishments
  • 17. Define Specific Department Projected Energy Use
  • 18. Develop an Energy Auditing Protocol
  • 19. Shut down electricity supply in Government buildings after hours
  • 20. Restrict times for cleaning services out side office hours.
  • 21. Promote efficient use of heaters and Air Conditioners
  • 22. Install Energy Management Devices on appliances
  • 23. Install Energy Efficient Lighting
  • 24. Install motion detectors and Card Controlling devices in all Government buildings
  • 25. Install Solar Energy Systems/ Photovoltaic In Governments buildings
  • 26. Install Sensor Lighting

Water

  • 1. Distribution costs which have risen alarmingly in the last two years need to be identified so that a verified monetary value is only included in the tariff structure.
  • 2. Rental fees for meter to be removed and included as part of a tariff structure.
  • 3. A standard tariff for a year use payable upfront would be inclusive of a particular discount factor.
  • 4. One tier option for all other users with a billing structure that has a discount for early billing through electronic sources only.
  • 5. Any increases are to be based on a bench mark for use by all households and commerce based on 2005 basis usage figures.
  • 6. Hotels to further conserve energy by placing sub metering in each rented room and placing a bench mark to that room, thus making customer pay of excess water beyond the allowed bench mark. Conservation of a resource as critical as water needs to be monitored closely by high impact users.
  • 7. WSC is to embark on a water audit Scheme with finances coming from MRA through EU funding, starting off with the 120 capped industries/hotels.
  • 8. Along term rebate plan for industries/hotels utilizing better technologies for both water use and distribution.

GRTU also proposes the setting up of a stakeholder task force and a national awareness campaign. Full Mitigation Plan available on GRTU's website: www.grtu.org.mt.

 

 

 

 

 

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