The Grenada Government is in the process of looking at cutting its electricity bill for the service of street lights.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Timothy Antoine disclosed that $5M of the $20M that is spent annually on electricity goes towards street lights.
Antoine, who was on a radio programme, indicated that street lights is a service provided by the Grenada Electricity Services Limited (Grenlec), the lone electricity provider on the island, that is paid for by government.
He announced that government is now working along with Grenlec to provide solar street lights as a means of reducing on the cost of the monthly electricity bill.
Antoine said it is unacceptable that only two percent of the country’s electricity is Solar Photovoltaic (PV), while the other ninety-eight is powered by diesel.
“With all of the sun in Grenada we have to do more than that, we have to do better than that,” he told the programme host.
Over the years, the current New National Party (NNP) government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has expressed concerns over the high rate of electricity on the island.
Since its return to power in February 2013, the administration has sought to promote the deregulation of the industry in an effort to bring in more electricity providers.
PS Antoine also addressed government’s high wage bill.
He said that the wage bill which includes pension is in the range of $25M and $28M on a monthly basis.
According to Antoine, for the first six months of the year, government has been collecting approximately $51.5M in revenue on a monthly basis.
He said he is satisfied that the attrition policy announced by the Mitchell Government in the 2015 budget as part of the three-year Structural Adjustment Programme(SAP), is working in terms of reducing on the number of employees on government’s payroll.
The scheme as announced indicated that for every ten retired people in the public service, three are hired.
However, Antoine pointed out that the attrition policy does not necessarily mean that government cannot recruit key skills that are needed in the service.
He announced that the staff at the Energy Division will be strengthened with the addition of a German Intern, a New Zealand national as well as an individual from Trinidad and Tobago who will be tasked with the responsibility of looking at geothermal energy .
Antoine added that as the Ministry gets ready for the National Budget which is scheduled to be delivered on November 25, there will be an annual review of the attrition policy.
Presently, there are about five thousand employees in the public service.