1. ITV Report

Residents refuse to pay 'excessive' electricity charges

Credit: ITV Channel TV

Residents in Sark have refused to 'excessive' electricity prices to the island's provider.

98 islanders signed an open letter to David Gordon Brown, Director of Sark Electricity Ltd, saying that they would pay 66p per unit, rather than the current charge of 85p per unit. They say any future bills would be adjusted accordingly.

It follows a public meeting of residents who aimed to find a solution to the issue of islanders paying the highest known rate per unit in the world.

The rate was branded 'neither fair nor reasonable' by the Electricity Price Control Commissioner and the Chief Pleas voted unanimously to draft legislation to prevent future price increases.

The Sark Electricity User's Group said some declined to sign the letter because they felt their family may be put at risk if there was a future switch-off.

Members of the Sark Electricity User Group witnessed the anger and frustration of many, at one point a handful of the audience walked out in disgust. Subsequent to the inconclusive meeting the group took less than 36 hours to get 98 signatures on a letter to be sent to the Director of Sark Electricity Limited by the 30th of November (see attached). In a small community such as Sark this is extraordinary. The Sark Electricity Users Group believes that this support, gathered under pressure of time, reflects the level of fear, dissatisfaction and even restrained anger felt by many Sark residents and their frustration at the inadequate level of clarity provided by Sark Electricity Limited.

– Sark Electricity Users Group

The price increase is partly down to the company trying to recover legal costs after a standoff with the Chief Pleas, when it was threatened that the island's power would be completely shut off.

David Gordon Brown has yet to make a public response to the letter.