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Jan 7, 2022

P.U.C. Responds to B.E.L’s Counter-Allegations

On Thursday, the Belize Electricity Limited responded to allegations that the Public Utilities Commission made against them the day before, when it accused them of making bad decisions that will begin to cost consumers higher electricity rates effective this month. The P.U.C. pointed to an instance when B.E.L. dispatched water from the Chalillo dam when it ought not to, which resulted in them having to purchase power at higher rates from other suppliers. That led to B.E.L’s need for an adjustment for the higher rates. In her response to the P.U.C’s accusation on that, B.E.L’s General Manager of Employee and Corporate Services, Dawn Nunez explained that if the utility company had dispatched power in the manner that the P.U.C. was suggesting, it would have resulted in savings of one point five million dollars in one instance, but the company would have incurred about two point three million dollars in spill charges. But today, the P.U.C the evidence does not support B.E.L’s claim, and pointed to a specific week in August when the dam went from nineteen percent to seventy-three percent full. It stated that thereafter, B.E.L continued to run BECOL full scale for thirty days. The P.U.C maintains that a simple ten-day rain forecast from the National Met Service could have guided the dispatch more prudently and that the daily prices being offered from our Mexican supplier, CFE, were comparatively lower. The regulatory body also accused the energy provider of flouting the law and ignoring their requests for supplementary documents supporting its justification for increased rates. To this, B.E.L officials responded by saying that they did respond comprehensively in writing and provided them with all the information. But today, the P.U.C said that some of the information they were waiting on, the daily forecasting from November 2021 to June 2022, itemized by sources with costing, is still pending. And to B.E.L’s allegation that the P.U.C. never responded to its request to point to the evidence that supported its stance, they didn’t. But the P.U.C said that it furnished the company with hour-by-hour dispatch for the period in question to support its position. Lastly, to B.E.L’s claim that the P.U.C accepted their submission for the month of September, which it is now accusing them of spending unnecessarily higher prices for, the P.U.C today said that it hasn’t accepted the extra expense, but rather, has made provisions in the tariff for B.E.L to recover these extra costs.

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