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Jan 5, 2022

Electricity Rates Going Up, But Was It Necessary? P.U.C. Faults B.E.L.

Your next light bill will more than likely be higher than what it was last month, whether or not you dressed your house for the recent Christmas holidays. The Public Utilities Commission (P.U.C.), in a press release issued today, announced that effective this month and running until June, the Mean Electricity Rate (M.E.R. for short) should be adjusted from forty cents to forty-one cents per kilo-watt hour.  The increase comes as a result of a submission that the Belize Electricity Limited made on December tenth, in which it reported that it had paid an additional three point eight-two million dollars up to the end of December, 2021 in increased costs for power.  Further to that, B.E.L. also projected that it will pay four point one-four million dollars more in increased electricity supply between January and June of this year.  But the question is: was it really necessary? The P.U.C. shared that from September first to the twenty-fourth, 2021, “there were excessive instances where B.E.L. elected to purchase power from BECOL when the cost of power from C.F.E. in Mexico was significantly lower.  The P.U.C. also identified contrary instances, in the last week of September 2021, where B.E.L. elected to purchase power from C.F.E. when the cost of purchasing power in the domestic market was significantly lower. The combined effect of the above, in the P.U.C.’s estimation, was that the cost of power to consumers for the month of September 2021 would be two million dollars more than it could have been had B.E.L. dispatched using the lowest-cost mix of generation plants to meet demand.”  The commission also faults B.E.L. for what it describes as the way B.E.L. continues to “flout the law and intentionally ignores reasonable requests.”  Those requests were made for disclosure of supporting invoices for cost of power.  The P.U.C. informed that, as is stipulated in the by-laws, B.E.L. should nonetheless recover over four million dollars as a result of the increased energy costs. The public is invited to email their written comments to the P.U.C. on its Final Draft for the amendment to: or to post office box number three-zero-zero, Belize City. The deadline to submit your comments is January fifteenth. The P.U.C. announced that their Final Draft on this matter can be accessed in its entirety at its office at the Marina Towers on Newtown Barracks in Belize City or on its website at:

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