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#461839 - 04/06/13 09:07 AM BEL Asks For Slight Decrease In Electricity Rate
Marty Offline

BEL Submits 2013-2014 Annual Tariff Review Proceeding Application to PUC

Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) submitted an application on April 2, 2013, to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) under the Annual Tariff Review Proceeding (ARP) for the period July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014.

In the application, BEL requests that the PUC reduces the Mean Electricity Rate (MER) by approximately 1 cent per kilowatt hour (kWh) to reflect the actual Cost of Power since January 2013 compared to the projected cost submitted to the PUC in December 2012. BEL is also proposing to reduce its targeted Rate of Return from 10 per cent to 9 per cent, made possible subsequent to the recent reduction in the Companyís financing costs.

While the Cost of Power challenges remain as last reported by BEL in December, the amendment to the MER in January 2013 has enabled the Company to meet its payments to suppliers.

In order to achieve the MER that went into effect as of January 1, 2013, BEL had to reduce its Value Added of Delivery for the period January to June 2013. This minimized the burden of high cost of power on customers and, as we had communicated to the PUC in December 2012, our intention was to gradually recover the shortfall in VAD in subsequent tariff review proceedings. This current ARP application does not contemplate the recovery of this shortfall, unless cost of power returns to lower levels.

Copies of BEL's submission are available at its Corporate Headquarters, located at 2Ĺ Miles Northern Highway, Belize City and its branch offices countrywide. The submission is also available for viewing at the office of the PUC located at 41 Gabourel Lane, Belize City.

In January the PUC ordered a whopping 17% increase in average electricity rates. Well now, BEL is asking the PUC to lower the rate just a little. The power company made this application in its Annual Tariff Review Proceeding for July first, 2013 to June 30th, 2014.

BEL asks the PUC to reduce the average Electricity Rate by about 1 cent per kilowatt hour - which would bring the residential rate down to about 48 cents per kilowatt hour - still a long ways off form the 41.6 cents per kilowatt hour it was at in 2012.

BEL says the modest decrease is a reflection in a slightly cheaper cost of power. BEL is also reducing its Rate of Return from 10 per cent to 9 per cent, after reducing financing costs.

The PUC will now make its own review and recommendation.

Channel 7

#463587 - 05/03/13 06:09 AM Re: BEL Asks For Slight Decrease In Electricity Rate [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

PUC Proposes Adjustment To Social Rate

One month ago, BEL asked the PUC to reduce the average electricity rate by about one cent per kilowatt-hour. Well, the PUC has considered that application, and proposed a reduction of even less than that, about one quarter of one cent(!) per kilowatt hour.

Itís miniscule, but it can translate into savings for those getting the social rate. Government stripped away part of their subsidy in January. So, the PUC proposes to reduce the Minimum Charge for that group from $5.00 to $4.00 per month and cut their rate from $0.29 cents per kilowatt-hour to $0.26 cents per kilowatt-hour.

This is only the initial decision, and comments form the public are accepted until May 13th, 2013.

Channel 7

#463658 - 05/04/13 06:17 AM Re: BEL Asks For Slight Decrease In Electricity Rate [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

PUC Explains Logic Of Miniscule Rate Reduction

Last night, we told you about the PUCís decision to implement a miniscule rate reduction for BEL in its annual review proceeding. The proposed decrease to the average rate is less than one cent, and the slight benefit will accrue solely to those who need it most: customers who are paying the social rate.

Their Minimum Charge will go down from $5.00 to $4.00 per month and their rate will slide from $0.29 cents per kilowatt-hour to $0.26 cents per kilowatt-hour.

It represents very modest savings, but PUCís Chairman, John Avery told the media today, the rate proposal is a welcome buffer for Belizeís energy needs which partially depends on fossil fuels. According to him, prices fluctuate with no warning, and the public has to absorb the spikes in the cost of power production

Hereís an excerpt of that 1 hour long press conference:

John Avery - Chairman, PUC
"The only customer clause that the by-law allows for there to be a subsidy is the Social Rate Clause so we decided to reduce the rates the social clause of customers from $0.29 to $0.26 per kilowatt hour with a minimum bill of $4 as oppose to $5. Even this change is fairly insignificant change of the total revenues to be earned by BEL. However, we are not certain what will happen with the price because with the cost of power we are never certain. A lot of our power comes from Fossil Fuel sources and we never know what will happen with that. A hurricane could increase the cost of oil. There are signs that the US could have a conflict with Iran in the near future and that will take up the price of oil. Perhaps this little difference in Electricity rate - can be eaten up if we have any further increases in the cost of power. In any event we will review what has occurred to them and if there are any sizable corrections that result then we can then apply it to the rates going forward. This small reduction in the electricity rate was very difficult - without being discriminatory - you can't really translate it into any meaningful adjustments to the existing tariffs."

Those not paying the social rate, will see their electricity rates remain basically the same as what they are paying right now. Donít like it? Well, you have until June 13th to send your objections in writing to the PUC.

Channel 7


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