Highlights — 04 July 2018 — by Courtney Menzies
Electricity rates have gone up

The changes are in effect until 2020

BELIZE CITY, Mon. July 2, 2018– Back in May, Amandala reported that the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) had reviewed Belize Electricity Limited’s (BEL) request for a 7.1% increase in mean electricity rates, but had only approved an increase of 4.4%.

BEL had wanted the current rate to be raised from 36.99 cents per kilowatt hour to 39.54 cents, but the PUC only allowed a mean electricity rate of 38.62 cents per kilowatt hour.

However, BEL objected to the 4.4% increase, and, according to PUC chairman John Avery, an independent expert had to be brought in on May 23. Avery told 7News that the expert met with BEL and reviewed their objections, as well as looked over other matters that would have an impact on the initial decision.

The expert produced a report on June 12, which the PUC reviewed, and it resulted in several changes — including a decision by the PUC to elevate the rate of increase it had approved from 4.4% to 6.24%.

The reason for the increase in approved rates, according to Avery, is that the initial forecast for what the cost of power would have been was lower than what it actually ended up being. Therefore, the rates had to be adjusted in BEL’s favor to reflect the actual power cost.

With this and other concerns factored in, the final decision was made, and the mean electricity rates have increased from 38.62 cents to 39.3 cents.

This increase has been put in effect since yesterday and will last until June 2020.

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