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Dec 28, 2012

Electricity rates will go up by over 16% in 2013

The Christmas season normally means that a few pounds will be carried on the waists of Belizeans in the New Year, but it seems that your next electricity bill may also have quite a few dollars more added to it. Electricity rates are going up by sixteen point eight-seven percent. Residential rates will carry a minimum charge of six dollars while from zero to fifty kilowatt hours will be thirty-eight cents; fifty-one to two hundred kilowatt hours will be forty-eight cents, and anything above two hundred kilowatt hours will be at fifty-one cents. According to the Public Utilities Commission, B.E.L. spent roughly forty million dollars more due to an increased cost of power from January 2012 to November 2012. That was because of increased rates from Mexico’s CFE, a depletion of bagasse supplies for BELCOGEN, and lack of performance at the hydro dams due to low rainfall. B.E.L. made its submission on December tenth and PUC Chairman John Avery announced the commission’s decision today.

 

John Avery, Chairman, Public Utilities Commission

John Avery

“The P.U.C. has determined that in order for B.E.L. to recover additional costs that has been incurred for Cost of Power in 2012 and to allow it to cover the expected cost for the next six months, the commission has prescribed an approximate sixteen point eight-seven percent increase in rates; moving the mean electricity rate from forty-one point eight one cents that was approved in the 2011/2012 full tariff review proceedings and has increased that to forty-eight point eight six cents. As described in this paper, the major reasons for the differences are one; we had unexpectedly low production from BECOL due to unexpected low rainfall during 2012. Unfortunately, unless something happens within the next couple weeks, this situation with BECOL getting slightly lower production will continue to persist in the upcoming six months, which is the traditional dry season for Belize. So certainly, we see no relief from BECOL unless something extraordinary happens within the next couple of weeks; that the damn level can go above or reach expected levels at this time. The other issue that we had was BELCOGEN was unable to produce the amount of power that we expected from them. And in fact, BELCOGEN has seized productions for over two months now. B.S.I. started to grind cane so their bagasse supply is building up and we expect them to be able to supply us with the usual amount of power over the next si months. The next major issue we had which is compounded by the lower production from BELCOGEN and BECOL is that we have been getting much higher prices from Mexico, CFE Mexico.”

 

Avery said that 2012 was a year that consumers also increased their consumption of electricity.

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9 Responses for “Electricity rates will go up by over 16% in 2013”

  1. not again says:

    A donde vamos a parar? Like the song says. These goverment are trying to bleed a rock. Its crazy.

  2. Ricky Malthus says:

    Great excuses ! Blame mother nature, and blame Mexico for higher prices (seems that the Mexicans understand economics better than BEL) but the fact remains HIGHER PRICES will come our way. Why can’t our administrators in BEL and GOB accept the fact that they don’t know what they are doing. They are so highly paid for such high incompetence. Sarcastically, they should move some of the $150 million Super Bond savings or move another $50 million from Social Security to buttress the consumers electricity bills. After all it is their money any way.

  3. Rod says:

    No one should pay this theaving pm and gov after stealing all the people money now they want you to pay more for covering up whey they thief unu Betta wake up belizeans you need to send his theaving pm and gov. A message that you will not tolerate they theaving ways anymore no one I mean no one should pay their electric bill until they bring down this bill and stop thief guan judas guan stop thief from the poor.

  4. Storm says:

    I’d like to see UB convene a panel of experienced energy experts here, and try to come up with a long range plan for the best, most productive, and most cost-effective energy program. Future growth depends on it, and it seems risky always to rely on foreign countries.

    Would wind power work here, like they use many places in the States and Europe?? Wave action, like they use in Israel? How practical is solar — goodness knows we have our share of sunshine!

    Instead of waiting helplessly for power supplies gradually to fail, why not try to look ahead a few years, then start to work on whatever program seems best for our needs and resources? A forward-looking government would do that.

  5. Tom Page says:

    Fortis was correct. It can’t be done for less. The National Socialists were wrong.

  6. northernconcern says:

    This is totally unacceptable… is the nationalization of the Electricity company another Government fiasco???

  7. OW VOICE says:

    WHY IS THE RATE INCREASE SO MUCH OF A CONCERN AT THIS POINT, WHEN FORTIS HAD BEEN REQUESTING THIS BEFORE THE DRACONIAN GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER AND WAS OUT RIGHTLY DECLINED. MR AVERY AND THE PUC ARE PUSHING UDP ISSUES. THE RATE DECREASE BEFORE ELECTION WAS A PLOY SIMPLY TO LURE VOTES AND IN RETURN AT THE END OF THE YEAR TO STICK US WITH THE HOT IRON ROD OF RATE INCREASE. ALSO WHAT PERFECT TIMING TO SLIP THE INCREASE WHEN MOST OF THE COUNTRY IS BEING OVERSHADOWED BY THE CHRISTMAS FESTIVITIES. BUT MINDFUL PEOPLE ARE AWAKE, LISTENING AND SILENTLY WATCHING THE CHESS GAME.

  8. Law and Order Kriol says:

    Fortis ran BEL quite well for many many years, right up until 2008 when oil prices skyrocketed and therefore they had to request increased rates, angrying consumers and causing the then-opposition (now government) to GUARANTEE lower rates by any means necessary. When Fortis refused to run BEL at a loss and sell power for less than it cost, GOB lied to the public and stole the company. But like Stan Marshall said back then, somebody’s gotta pay. Belize seems not to grasp that simple fact of life, not in any thing we do, from southside gangsters expecting to be paid for “behaving good”, to constituents expecting ministers to pay for all their living expenses, to electricity rate payers expecting rates to go down while all other costs are going up. In all cases and more, they’re facilitated by a populist, incompetent government that lies to them and tells them they don’t have to eat their vegetables, candy is just fine. Its everyone elses fault, from World Bank to Fortis to Ashcroft to bondholders to IADB. Never Belize’s fault, and certainly not the infallible Dean Barrow.

  9. Think-About-It says:

    Storm,

    Yes but guess what, alternative energy costs up-front money to install. Do you know how expensive wind turbines are, and how many would be required to supply all Belize’s needs? Ditto for solar power. These would be great, but how will an unprofitable company invest in them??? Companies without profits cannot borrow. Will GOB pay for the investment? No because its broke too, and hasn’t even paid for the company. And at any rate, even if GOB could pay, the fact is taxpayers and rate payers are one and the same…and one or the other would foot the bill. Truth is, Fortis probably had it right by trying to build dams, but they only got one or two completed due to virulent opposition from, among others, Dean Oliver Barrow and Lois Young! If we didn’t have Chalillo, take a wild guess as to where we would be now. I know what you’ll think, but the truth is that to creat enough wind energy to supply Belize we would have to clear many square miles of land…..about the same if not more than the flooded area of dam reservoirs. Like Kriol said, no free lunch.

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