The Public Utilities Commission has approved a rate increase of 10.6%
for BWSL. That means your water bill will increase by 10.6% effective April
first – that is if no one objects to the rate increase. That’s 10
cents more on every dollar – but it is less than the 25% or 25 cents on
the dollars that BWSL had asked for. Today, Chairman of the PUC John Avery explained
the decision and what went into making it.
John Avery, PUC Chairman
“We’ve approved an overall increase of 10.6% across the board.
Our decision is the rate that we approved is a rate that we think is fair given
all the circumstances surrounding this submission made by BWSL. We do our best
to come up with the fairest rate and affordability is always a major consideration.
If we don’t believe consumers can afford certain investments then we can’t
approve it because it makes no sense. Why have the company invest in something
that people cannot pay for.
The commission looked at the business plan proposed by BWSL. We reviewed
the investments and where we felt those investments were necessary or feasible
and prudent we approved them for inclusion in the rates and where we were uncertain
about certain investments, we decided to leave those out of consideration for
rates for the time being.”
Interested parties have until December second to submit their objections
in writing to the PUC. If no objections are forthcoming, the new rate will come
into effect on April first 2010. The Tariff Review proceeding approves a 10%
rate of return – which is lower than the minimum 12% which most utilities
The commission removed from consideration $57 million in investment,
$47 million of that slated for Ambergris Caye. The reasoning is that the Caye
project is just getting a feasibility study and if the project does prove feasible
then it would receive CDB funding and pay for itself without causing any burden
to rate payers. An interesting note is that water loss, known as non revenue
water is just below 40% in Belize City – the highest in the country.