Published On: Tue, May 5th, 2020

The Netherlands subsidizes electricity and drinking water on the BES islands

The Bottom, Saba

PHILIPSBURG – Utility customers on Saba, St. Eustatius and Bonaire are exempted from paying the fixed tariff for electricity and water until next year. The Dutch government has reduced the rate to zero to help the population of the islands meet their basic needs.

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the tourism-dependent economies of the three small islands. As part of an emergency relief package for the islands, the Dutch government has removed the fixed tariff. It gives all users an extra in the form of an amount equal to the connection tariff for water and electricity. This amount will be deducted from the invoice.

The emergency measures came into effect on May 1st and are valid until the end of this year. On Saba, where there is no fixed tariff for drinking water, the storage capacity of water will be increased at the expense of the Dutch government. The consumption of water will be partly compensated.

The use of the internet is also subsidized until the end of the year. The Dutch government is making a one-off 7.8 million euros available to reduce the monthly internet bill of each subscriber from the BES islands by $25.

Typically, new policies are put into effect after the Staten-Generaal has authorized the fiscal law. “Since the postponement of the implementation of these urgent measures that are in the interest of the Kingdom cannot wait for the formal authorization, the Cabinet will start implementing the measures,” wrote State Secretary for the Interior and Kingdom Relations, Raymond Knops, on April 24th to the Chair of the Dutch Second Chamber.

###

Related article:
Could GEBE do more for its clients?