Questions and answers
Why has the rate structure changed in 2018?
• A new BES Electricity and Drinking Water Act entered into force on 1st July 2016. This law strives to ensure the supply of reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity and drinking water on Bonaire.
• The legislator wants to achieve these goals through cost-oriented rates. This means that the rates you pay are based on the production and distribution costs of electricity and drinking water.
• The legislator appointed the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) to calculate the rates as an independent supervisor.
What exactly changed then in the rate structure?
As of 1st April 2018 there is a fixed consumption rate for drinking water and as of 1st June 2018 for electricity. On July 1st 2018, there came a variable usage rate for electricity; for drinking water, no changes have been made after 1 April 2018. The fixed usage rate covers the costs of the network. Think of the pipes, transmission towers and transformers for example. The variable consumption rate is the amount you pay for the amount of kilowatt-hours and the amount of cubic meters of drinking water you consume.
How does the new rate structure differ from the rates that WEB used earlier?
In the past, only a variable usage rate applied to electricity. All costs of electricity, including network costs, were included in that rate. Those who consumed a lot of electricity paid more for the network than those who consumed little electricity. But the network is there for everyone and WEB incurs costs in order to maintain it.
For example: Someone who lives on Bonaire year-round pays more for water and electricity that someone who may have a house here but spends months off-island. But the network has been created and is maintained for both consumers. That is why the new Act stipulates that everyone should pay a fixed amount per month for the network.
The Pagabon rate contains a fixed usage rate and variable usage rate. This means that you pay an amount per kWh.
For drinking water there already was a fixed usage rate. In addition, there was a variable rate that increased as you used more water.
As of 1st January 2019, the same variable usage rate per month applies for everyone and (as was already the case) a fixed usage rate for network costs applies.
Apart from these two rates, there is a rate for drinking water per truck. This rate is calculated per cubic meter of drinking water. This variable rate also includes the costs for transportation.
What are the consequences of the new rate structure?
The introduction of a fixed usage rate and a variable usage rate makes that customers with a low consumption receive a higher bill than before. This is the result of the fixed consumption rate: you also have to pay for this if you do not consume any drinking water or electricity at all.
Customers with a high consumption will generally benefit from this system. Because the network cost component is taken out of the variable consumption rate, this rate is lower.
Are there ways to limit the negative financial consequences for certain groups within the community?
The BES Electricity and Drinking Water Act offers a number of options to limit the financial consequences for vulnerable groups of consumers:
The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (for drinking water) and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate (for electricity) can stipulate in a governmental regulation that a lower fixed usage rate should apply for certain categories of consumers.
- The two ministries can also grant subsidies to certain categories of consumers, reducing the fixed usage rate.
Other possible options outside the BES Electricity and Drinking Water Act, and hence outside of the ACM’s rate determination, are up to other administrative and social parties.
When will I receive the invoice with the new rates for 1st July 2019?
The new rate for electricity will be applied to the invoice from August onwards (with a start date for consumption in July and an end date in August). For Pagabon, the new rates are immediately visible from 1st July 2019.
How can I have my electricity connection capacity adjusted?
In the new rate structure since 2018, the capacity of your connection determines the level of the fixed usage rate.
Most households have a connection from 3×25 up to 3×35 Ampère. For this the fixed usage rates have been set equal.
For other connections the only possibility to save is to request a connection with a lower capacity. Whether that is possible depends on your situation, and can only be determined by an electrical engineer.. How much capacity your connection requires depends on the size of your installation and what you use it for.
Only the electrical engineer can check whether a reduction is possible or whether adjustments have to be made to the installation. You will have to pay for these costs yourself. If it is possible to adjust your installation, you can show WEB the new connection capacity with an inspection card once the re-inspection is done. You will then be put into the correct connection category with the corresponding rate.
If you want more information about the connection capacity for electricity, read on here.
What will I pay for electricity and/or drinking water from 1st July 2019?
WEB has developed a calculation tool which enables you to calculate what you have to pay based on the number of cubic meters (m3) and kilowatt hours. Please find the calculation tool here.
A variety of new terminology is used that I don’t know. Where can I find an overview with the meanings?
The new rate structure has also brought new terminology. Please find the meaning of these terms, as well as other explanations here.