The cost of electricity in Sark should be referred to an independent Ombudsman and not the Chief Pleas, according to the island's Chamber of Commerce.

The organisation says the relationship between the Chief Pleas and Sark Electricity Ltd needs to be 'rebuilt' to resolve the issue of rising costs, with customers currently paying 85p per unit - the highest known rate in the world.

The Chief Pleas faced criticism for failing to buy Sark Electricity Ltd, while the Chamber of Commerce said that the latest increase 'bears no relation' to the actual cost of generating electricity.

The Chamber says it wants to see the 'simplest, least costly solution to the problem enacted' and a 'landmark meeting' on Thursday 28 November will aim to find a way to resolve the issue.

There is considerable anxiety and concern amongst residents who have once again been presented with a hefty increase in cost per unit, coupled with the contrary and lesser figure proposed by the Regulator and still no commitment from the Chief Pleas to finalise the purchase of Sark Electricity Ltd. Residents once again find themselves, a year after Chief Pleas pledged to purchase SEL and safeguard the supply, facing the possibility of the power being turned off.

Sark Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber of Commerce also called for new renewable energy laws to be passed that would open the existing network to new entrants and allow 'alternative generation' with planning permission. Under these proposals, the Ombudsman would set the access charge.

They also call for a battery bank to be introduced so that the diesel generator could be turned off overnight to reduce running costs and take a first step towards 'green' energy production.