Electricity prices frozen for a third winter to 2018

Jersey Electricity is freezing prices for a third winter and throughout next year to at least January 2018, benefiting Islanders with almost four years of stable pricing despite the fall in Sterling against the Euro. Customers in the UK are bracing themselves for potential double-digit price rises this winter due to a combination of the fall in the Pound and a squeeze on exports from France and the Netherlands.

Jersey imports over 90% of its power requirements from nuclear and hydro sources in France, however, Jersey Electricity CEO Chris Ambler said prices here were not under threat. He said: ‘We view supply security and price stability as our top obligations to our customers. Our two, soon to be three, undersea supply cables give us great supply security and our ten-year supply agreement with EDF, which came into force in January 2013, gives us a large degree of price stability.

‘This agreement combines a fixed price component with the ability to price fix future purchases over a rolling three-year period ahead. This ‘hedging’ on power and foreign exchange requirements enables us to provide our customers with a degree of certainty in the volatile worlds of energy markets and foreign exchange rates. We have so far not been affected by the fall in the value of Sterling, though that could change in the longer term.’

EDF 2011 contract signing

Paris 2011: JE CEO Chris Ambler (right) signs the 10-year supply agreement that came into force in 2013 with EDF vice-President Pierre Lederer and GEL CEO Alan Bates

The last rise in electricity prices was an average 1.5% increase back in April 2014 and Mr Ambler added: ‘Our aim is always to provide secure affordable electricity and maintain stable pricing. We are still working hard on the completion of our £35m Normandie 1 cable which will hopefully mean we will soon have three supply links to France over two diverse routes, further enhancing our supply security.

‘Our tariffs remain competitive despite our heavy on-going investment in infrastructure. We continue to meet our target of keeping our standard domestic tariffs within 10% of the EU Average. We also maintain a strong position in our standard tariffs against other UK Islands such as Guernsey and the Isle of Man and we remain marginally below British Gas pricing in the UK.’

JE is also enhancing its Buy Back Tariff. This is the rate at which customers with approved generators export surplus electricity back to the grid.  From 1 January 2017, JE is increasing its Buy Back Tariff to a single rate of 6.24p per unit. The Company has previously paid 4.66p for units exported during the night and 6.24p for units exported during the day. The new single-rate Buy Back Tariff applies to all units exported any time of the day or night up to a facility size of 50kWp (kiloWatt peak).  Installations above 50kWp will need a special connection into a different part of the distribution network to export power and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.