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May 7, 2018

P.U.C. Approves Rate Increase for Electricity

There is an old claim that nothing is certain but death and taxes. But for the past two years or so, it was virtually guaranteed that Belize Electricity Limited would not request increases in electricity rates – that is, until earlier this year, when it applied to take the mean electricity rate to near forty cents a kilowatt-hour, the highest in several years. The Public Utilities Commission’s approved change is not as steep – only thirty eight-point-six-two cents. B.E.L. says this is a result of increases in the cost of power purchased from power producers. In 2017 rate review period, B.E.L. spent three point eight million dollars more for power and recent projections show that the cost of power will be four point eight million dollars higher than what was approved by the PUC for the 2017-2018 period. Chairman John Avery discussed the potential hit to your wallet by July first through June thirtieth 2020, at a press conference this afternoon in Belize City.

 

Reporter

“They asked for thirty-nine-point-one-four [cents] over the two year period and you gave them thirty-eight point six two [cents]. A marginal…”

 

John Avery, Chairman, Public Utilities Commission

“Look at it this way: every one cent for B.E.L. translates to five [and a half] million dollars. Remember, it’s over two hundred million and if it’s forty cents over two hundred million, it’s over five million per cent. It’s like five and a half million he says.”

 

Ambrose Tillett

Ambrose Tillett, Director of Electricity, Public Utilities Commission

“Because B.E.L. sales for this year is going to be five-five-five million so one cent will be five point five-five million for each cent. So if it’s half a cent you’re looking at around two point six million.”

 

John Avery

“Most of the rates you see there went up by either one cent or two cents. The ones that are close to twenty cents, because remember it’s a little under five percent – those went up by roughly one cent; if you are around forty cents, those went up by roughly two cents.”

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