Electricity Subsidy For Government Minsters  Bottom

  • Page 23 of the 31 January Marshall Islands Journal has an article about the accidental removal of electric power meter from home of Ailuk Senator Maynard Alfred. Essentially, the article is the Marshalls Energy Company (MEC) apology to Senator Alfred.

    The article also includes information that allows, for first time, some meaningful dialogue about the cost of the subsidy as provided. Per the article,

    QuoteAs a Cabinet minister, Alfred received 1,000 hours per month of free electricity — power that Paul explained the minister used sparingly so he accumulated a large, positive balance in his account and didn’t need to pay for power for a long time.

    We know from the MEC Web site that the current cost for electricity for residential customers is $.43 per Kilowatt hour (see http://mecrmi.net/tariffs.htm). (Note - This is as of 1 April 2012; has rate increased since?)

    So, the key facts are (1) Government Ministers receive a 1000 hour per month of free electricity; (2) that amount can be accumulated (it is a fixed amount per month – any hours not used during the month are credited to the Minster’s electricity account) and (3) the value of the subsidy for each Minster is $5,160 per year [1000 * $.43 * 12 (months)].

    Couple additional thoughts:

    1) Do Senators receive the same level of subsidy as Ministers?

    2) Previous articles have noted the Majuro landowners receive over $2,000,000 in electricity subsidies each year. The amount per landowner has never been reported. If the value of the subsidy per landowner is $5,000 per year, the number of landowners receiving would be at least 400.

    Edited by pettittm on Feb 19, 2014 - 04:44 AM.

    “I hope the signing of the LUA (Land Use Agreement) allows the Government of the Marshall Islands more time to focus on the biggest issues it faces – how to raise the level of education and health of the Marshallese people and how to create an economy that will be stable after direct US funding ends in 2023.”
    US Ambassador to the Marshall Islands Martha Campbell, as quoted by MI Journal, 13 May 2011, pg 4
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