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#241784 06/27/07 11:18 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
OP Offline

below is minimal info
New electricity rates will help low end consumers

The Public Utilities Commission has delivered its final decision on electricity rates. The result is that beginning July first, lower volume consumers will see their bills drop while larger users, including commercial and industrial customers, will pay more. A key feature of the new set of tariffs is that the ten dollar monthly service charge for residential users is eliminated in favour of increased charges per kilowatt hour. Even though the new rate jumps from twenty-nine to thirty-five cents for the first fifty kilowatt hours, the elimination of the service charge means that the monthly bill for a fifty kilowatt hour household will drop seven dollars from twenty-four dollars and fifty cents to seventeen-fifty. The savings diminish as you use more electricity, with the break even point around four hundred and fifty kilowatt hours per month. This means that if you currently pay less than two hundred dollars per month your bill will go down; more than two hundred it will go up ... but not by much. According to Belize Electricity Limited, its total revenues will be unaffected by the new rates. But the rebalancing will result in a lowering of bills for around seventy-five percent of residential customers. Commercial customers will pay slightly higher rates, while the charge to government--that means taxpayers--for street lighting will go up by three cents from fifty-two to fifty-five cents per kilowatt hour. Although the company got most of what it had originally requested, a release from B.E.L. complains that the P.U.C. denied its bid for increased disconnection and reconnection fees as well as the introduction of charges for liquidated damages in the event of tampering by consumers.

At a press conference today the P.U.C. stood by its decision on metre tampering and said that while it will be dialoguing with B.E.L. on the connection issue, any possible change would not come until a year from now. In response to the question of whose side the P.U.C. was on, Chairman Roberto Young indicated that an answer is not that simple."

Roberto Young, Chairman, Public Utilities Commission
"We are a balancing act, however by our Public Utilities Act we need to take the interest of the consumer into account. But, yes we need to listen to the utility, we need to keep them viable, we need to listen to government, we need to listen to the people, we need to listen to the public outcry there so, yes we do take everybody's consideration there and try to come with as optimal solution as possible."

Young said that B.E.L.'s rate of return on investment was running in the neighbourhood of twelve percent, well within the regulatory guidelines which range from ten to fifteen.

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,822
JZB Offline
Great! My bills have been the highest they have ever been, and now under this new tarrif they will increase again!
Every month I get my bill I always ask myself, What was the point of Chalillo??? mad

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 133
to lower the rates was never in question.. To have a very slight amount of independance on fuel is why chalilo dam was built..

Belize has no fuel remember, its all imported, and it must come from somewhere and as the prices continue up , as ever, there will be at least some electricity.

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,461
Its a scam, all our rates go up, especially for the high end users, the largest of which is GOB, so in reality more tax $ goes to BEL and merchants will pass on the additional cost to consumers with this pricing structure.

Belize based travel specialist
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Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,822
JZB Offline
"to lower the rates was never in question.. To have a very slight amount of independance on fuel is why chalilo dam was built.. "
Balogna! They kept saying how being independant would keep rates controllable. I think we've had more increases since the damn was built than ever. I remember a representative saying that the rate increases were to offset the cost of the damn but that they would steady and go down. Yeah right!
A scam is right!

Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 46

Chalillo Dam Report Card

In 2002, Fortis/BECOL entered into an agreement, the "Environmental Compliance Plan" as part of their legal obligations for the construction of the Chalillo Dam in Belize. Under the terms of this agreement, the Department of Environment was to monitor the dam construction. Before building the dam, Fortis/BECOL agreed "to strictly adhere to the implementation of the mitigation measures in the time frame outlined in this document [the ECP] during all stages of development of the project."

Belizeans grade Fortis/BECOL on how well they adhered to the legal agreements in the ECP.

Dam Safety

Objective: Fortis/ BECOL was required to have an emergency preparedness plan in place before the dam began operating. They were supposed to have a warning system for those downstream of the dam and inform Belizeans what would happen in case of a flood or dam break.

No Emergency Preparedness Plan was done and no warning systems set up.
BECOL admits that the dam leaks.
The people living downstream and tour guides who are frequently on the river, know of no warning systems for downstream towns, villages, resorts or of any emergency plans.

Fortis/BECOL does not take any financial responsibility for any failures. Under its agreement with Belize's government, if the Project is destroyed or damaged by a natural catastrophe, even if that catastrophe could have been prevented by safe dam design, Fortis can walk away. The Third Master Agreement between BECOL and the Belize government states the company cannot be held liable for any reason for any damages should the dam fail.

Such conduct violates internationally recognized standards. According to the World Bank Operational Policy on Dam Safety, the dam owner has "full responsibility" for the dam's life and "irrespective of its funding sources or construction status" ( The World Bank Operational Manual, Operational Policy, Safety of Dams, OP 4.37, October 2001 at �1). The owner includes a private company or a consortium (Safety of Dams at �1).



Dam Construction

Objective: To provide detailed engineering designs for the dam (ECP S 6.50) and to include all additional geotechnical assessments conducted and associated with the project with such designs (ECP S 6.51)

Reality: Fortis/BECOL refused to acknowledge that the dam foundations were not made of granite and also did not admit to any earthquake activity in the area. In fact, Fortis/BECOL's contractors erased the fault lines from geological maps in the Environmental Impact Assessment.
Geologists hired by Fortis/BECOL claimed that there is no real difference between granite and sandstone.
Fortis/BECOL suppressed the results of an independent geology report that showed that there is no granite at the dam site and that a fault line is located nearby; this report concluded that the dam design must be changed (Cornec Report).
In fact, how the dam is constructed depends on what kind of foundation it is constructed on.
We do not know if Fortis/BECOL took the fault lines and seismic activity into account in the final dam design.


Energy Costs

ECP Objective : "[T]o save costs in the generation of electricity and that the general public and the country shall share in the benefits of such cost savings" (ECP S 8.25).

Reality : Our electric bills are higher.
Right after the Chalillo dam started operating in 2005, Fortis/BEL raised rates by 12%.
BEL raised electricity rates for Belizeans by 13% in January 2006
BEL said there will be more rate hikes.
BECOL has never revealed the true costs of building Chalillo; it has been reported to be between 10% and 300% greater than estimated ($33 to 100 million US total cost).


Water Quality

Objective: To establish monitoring programs, to test the water and to keep a record of the changes in the water quality and make that information public.

Reality: The people of the Macal River Valley depend on river water as a source for drinking, food, as well as for revenue from ecotourism.
Fortis/BECOL has not notified the general public about any water testing.
Fortis/BECOL has not released information about mercury levels in fish; data about iron, chloride, sulfates and other heavy metals in the water; and information about the river stage, flow, discharge and rainfall as required by the ECP.
Fortis/BECOL has not purchased the required monitoring equipment.


Wildlife and Archeological Heritage Protection

ECP Objective: To make arrangements and put in place alternate places for wildlife in the area of the dam and to provide for protection of the wildlife. To protect Belize's Maya heritage.

Reality: The Chalillo dam has impacted parts of the Chiquibul National Park, the Chiquibul and the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserves, an area known for its rare and endangered wildlife, including the Scarlet Macaw, Jaguar and Tapir. The dam has drowned important Maya sites.
No wildlife protection or archeology mitigation plans have been effectively put in place.
The small population of Scarlet Macaws is expected to leave Belize or face extinction; no new nests of hatchlings have been spotted.
There is a marked reduction in all species of wildlife in the area.


Public Participation

Objective: To encourage public participation in the dam's construction and operations by ensuring an exchange of information concerning the dam construction and its impacts.

Reality: Fortis/BECOL has not held any meetings to make people aware of issues relating to the dam's safety, its costs or any other aspects of the project and its impact on the Macal River Valley. Fortis/BECOL announced the creation of a Public Participation Committee in November 2004, but the public has not gotten any information from this "Committee".



Fortis/BECOL has not met its legal obligation in constructing the Chalillo Dam and providing for the health and safety of the people, the river, and the environment. They have not kept their promise to share the benefits and cost savings of electricity generation.

- WeBAD. Cayo, Belize -


Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 133
carrot and donkey maybe, doesnt change the fact that belize can create electricity . Rates go up on everything , anyway. doesn't matter where ������

Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 364
John Payne (ambergris...), you are not for real are you?
You can't be...
Well, maybe you're just the world's greatest comedian with the main problem that your audience don't know that you're joking.
I hope so...

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 133
I remember gasoline at .25 cents a gallon. i would of thought it a joke when they said it was going up to a mere dollar.. Keep the carrot kid !

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