To provide financial relief during the holiday season, government announced Friday that it will subsidise residential electricity bills this month.

“As part of its ongoing commitment to alleviate the financial burden on our residents, the government will be covering 50 percent of [the] fuel surcharge associated with electricity bills from BVI Electricity Corporation,” the statement noted.

Government added that the holiday season is typically a time of high energy consumption.

“Residential customers will automatically have the 50 percent of the fuel surcharge portion of their BVIEC bill paid by the government,” the statement explained. “There is no need to apply separately or submit any additional documentation.”

Government did not disclose the initiative’s cost or explain how the subsidy will be funded.

Last year, a more extended holiday subsidy was provided following a dramatic increase in the cost of fuel after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

For October and November 2022, government subsidised 50 percent of the fuel oil surcharge of each bill, and the percentage increased to 100 percent for December.

“We are all aware that since the Russia-Ukraine war escalated in February 2022, electricity bills began to increase dramatically,” Communications and Works Minister Kye Rymer said at the time. “This has been no fault of the [BVIEC]. It has been the result of the high cost of fossil fuels on the international market.”

Under local legislation, Mr. Rymer explained at the time, the fuel surcharge is one of three major parts of residents’ electricity bills.

“First, there is a flat $2.50 per month for the service,” he said. “Second, there are standard charges based on the quantity of energy consumed. The third component is the fuel oil surcharge, which is tied to the price of fuel — and oil prices have risen to record high levels since the escalation of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.”