Remove FEA Fuel Surcharge

05/12/2008 12:16

The Consumer Council of Fiji calls on the interim government to reduce, if not completely remove, the Fiji Electricity Authority (FEA) fuel surcharge. The wet weather currently being experienced around the country coupled with plummeting price of fuel warrants the Council’s call. There is absolutely no reason why consumers should continue to be burdened with paying FEA fuel surcharge, especially after the Monasavu Dam is now indicating sufficient water levels that enables higher electricity generation. In addition, government has increased the fuel rebate to FEA from 4c per litre to 10c per litre.  

Consumers in Fiji are paying FEA more than they can afford to. They are paying for subsidy of fuel to FEA through their taxes, payment of fuel surcharge itself, tariff rate and VAT charge. The government surely cannot ignore the plight of consumers in regards to the many areas of payment consumers make to FEA.

The CEO of FEA, Mr Hasmukh Patel has reacted to the filling of the Dam by is dismissing the earlier plan of a possible power sharing in the country. While the assurance comes as a relief to many, it does not bring relief to the pockets of consumers, who are heavily paying for FEA’s services. Mr Patel states that 20 meters of more water is required in the dam to allay the fears of an energy crisis. With such statements, he seems to provide justification to the continued reliance on high volume of diesel usage by FEA and therefore the maintenance of the fuel surcharge at the current rate. 

Meanwhile, consumers are encouraged to understand their FEA bills and check the payment amount stated, including the calculation of VAT and fuel surcharge. This advice comes in light of the maximum number of complaints against FEA pertaining mostly to customer’s bills.