Cost to reconnect Sark homes ‘would be more than £100,000’
IT WOULD cost more than £100,000 to reconnect 17 of the 19 people set to be disconnected from Sark’s supply, with the final two being unreachable, Sark Electricity managing director Alan Jackson has said.
The issue centres around a request from a landowner that SEL electrical infrastructure be removed from his land. This would not just take his house off the grid, but a number of other homes on his tenement and nearby.
The utility was given four weeks to remove all the equipment, starting from yesterday.
But Mr Jackson said they had to delay the work.
‘As you will all appreciate, SEL has been working diligently to ensure that we can respond swiftly and legitimately to the recent court action which affects some 19 residents,’ he said.
‘Part of this process involves various urgent applications to allow works to commence. SEL and the douzaine committee have been in negotiations to swiftly arrange the required permits. Unfortunately, members of the douzaine do not have a meeting scheduled before Thursday 10 September and they are unable to meet with us on site before 5pm on Monday [yesterday].’
Mr Jackson said all parties would be informed of the delay.
‘We trust that the affected parties and the court, should they become involved again, will recognise that there is little value in disconnecting other island residents to allow works until all necessary permissions have been received from the various island committees,’ he said.
‘Regrettably, this could take some time. SEL will keep residents apprised as applications progress.’
The long-term solution to the issue seems to be a lot more complicated. In a letter to Sark’s price control commissioner, Mr Jackson said the commissioner’s role was to protect Sark residents from unnecessary or unjustified increases in electricity prices.
‘SEL’s initial assessment is that the costs to reconnect 17 of the 19 affected customers will be circa £100,000 and the works will take a period of roughly four to six months,’ he said.
‘We are unable to reach the remaining two customers without laying cabling on [the landowner’s] tenement.’