Questions and answers new rates
In 2018 the rate structure of WEB changed. This entails new concepts and led to many questions. We have set out the most important questions and answers.
Why has the rate structure changed in 2018?
In 2016 a new BES Electricity and Drinking Water Act entered into force. This law strives to ensure the supply of reliable, affordable and sustainable drinking water and electricity on Bonaire.
The legislator wants to achieve that 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 designated the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) to calculate the rates as an independent supervisor.
What exactly changed in the rate structure?
Since the 1st of April 2018 there is a fixed consumption rate for drinking water and since the 1st of June 2018 for electricity. On the 1st of July 2018, there came a variable usage rate for electricity; for drinking water, no changes have been made after the 1st of 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.
Someone does not reside for a while on Bonaire. He does have a house here. He pays less than someone who lives the whole year on Bonaire. 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 a 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.
Since the 1st of 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 transport costs.
What are the consequences of the new rate structure?
Because of the introduction of a fixed usage rate and a variable usage rate 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. The variable consumption rate is lower, because the network cost component is taken out of this. Those went to the fixed rate usage rate.
Are there ways to limit the negative financial consequences?
The BES Electricity and Drinking Water Act offers two options:
- 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 Act, and hence outside of the ACM’s rate determination, are up to other administrative and social parties.
When are rates stipulated and when do I see these on my invoice?
The ACM stipulates new rates twice a year, per the 1st of January and per the 1st of July. The new rates will be applied to the invoice from the next month (thus: February and August).
For this a start date for consumption will be maintained in the previous month (January and July) and an end date in the month (February and August).
For Pagabon applies that the new electricity rate will be directly visible as of the 1st of January and the 1st of July.
Furthermore, the ACM can also stipulate that a rate will not change. In this case nothing changes on your invoice.
Can I have my electricity capacity adjusted?
In the new rate structure the capacity of your connection determines the level of the fixed usage rate. Most households have a connection up to 3×35 Ampere. For this the fixed usage rates have been set equal.
Furthermore, saving is only possible by requesting a connection with a lower capacity. Whether that is possible depends on your situation. It depends on the size and usage of your installation how much capacity your connection requires.
Only an 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.
When your installation has been adjusted, follows a re-inspection. After that you can show WEB the inspection card and the new connection capacity. You will then be put into the correct connection category with the corresponding rate.
For more information about the connection capacity for electricity, read on here.
How do I know what I will be paying the coming half year?
WEB has developed a calculation tool which enables you to calculate what you 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 glossary here (pdf).