Belize Electricity Limited, BEL, says that it is experiencing a shortfall in revenue; however, it is not requesting an increase, instead the company intends to recover the shortfall over a three-year period in order to avoid passing on any increase to customers. John Avery, the Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission, said that BEL had a similar situation in 2012.
John Avery – the Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission: You may recall in 2012 B.E.L. went through a period almost similar to what it has experienced over the last twelve months where there was a shortfall in the recovery for customers for the cost of power in the tune of around $40 million. At that time, even though our rate setting methodology says that corrections are to be made for A.T.P.’s that are complete. The P.U.C. at that time decided to do a correction up to December 31st because the cost of power can be accurately determined for that six months before any other rate review will begin however in this instance B.E.L. didn’t ask that the commission and didn’t make any special provision to do any recovery. The thing is and I think we have all been provided with a copy of the decision. If we go to schedule four, the current A.T.P. that we are in, we are projecting that because of the cost of power which last year was $144 million we are expecting it to be near $180 million by June 30th of this year and when you add up all of that it is saying that this is not all accurate yet, some is forecast and projections, well most of it because we haven’t completed the period as yet but we are looking that B.E.L. may require $265 million to cover all their expenses for this current annual tariff period. We expect that the rates will produce somewhere in the region of $220 to $230 million so we expect that when then next rate review is done, this period is reconciled and annual corrections are done that there will be a significant sum recoverable from customers in favor of BEL.”
Avery said that in 2012, PUC had increased BEL’s rate to above forty-eight cents and within a year there was a decrease to around forty cents.