BEL wants to lower rates?!?

Posted By: Short

BEL wants to lower rates?!? - 04/03/09 05:30 AM

Ever seen water burning? Or an egg laying a chicken? Perhaps water flowing uphill? Mark today on your calendar, because now you have! BEL is requesting to LOWER it's rates by 6%. Are they really doing that voluntarily? We do still have absolutely the highest rates in the // though. Read this:
Originally Posted by 7 News Belize
BEL Proposes to Cut Light Rates by 6%

[Linked Image] In January, the PUC proposed a cut in electricity rates; it did the same in February, amounting to a total of 15%, all because of the world price of oil which has fallen by $100 since mid 2008. But that rate reduction hasn’t been reflected in your light bill because BEL has challenged both reductions saying that it has to hold unto the 20 or so million dollars that it’s saved on fuel as a lifeline to cure a cash flow crisis. Now all those millions are ratepayers’ money and the law says it should be passed through right back to them.

Well, BEL it seems is willing to go at least has proposed a 6% rate reduction. It’s a long ways from 15% – but the company includes the proposal in an annual rate review proceeding it has submitted to the PUC. And we might be briefly encouraged that some relief from high rate is in sight, except that the PUC says that ARP application is illegal. The regulator says that what’s due right now is something else, an FTRP – a full tariff review proceeding, so it’s kinda like sending a Christmas card at Easter. Today, Leroy Almendarez, the PUC’s Director of Administration and Rate Setting and C. Victor Lewis, the Director of Electricity told us that they simply cannot accept the application.

Leroy Almendarez,

“If they apply for an ARP what they are saying in effect is that some other bylaw is in place. The present bylaw says that it should be a FTRP. So because of that, we cannot accommodate their application.”

C. Victor Lewis,
“The submission of an ARP is not legal because the only valid bylaw requires a FTRP. So BEL in their submission is not acting legally as one. If we accept it, then we will be equally acting illegally.”

Leroy Almendarez,
“We will have to continue to say to them that it is an FTRP that you have to apply for. You cannot apply for an ARP.”

Almendarez concludes that indirectly BEL is saying that SI number 141 of 2007 is still in effect, ignoring that it was repealed in March of 2008 – which we note is under appeal by BEL. But while the PUC can’t accept what it holds to be an unlawful application, they did review it and they say that the company isn’t just proposing a 6% decrease, it is doing so on the condition that the PUC reverse a $36 million decision it made last year.

Leroy Almendarez,

“This 6% that they are applying for comes with conditions. Those comes with conditions in their application. One of them being that they are asking for a reversal of a correction of some $36.1 million that was already made. That is one of the conditions. They are also saying that they must experience some kind of sales growth and they will add new energy to their grid. It is good to have new sources of energy but to ask us now to revert back or to take back the $36.1 million is basically saying we are going against our own decision.”

That decision is also being appealed in court. BEL had no response to the PUC statement, and its only comment was that we can see the full ARP application on its website.
Posted By: beachbumin

Re: BEL wants to lower rates?!? - 04/03/09 04:19 PM

It is a total cluster ****. The only thing more insulting than BEL coming forth with less than half of the 15% mandate, retroactive to January, is the Belize Government's apparent lack of spine. Way to go UDP. And this on top of the recent increase of $1 gallon on gasoline.
Posted By: Short

Re: BEL wants to lower rates?!? - 04/05/09 02:02 AM

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.
Posted By: shuffles

Re: BEL wants to lower rates?!? - 04/05/09 01:39 PM

After reading the exclusivity agreement in "The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw", it would seem to me as if a competitor would be out of the question. Don't get me wrong, I would welcome a competitor with open arms......just don't remember if or when the exclusive agreement ends.
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