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Jan 13, 2012

How the B.E.L. Rates were determined

John Avery

Avery says that there are several factors that made their proposed reduction higher than B.E.L.’s application. One reason is that the utility company had gone to court to block the P.U.C. from conducting a rate review for 2009, which froze electricity rates even though the global price of oil reduced significantly. B.E.L. had challenged the tariff review of 2008, but the P.U.C. won that case in March, 2011. After government acquired B.E.L. later in the year, the remaining cases against the regulator were dropped, allowing for the recent rate review. According to Avery, the rates would have gone down from as far back as July 2009 and so B.E.L.’s debt to consumers was factored into their current decision on the rate reduction.

John Avery, Chairman/Director General, Public Utilities Commission

“The decision really is effective July first, 2009 but we just had to set the rates that were already in place then because we can’t go back and re-bill customers. But the new rates that we’ve set becomes effective February first, assuming that we get no objections. There are other reasons why we do this thing for February first but we’re assuming that we won’t get much objections and we probably won’t need to extend it but that is something we can’t say for certain, we have to wait until the twenty-seventh.”

Delahnie Bain

“Back when the P.U.C. and B.E.L. were in a back and forth in court, it came out at one point that B.E.L. owed—so to speak—thirty million or something like that to the customers. Where does that stand?”

John Avery

“B.E.L. made that statement several times; we never said that. And I’d just like to correct you; we were back and forth with B.E.L., B.E.L. was constantly taking us to court. Yeah, basically we set rates in 2008 and we determined regulated values in 2008 that were effective up to June thirty 2009. In that decision we said that the Cost of Power Rate Stabilization Account (CPRSA) would be closed. What B.E.L. did was that after those rates and those regulated values expired, they continued to use them and on that basis, they were saying that they owed consumers for the cost of power. But when we set that rate, the price of oil was at a hundred and forty-seven dollars a barrel. It reduced after that and so that rate would never have been appropriate for periods thereafter but we never had an opportunity to do a rate review and so we could not change it. But as far as we are concerned, that thing expired June 2009. For B.E.L. to continue to use it was inappropriate. And so on that basis, in their books they claimed that they owed consumers fifty million dollars. But the P.U.C. never did say that. In this rate review, we did a reconciliation of the CPRSA and we determined that at the end of June thirtieth, 2009 the balance was twenty-three point million. That is what they owed consumers and now we’ve taken that twenty-three million and we’ve used that reduce the rates going forward.”

Any objections to the six point one four percent decrease must be submitted by January twenty-seventh. According to Avery, if there are no objections, the new rates come into effect on February first.

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3 Responses for “How the B.E.L. Rates were determined”

  1. daly says:

    so its the Belizean people that have paid the electricity bills in advance and NOT that liad dean barrow is reducing the elctricity rates as he says? he wants to play politics in lowering electricity and BEL already owed Belizean consumers,hmmm dean barrow da a real joke.

  2. Earl Grey says:

    ANYTHING …..to WIN AN ELECTION!!!

  3. Concerned says:

    didnt Lynn Young say that as far as he is concerned BEL dont owe anything to customers because PUC went back in time and changed the decisions that were already made by previous PUC? It was avery who said BEL owes consumers, search it right here on channel five archives and you will see it. LIIAAAADD !! BEL could afford to reduce it even more, this is what Avery was saying from day one, and now he can only drop it by 6%, when in 2009 he had said it should be 12% and even higher? Liad Liad Liad.!!!

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