The countries which have cheaper electricity than the BVI are Puerto Rico, oil producers Trinidad & Tobago, St Pierre and Miquelon, Guadeloupe, Cayman Islands, St Martin, St Barthélemy, Caribbean Netherlands, Martinique, Aruba, and St Vincent and the Grenadines; in that order.

Despite its ranking from a list of 29 Caribbean nations, the BVI’s global rank is 175 out of the 230 countries analysed in the study.

The sample analysed from the BVI shows that the average cost of electricity is $0.225 per kilowatt-hour (kWh). The territory’s lowest cost is $0.1675 per kWh and its highest is $0.24 per kWh.

The territory’s average cost for power is 32 times higher than Libya, whose cost of electricity is the cheapest in the world with an average of $0.007 being charged per kWh. The Solomon Islands is the most expensive with an average cost of $0.692 per kWh.

The study highlighted that the Caribbean countries are among the highest payers of electricity across the world.

“Most Caribbean nations are in the more expensive half of the study results. Curaçao is the most expensive in the Caribbean with an average of $0.419, while an average of one kWh in Puerto Rico is eight times cheaper at USD 0.049. The Caribbean consists of island nations where electricity generation tends to be more difficult,” the researchers found.

Power generally expensive in small-island nations


The study further noted the countries in which electricity cost is expensive tend to be small-island nations where electricity is harder to generate and/or there are no large-scale power stations.

“Conversely, the cheapest places in the world to buy electricity tend to be countries where either oil and gas prices are very cheap (countries which produce fossil fuels on a large scale), or where household electricity usage is very small and therefore tends not to require a lot of expensive infrastructures,” it added.

Researchers from the UK firm spent more than six months analysing data from 3,883 energy taxes across 230 countries worldwide.

What the BVIEC says


Meanwhile, in an interview with the General Manager of the BVI Electricity Board (BVIEC) Leroy Abrahams recently, he revealed the global fluctuation of oil production and cost has impacted the cost of electricity in the territory.

This came in light of complaints made by residents that they have seen an increase in their electricity bill over the last several months.

The General Manager also said the cost for the corresponding fuel needed to produce electricity has been rising steadily in the United States and it has been reported that fuel costs are the highest in almost a decade.

Abrahams had noted fixed electricity rate charges have not changed in the British Virgin Islands for approximately 40 years. He said the only element which fluctuates on a monthly basis with respect to rates on a customer’s bill is the “fuel variation surcharge” which is reflective of the market value of fuels.