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#424021 - 12/03/11 08:16 AM BEL Proposes 3.4% Decrease In Electric Rate
Marty Offline
BEL has made its submission to the Public Utilities Commission for a Full Tariff Review Proceeding. It's a highly technical process, but the bottom line for you the consumer is that BEL has proposed a 3.4% decrease in rates.

And while that's what they propose, the PUC today held a press conference to announce that - it could be less, more or none at all, because everything BEL proposes is subject to their stringent review:

Leroy Almendarez, Economist/Tariff Analyst - PUC
"This is their submission to the Public Utilities Commission, that's as far as it goes. We have to go through the whole process of analysis of data and things like that. As a matter of fact let me just emphasize this, this is the review team; all 4 of us, we will be doing the analysis and making a recommendation to the commission. The commission will be making a decision."

"When we put the data through the methodology and after all our analysis it might not show the 3.4% but we cannot make that determination now, that determination will be made after we've gone through the process and done all our analysis. That is what they are saying; the 3% reduction on average will keep them viable and they will be able to meet their investments. That's what they are saying."

Jules Vasquez
"All this is just in the air. All consumers want to know is that these people are applying for 3.4% and that they will get at least that. People want definitive answers and people want a break."

Leroy Almendarez
"If we were to give any definitive answer now then there is no need for the analysis, there is really no need for the process and that stains the process. We plan to go through this process, we plan to do it as thoroughly as we are going to interrogate and as Mr. Lewis mention as diligently as possible when we make our recommendations."

C. Victor Lewis - PUC
"It would be wrong to attempt to do otherwise. It would be a fallacy to attempt to do otherwise and let me say that we are engineers."

But while the engineers, apparently, will have their way, the public must have its say, and the public consultation is an important part of the review exercise.

A public hearing will be held at the Princess on December 21st at the Princess Hotel at 7:00 - where the you are encouraged to come out and tell the PUC how you feel about the proposed rate - whether its too little or just enough - or to speak about BEL's service in general.

A release from BEL says the company's proposal for a lower Mean Electricity Rate is made possible by the improvements in the Company's operations and management.

It adds that since the takeover, BEL's cash flow position has improved and the Company has not had to make any further request to the Government of Belize for electricity pre-payments.

Channel 7

#424025 - 12/03/11 08:20 AM Re: BEL Proposes 3.4% Decrease In Electric Rate [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Will electricity rates go down?

Will electricity rates go down just before next year’s municipal elections? Today the P.U.C. confirmed that on Thursday, the Belize Electricity Limited (B.E.L.) applied for a Full Tariff Review Proceeding to lower electricity rates for the period of July first, 2012 to June thirtieth, 2016 by three point four percent. B.E.L. will also be investing close to a hundred and twenty million dollars for the provision of services, the expansion of its distribution network and the upgrading of its power system. The P.U.C. was locked in legal battles with B.E.L. under the previous owner, Fortis but after it was taken over by the government, the prime minister announced in October that light bills would go down. According to the PUC’s Director of Administration and Rate Settings, a decision on the rate reduction will be delivered by mid-January, 2012.

Leroy Almendarez, Dir. of Administration & Rate Settings, P.U.C.

“B.E.L. has proposed adjustments to their approved rates and tariffs that would result in an overall average decrease of three point four percent in order for the company to generate adequate revenues to support its operation and its proposed investments. Now for the process: because it’s an F.T.R.P. and as mentioned by Ms. Cain we do want the involvement of the public the process is laid out this way. On the twenty-first of December of this year the P.U.C. will be holding a public hearing at the Princess Hotel at seven p.m. at which the licensee and interested parties shall participate. Interested parties may submit written comments and information on the licensee’s submission by Tuesday, January third, 2012. The P.U.C. will deliver its initial decision no later than January sixteenth, 2012.”

Channel 5


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