When will 6.5% ‘temporary’ tariff be removed?

Letter to the Editor from Mike Keeping, St Martin

Gas hob (30759550)
Gas hob (30759550)

LIKE me, all you gas consumers out there will have by now been receiving your latest gas bills. Mine was so hefty it landed with a thud on the doormat. This then got me returning to the 6.5% tariff increase that was imposed at the beginning of the lockdown in 2020.

In brief, this rise was imposed because our government declined to include Jersey Gas in their co-funded payroll scheme. Ian Plenderleith, the then CEO of Jersey Gas, said that this move was purely temporary until things got back to normal.

Jersey Gas was the only utility company that saw fit to penalise people at such a critical time – a time when jobs were being lost and families mourning the loss of loved ones. It’s called kicking people when they are down.

JT, for instance, provided broadband free over the Christmas period, that is what is known as being community spirited, a term not in Jersey Gas’s dictionary.

In the recent Jersey Consumer Council publication, they reported writing to Jersey Gas about the temporary 6.5% increase but did not get a positive response. Having read Jersey Gas’s reply myself, the company did not even attempt to address the price-rise issue, leaving one to ponder if this temporary increase will, in some perverse way, become permanent. If all this wasn’t bad enough, Jersey Gas also saw fit to reduce their employees’ wages for a period. What an utter disgrace.

Of course, complicit in all this mess is Senator Lyndon Farnham, with whom I corresponded at the time and who assured me that he was doing everything he could to persuade Jersey Gas not proceed with the tariff increase. Needless to say he failed dismally and his silence on the matter has been deafening ever since.

Altogether it is clear that Jersey Gas cares more about the bottom line of a balance sheet than the customers it is supposed to serve.

Perhaps Mr Cruddace, the new CEO, would like to respond, hopefully in a more positive and clear way than he did with the Jersey Consumer Council, and answer the simple question: when can we expect the 6.5% increase to be removed?

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