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#434336 - 03/29/12 01:49 PM PUC says lower water rates start on Sunday
Marty Offline
The Public Utilities Commission has issued a statement confirming that the initial decision on the Annual Review Proceeding for Belize Water Services Limited has been confirmed as its final decision. According to the brief statement announcing the final decision, the Commission on January twenty third, approved an average seven point two percent reduction in water rates for the remainder of the full tariff period which ends on March thirty first of 2015. The rate reduction is for all of BWS’s branches, except for Caye Caulker village. The PUC says that since there were no objections received in respect of the initial decision it adopted it as the final decision.


#434353 - 03/29/12 02:37 PM Re: PUC says lower water rates start on Sunday [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Water rates to go down

It’s official; water rates are going down. That’s the final decision that was announced today by the Public Utilities Commission, which recently concluded the annual review proceedings for the Belize Water Services Limited. BWS submitted its application on December twenty-third, 2011 and wanted its rates and tariffs to remain the same. The P.U.C., however, believes that the utility company is doing well enough to give consumers an ease. Director of Water and Waste Water, Rudolph Williams as well as the Director of Tariffs and Administration, Leroy Almendarez both sat down with News Five today to explain the P.U.C.’s decision and why the rate reduction doesn’t apply to Caye Caulker.


Rudolph Williams

Rudolph Williams, Director, Water & Waste Water Sector, P.U.C.

“BWS applied for no change in the rates and tariffs and charges as was approved by the Public Utilities Commission. During the review proceedings for the annual period 2011-2012, the commission looked at the operations and the financials of Belize Water Services Limited and made an initial decision to reduce the rates by seven point two percent.”


Delahnie Bain

“And there were no objections?”


Leroy Almendarez, Director, Tariffs & Administration, P.U.C.

“Right, that is important because unless there was an objection, the process would have continued, which would have meant bringing in an independent expert, for example. But because there was no objection, the commission then adapted its initial decision as is final decision.”


Leroy Almendarez

Delahnie Bain

“What factors led to this seven point two percent reduction, considering that BWS had asked for no changes?”


Leroy Almendarez

“Well, the commission—and it has to be emphasized that the commission makes the decision; the commission is the rate setter. What the provider does is to make an application as an annual review proceeding as was required and they made this application or this submission and said we don’t need any change or we request no change. After the commission did its analysis on the performance of the company, the commission saw where there was a need, based on performance etcetera to reduce the rates.”


Delahnie Bain

“Now, according to the release the reduction is across the board except for Caye Caulker. Any reason why?”


Rudolph Williams

“The Caye Caulker system is a new system and the amount of hook-ups that the Caye caulker system is getting right now is not the amount that was projected. And so the amount of information we also have to do a proper analysis of the system is not available for us to do a fair assessment of that system so we decided to not interfere with that rate right now and leave it as it is then as more information comes about, then we can do a better review of the operations in Caye Caulker.”

Channel 5

#434360 - 03/29/12 02:43 PM Re: PUC says lower water rates start on Sunday [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Water Services wants P.U.C. to review rate decision

While it did not submit an objection, the BWS has now made a formal request for the P.U.C. to review its final decision. But Almendarez says the commission’s final decision is just that… final.


Leroy Almendarez

“You don’t review the final decision. There was a period for objection; they either objected or they did not. Because they did not object, therefore that is why the initial decision is now being accepted as the final decision. So you don’t review the final decision; that is the final decision of the commission.”


Delahnie Bain

Leroy Almendarez

“And just for clarity because you know there will be some people who will hear okay water gwein down and dehn expect it pan di next bill. Can you tell us when people can expect to see the effects of this reduction?”


Rudolph Williams

Rudolph Williams

“The rates come into effect the first of April so billings after the first of April should show the decrease in rates.”

Leroy Almendarez

“And it’s important to emphasize—just to add to what Rudolph has said—because I’ve heard it being said on the radio that oh my water did not go down. The rates are not in effect as yet. It’s being adapted today but they don’t come into effect until April the first. If the billing system is thirty days, then you will see it in the bill that comes for May; not March, February, January. That’s when you’re supposed to see the effect but you must also remember that if you consume more, you have to look at your consumption patterns as well but on average the rates will go down by seven point two percent.”


The P.U.C. stresses that rate setting is done to benefit consumers while still ensuring that the utility companies stay in business and maintain quality service.

Channel 5


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