Consumers will soon see an increase in their electricity bill as a result of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approving a four point four percent increase in electricity. On April 1, Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) in their Annual Review Proceeding (ARP) requested an increase to the electricity rate from thirty-six dollars and ninety-nine cents per kilowatt-hour to thirty-nine dollars and fifty-four cents to take effect from July 1 to June 30, 2019 and thirty-eight dollars and seventy-five cents per kilowatt-hour for July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020. Love news spoke with Ambrose Tillett, Electricity Director at the Public Utilities Commission about the increase.
Ambrose Tillett, Energy Director, Ministry of Energy: “Two things that was driving their submissions lower revenues that they were realizing and higher core costs that were input in their business. The crux of their submission if I may say so because BEL has to buy power from Mexico and from other independent power producers which they then resell to customers and BEL was pointing out that when we made our projections in 2016, because the rates are set for a 4 year period from 2016-2020, when those rates are set there were estimates as to what the cost of power would be and that power cost is turning out to be higher than what was projected two years ago. BEL was asking for the rate to be set for one year at one price and another year at another price. The commission’s philosophy has been to try to keep rates as tame as possible so when we ran our numbers we found that over the next two years from July 1st of this year two years from then which is July 30 of 2020 the average rate for BEL to recover it’s reasonable cost should be 38.6. So we are setting one rate for two years as compared to BEL’s request to set a rate for this year coming and a different rate for the following year.”
The new price is thirty-eight dollars and sixty-two cents per kilowatt-hour, which will take effect on July 1.