It's serious, PUC holds their ground and we are being overcharged for our electricity in the mean time. It is time for a competitor to come to Belize and BEL (forcefully) to be split up in an Electricity Supply company and an Infrastructure (distribution) company.
Originally Posted by Love FM
April 03, 2009

The Public Utilities Commission has rejected B-E-L’s request for a six percent decrease in electricity rate as a part of the annual review proceeding which they say is on scheduled for the beginning of April. The P-U-C’s reasoning for rejecting the request is that among other things Belize Electricity Limited has refused to apply for a Full Tariff Review Proceeding which was suppose to be done at the beginning of the year. Tariff Analyst at the Public Utilities Commission, Leroy Almendarez explains.

Leroy Almendarez; Tariff Analyst, Public Utilities Commission
"Under statutory instrument 145 of 2005 the first full tariff review proceeding was conducted for BEL. What that means is that that full tariff period would have expired at June 30 of this year. It also means that on July 1 2009 when a full tariff proceeding should have been conducted this year so that is what they should have applied for. What they applied for is and annual review proceeding which is invalid. According to BEL they are applying as if SI 141 of 2007 is in place which would have made the full tariff period 2007 to 2011. SI 141 was repealed in March of last year so SI 145 of 2005 was reinstated which means that he full tariff period ends at June 30 of this year.”

The P-U-C and B-E-L has been embroiled in back and forths since last year when an increase in electricity rate was denied in the 2008/2009 Annual Rate Review Proceeding final decision. That decision has been appealed by B-E-L and that appeal included the repeal of the SI that they are now applying for the ARP under. But earlier this year, The Public Utilities Commission announced that because there was a decrease world oil prices, a decrease in electricity rate would also be necessary.

Leroy Almendarez; Tariff Analyst, Public Utilities Commission
“Yes, in January the PUC had in fact given or reduced the rate as they were stipulated under the law to do. That was appealed. Now they are saying that we are applying now, but remember fist of all that the application itself is invalid but the conditions on which they applied also, 6%. The reversal of 36.1 million dollars that was a part of an ARP decision of June of 2008; that decision they are appealing is in court so why then are they asking us to revisit that decision or to reverse any part of that decision of 2008. So at this point in time basically in conformity with the governing legislation the PUC cannot accept any other submission from BEL at this time.”

As Almendarez mentioned, B-E-L can still apply for the proposed six percent rate decrease but only if it is applied for with the Full Tariff Review Proceeding and not the Annual Rate Review Proceeding. We contacted B-E-L but were told that the company had no further comment other than what was sent out in yesterday’s release.

Live and let live