Noting the high cost of electricity, the government of Saint Lucia is exploring the possibility of prepaid electricity and solar-powered modems.
The disclosure came on Friday from Joachim Henry, Minister for Equity, Social Justice, and Empowerment.
Henry was addressing the FLOW ‘Home Communications Relief Bundle’ signing ceremony.
The government said the signing was an important step to bring internet services to the less fortunate.
They include vulnerable households where school children have no access to a reliable internet connection for remote learning.
However, the Minister for Equity, Social Justice, and Empowerment noted that the cost of electricity is high, and some people are struggling to pay their bills.
In this regard, Henry announced that the government is speaking with St Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC) about prepaid electricity purchases.
“But if you are purchasing electricity on a prepaid approach, would the cost be less? Maybe not. But research in Dominica has shown that persons who purchase electricity on a prepaid approach – the incidence of disconnection is almost zero. As a matter of fact they’re moving from almost ten thousand to 50 percent of the population in Dominica now consuming electricity on a prepaid approach,” Joachim Henry explained.
According to the Castries South East MP, it was obvious that when people decide how much they are willing to spend on electricity, they consume accordingly.
And Henry indicated that the alternative was to discover the electricity consumed upon receiving the bill.
The Minister also said he was happy to announce discussions with telecommunications company FLOW to identify and source solar-powered modems.
“A FLOW bundle, even if it is twenty dollars, but it also powered by solar energy means it is not connected to the grid and even if you are unable to have electricity once your phone has energy you can still be on line,” he told his audience.
“This is the initiative that puts the principle of equity at work. It is this initiative that says whether you live at Cap Estate or live anywhere in Saint Lucia you have access to information instantly and at all times and you can compete on equal footing,” Henry asserted.
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