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Government Objects to PUC Rate Increase

And while the Government via the Ministry of Education is stern on educators, the Ministry of Energy is showing compassion regarding the proposed electricity hike that we would experience in January, 2019.  GOB, via a press release today expressed strong objections to the Public Utilities Commission’s (PUC) approval of electricity rate at half-cent more than what was requested by the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL). In the release, the government states that while it respects the PUC’s independence, it QUOTE, “does not take lightly any increase in rates. While the PUC has cited errors in BEL’s calculations, GOB is satisfied and accepts the submission made by BEL for an increase in rate to 41.5 cents only,” UNQUOTE. That said, GOB “strongly encourages” the PUC to reconsider its decision and approve an increase of 41.5 cents instead. The Government has also stated that it will submit an official objection on the matter. The release closes by stating that government QUOTE, “anticipates a positive review and final decision by the PUC,” UNQUOTE. While that’s one way of delaying the inevitable, there are alternative methods to cutting costs, that’s what Ambrose Tillett, the Director of Electricity for the PUC believes. At Thursday’s press conference to announce the new rates, Tillett said that there are measures BEL can implement to lower the cost of electricity while passing on those savings to consumers.