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Jun 11, 2008

Independent Expert recommends price hikes for B.E.L.

It has just been posted on the internet and we hesitate to comment too extensively without reading all seventy-eight pages … but the report of the Independent Expert appointed to evaluate B.E.L.’s application for higher electricity rates has been submitted to the Public Utilities Commission. A quick glance indicates that while rate increases are recommended they will fall most heavily on middle income residential customers and large commercial and industrial users. The expert, Dr. Jonathan Lesser, did not give B.E.L. everything it requested but did conclude that the mean electricity rate should increase to forty-seven point seven cents per kilowatt hour, significantly more than the forty-four point one cents allowed by the P.U.C. Lesser also sided with B.E.L. on several key points regarding the P.U.C.’s methodology, including the acceptable rate of return, the question of hurricane costs and recent drawdown of the Chalillo reservoir. It should be noted that the P.U.C. is under no obligation to follow the expert’s recommendations. We’ll have a detailed report on tomorrow’s newscast.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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