Features — 09 April 2013 — by Adele Ramos

The Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) announced today that it has filed an application with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), requesting a slight decrease in electricity rates.

As is customary, the PUC will review the application, issue an initial decision, and then a final decision after consulting with interested parties.

In January, consumers were hit with a 17% rate increase, as the approved electricity rate was increased from 41.81 cents per kilowatt hour to 48.86 cents.

In a press release issued today, BEL informed that it has asked the PUC to reduce the Mean Electricity Rate (MER) by approximately 1 cent per kilowatt hour (kWh) to reflect the actual cost of power since January 2013, compared to the projected cost submitted to the PUC in December 2012. The proposed reduction would amount to a 2% savings.

“BEL is also proposing to reduce its targeted Rate of Return from 10 per cent to 9 per cent, made possible subsequent to the recent reduction in the company’s financing costs,” it added.

Of note is that BEL recently reduced financing costs by issuing a new debenture series, which saw a very good response from investors. It also obtained a loan from the Belize Social Security Board, through an arrangement to issue preferential shares to Social Security.

BEL’s application was actually submitted on April 2, 2013, under the Annual Tariff Review Proceeding (ARP) for the period July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014.

The company says that copies of the submission are available at its corporate headquarters at 2½ Miles, Philip Goldson Highway, Belize City, as well as branch offices countrywide.

Copies should also be available at the office of the PUC, 41 Gabourel Lane, Belize City.

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