According to the Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission, John Avery, it has been decided that electricity rates will increase because Belize Electricity Limited is losing revenue and the cost of power is increasing. Every year, BEL spends three million dollars on diesel to power Caye Caulker Village. This is because Caye Caulker is not connected to the national grid. Avery says that if the village is connected to the grid, operation and production cost will decrease. Unfortunately, this has not been done as yet, says Avery.
John Avery, PUC Chairman: “Now if BEL is to inter connect Caye Caulker then the investments they make they will get their return on it. They will get their depreciation on it so they get a direct benefit from that financial. On the other side now it would reduce their operational expenditure on Caye Caulker because you are not running these diesels twenty four hours a day and then it would basically eliminate the need to spend three point something million dollars on diesel every year. The net effect would basically be that consumers would basically say $1.5 to $2 million dollars a year and BEL would get perhaps $1 to $1.23 million dollars more revenues that approve to them because the return and the deprecation on the investment. So that is a win win for both sides, unfortunately we had told BEL to prioritize that thing and move on and we wanted it basically completed by June 30th. Within the first two years of the FDP, unfortunately that hasn’t been done. We know they did some work on this however they are not projecting to complete this for some time now. This thing for Caye Caulker I don’t think anyone can argue that isn’t a high priority. We are actually just throwing money into these diesel trucks that come in to operate Caye Caulker on Diesel and I know there are certain considerations that may have prompted BEL to act as quickly however something like this one we have to do it. This is benefit for both sides.”
The new electricity rate will come into effect on July 1.