Electricity Service Standards
Our service standard agreement relates to the connection of a customer to the electricity distribution network of St. Vincent Electricity Services Limited (VINLEC). All services are provided in accordance with the Electricity Supply Ordinance, the requirements of the Electricity Supply Act and the regulations of St. Vincent Electricity Services Limited.
GENERAL POLICY GUIDELINES
Electricity System Voltage
The declared system frequency is 50Hz (cycles per second)
- Low Tension Supplies
SINGLE PHASE: two wire, alternating current supplies at a declared voltage of 230 volts.
THREE PHASE: four wire, alternating current supplies at a declared voltage of 400 volts.
- High Tension Supplies
High Tension supplies may be given to consumers with large electricity loads.
These voltages are kept within +4% and –8% of standard and the frequency is maintained within +3% and-3% of standard.
Access to Premises
Customers will allow us and our agents safe access to their premises and the metering equipment at any time in case of emergency, and at all reasonable times for the purpose of exercising our rights and obligations under the Electricity Act No 14 of 1973.
It is a criminal offence to interfere with our sealed equipment and fuses. Customers will be responsible for the safe keeping and proper protection of all of our service cables and apparatus placed on land or premises they occupy or own. Should any abuse occur, the consumer may be required to pay VINLEC the costs of replacements and repairing such damage.
Point of Supply
The company provides, maintains and is responsible for all apparatus up to the outgoing terminals of the electricity meter. The outgoing terminals (called the loadside of the meter) are termed the point of supply. Beyond this point it is the consumer’s responsibility to ensure all internal wiring standards are met.
VINLEC will provide a maximum of 3kVA for single-phase service and 5kVA for three-phase service. If larger loads are needed applicants may be requested to make contribution towards these additional costs.
Interruption of Supply
VINLEC may interrupt your supply, for periods as may be necessary, for the purpose of repairing, maintaining or altering our equipment, and will provide you with advance notice of any interruptions, wherever reasonably possible.
Consumers shall install and connect only such motors or other apparatus or appliances as are suitable for operation with the character of the service supplied by VINLEC. Electrical energy must be used in such manner as not to cause voltage fluctuation, frequency fluctuations or other disturbances on VINLEC’s Transmission and/or Distribution system. Consumers are requested to seek the advice of the company when contemplating the installation of motors greater than 5HP or any other equipment which could cause fluctuations or disturbances. Customers should contact us in writing if they wish to make any significant change to their connection or to the electrical equipment that will be used, or do anything else that could affect our network.
Delivery of Electricity Supply
We do not guarantee that we will deliver electricity through our network at all times or that electricity delivered through our network will be free of brief variations in voltage or frequency.
Customers should therefore protect their installations and appliances from full or partial supply interruptions and variations in voltage or frequency.
VINLEC’s duty is to maintain its meters within the + or – 3% accuracy limits set by law. Consumers with reasonable cause may make a request to have the meter tested, on payment of a fee. The Government Inspector may be asked to witness the test. A copy of the meter test report will be given to the consumer. Meters with more or less than 3.0% accuracy must be changed but VINLEC may at its discretion, replace meters that are within the 3% accuracy limit.
If a meter shows a 3% error, corrections will be done according to the % error of the meter. Credits for electricity consumed will normally be posted to the consumer’s electricity account and any test fee paid will be refunded.
Wiring and Equipment
The customer shall ensure that the electrical equipment, device and apparatus of use operate at VINLEC’s service supply standards; 230 (V) volts single phase at 50 (Hz) hertz [cycles per second].
Electrical Equipment and the 50 cycle
Most electrical equipment operate on a 50-cycle or a 60-cycle system. This means that the supply of electricity that is reaching the equipment is repeated 50 times for the 50-cycle or 60 times for 60-cycle in one second. The number of cycles per second (Hertz) is known as the frequency of the supply.
In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the United Kingdom (UK), equipment operate on 50 Hertz (Hz) while in North America, the standard is 60Hz. If you use 60Hz equipment on the St. Vincent 50Hz system, there are implications for equipment that rotate, e.g. refrigerators, air conditioners washing machines and motors.
Some of the possible effects are:
- Equipment with motors will rotate at a slower pace and overheat as they pull more current.
- Pumps and washing machines will spin at a slower rate
- Temperature rise in motors resulting in reduction in the lifespan of the equipment.
You should inform VINLEC if you intend to install a new electrical unit such as an air conditioner, water heater in the home, machinery or equipment in the office or factory.
These are important in helping the company plan for the needs of the customers and provides adequate power as well as give advice on the most energy efficient equipment to purchase.