The price of electricity may go up because on Monday, the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) notified the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) that due to significant increases in cost of power since May 2018, the Company is proposing to increase the Mean Electricity Rate (MER) to $0.4150 per kWh for the remainder of the Annual Tariff Period January 1 to June 30, 2019. Since May, higher prices from Mexico and below average production by local hydro plants resulted in an increase in the cost of power purchased from suppliers. Nonetheless, BEL says it was able to use its strong financial position to temporarily absorb an $18.9 million dollars increase in cost of power. As per PUC regulations, BEL is required to apply to recover this increase through an adjustment to the tariff. In its submission, the Company has also notified the PUC that new negotiations are underway to secure less volatile prices from Mexico’s CFE that are typically lower than prices from local suppliers, as was the case during 2013 to 2017. Additionally, BEL will recommend to the PUC, the launch of a Request for Proposals (RFP) in Electricity Generation from competitively priced sources of renewable energy.

LOVEFM

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Light Bill Gwen Up? If BEL Has Its Way…

Your power company, BEL has asked the Public Utilities Commission to increase electricity rates.

The company notified the PUC yesterday, that there has been significant increases in the cost of power since May 2018. They are proposing that the mean electricity rates be increased from 39.3 cents per kilowatt hour to 41.5 cents per kilowatt hour from January 1st, 2019 to June 30th, 2019.

The company notes that since May higher prices from Mexico and below average production of the local hydro plans resulted in an increase in the cost of power purchased from suppliers. BEL says that it was able to use its strong financial position to temporarily absorb the 18.9 million dollar increase in costs. They note that as per PUC regulations, BEL is required to recover this increase through a rate adjustment.

The company has also notified the PUC that it is trying to secure more stable prices from Mexico's CFE.

They are also recommending that the PUC launch a Request for Power in electricity generation from competitively priced sources of renewable energy.

They believe that by the end of next year, they can achieve the objective of lowering the electricity rates.

We'll wait for the PUC's response.

PUP Blasts BEL

Earlier on we told you about BEL's request for an increase in electricity rates. Well, the PUP says it is a dose of Christmas Cheer, UDP style.

Somehow already concluding that this rate increase is already a done deal, the PUP notes, quote, "months ago, BEL had requested an increase of 7.1% in the cost per kilowatt hour, and the PUC approved a 6.24% increase which should have been in effect for 2 years. Now, just five months after, BEL is requesting another increase." End quote.

The PUP concludes, quote "To subject Belizeans to yet another increase in the cost of electricity would be unfair and can only be considered as undue hardship when the cost of living is already too high."

Channel 7