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Apr 12, 2007

P.U.C. encourages public to review B.E.L. proposal

Story PictureAs we reported last week, Belize Electricity Limited has applied to the Public Utilities Commission for a rebalance of rates. The proposed charges, which are supposed to translate to reduced bills for most consumers, is part of the Annual Review Proceeding. When the power company submitted their proposal, it had asked that certain information be classified as confidential. But on Wednesday, the P.U.C. ruled that under the law, the disclosure of the entire Service and Other Fees proposal was not commercially sensitive. As a result, the full document is now available for public consumption. This afternoon, P.U.C. Chairman Roberto Young advised all Belizeans to participate in the review in order to determine the best way forward.

Roberto Young, Chairman, P.U.C.
“We evaluate, we are analysing right now, take everybody input. And this is where the public has the opportunity to look at the documentation that is available at B.E.L.’s office, P.U.C.’s office or even on the website, to evaluate the same submissions that for transparency are made available to the public and for the public to comment so that we can take in their concerns during our assessment of the issues and for a determination to be made.”

Janelle Chanona
“That percentage of public participation, how much does that factor into the final decision?”

Roberto Young
“Some concerns will be raised that will really affect—as long as it’s not trivial and they have can concrete substantiation backing up their information, we’ll look at it, we’ll really look at the issues coming out and then we’ll make the determination.”

According to Young, comments from the public will be entertained until April twenty-third. The P.U.C. will issue its initial decision to the power company later this month. If B.E.L. does not accept that decision, an expert will be called in before a final conclusion is made. Any changes to B.E.L.’s rates would be effective on the first July. Copies of the proposal are available at the P.U.C. office or at the website www.puc.bz.

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