The Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association is dismayed by Energy Fiji Limited’s recent justification for a tariff increase.
In a statement, FHTA Chief Executive Fantasha Lockington said EFL’s approach to renewable energy sources, in the context of global climate change efforts should be seen as an opportunity for innovation rather than as a threat to their commercial gains given the $58 million profit it recently announced for 2022.
Lockington said despite the record profit received, Fijian families and businesses continue to experience power outages, disruptions and ongoing difficulties to access power for rural households and commercial investments.
“The recent pursuit of a tariff review with the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission has raised deep concerns within Fiji’s business and industrial sectors, including tourism operators, many of whom have increasingly turned to solar power to enable more reliable power sources, align their strategic focus on sustainability and reduce energy costs.”
Lockington said while EFL has pointed out genuine challenges such as rising fuel costs and the necessity to develop hydro projects, FHTA underscores the paramount importance of sustainable practices and the need to either maintain or lower business costs, after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lockington said the intentions of EFL contradicts Cabinet’s approved National Energy Policy 2023-2030 which cites a ‘commitment to providing access to affordable, reliable, secure, and sustainable energy services to all Fijians through a safe and efficient transition of Fiji’s energy systems, transport and infrastructure from its existing reliance on imported fossil fuels to low carbon and renewable-energy based technologies’.
“FHTA is appalled by EFL’s reasoning for a tariff increase that includes their perception that renewable energy alternatives might drive up costs to reduced customers to embrace where the entire world is going except for them,” she added.